What five technical skills are employers seeking? What five soft skills put you on top?

We are all trying to receive interviews or get hired for a job. There are different technical skills required for the job you are trying to seek. And everyone should have soft skills that make you stand out. But first lets define the difference between technical and soft skills.

Technical skills are skills that are required for the job you are trying to receive as stated by Doyle (2014). These skills are easier to be taught to someone, and is usually listed on resumes. Technical skills is also known as “hard skills.”

Soft skills is also known as “generic skills.” Doyle explains that these type of skills is how you interact with other people, or with your client (2014). It is much harder to teach people soft skills because they may be an introvert, and not able to interact with people as well as an extrovert.

Since we know the difference between technical and soft skills, you are probably wondering which technical skills are employers seeking? And which soft skills can help me stand out from everyone else?

Well being a computer science major I’ll list the top five technical skills for computer science majors that employers are seeking.

1. Programming

Programming should be a no brainer. If you can’t program then you will not have a great chance of success in landing this type of job. The company you’re applying for should tell you which language you should be familiar with whether it is Java, C, C++, or others.

2. Development Methodology

Companies divide people into small groups. These groups are used to satisfy customers needs on a certain product. Having experience in this will increase your chance of being hired. Most companies are embracing the Agile development methodology since it is collaborative among the team members, and flexible to the clients’ needs.

3. Analytical Skills

Analyzing the problem at hand should be a given. If you do not know what the problem is, then how can you find a solution. You should be well rounded analyzing the problem.

4. Problem Solving/Critical Thinking

When there are tasks at hand, the employer would like to see how you would accomplish this task. Employers like the creative thinking of their new employee.

5. Technical Writing

When the project is all finished, your boss is probably going to want a documentation of your process. Being able to write well written reports is a must. It shows that you understood your project well enough to document every step along the way.

We can be taught these five technical skills, but they’re not good if our soft skills do not support them. So here is the top five soft skills that can put you on top. It does not matter your what field you are in. Everyone should have these soft skills when applying for a job.

1. Leadership/Management Skills

Employers are interested in those who can take charge. Although people can be trained in leading a group, and taking charge. It is best to already have this skill before an interview. It shows the employers that you can manage a team.

2. Interpersonal communication

Having this technical skill paired up with the leadership skill will draw interest to you. This is an ability to help relate to your co-workers, and encourage others to participate in the project. This is a relationship builder with your team. Also communication is used when talking with clients

3. Listening

Listening is definitely a top soft skill. If people cannot listen, then they will not be able to listen to their boss about the project at hand, or listen to their client on what they want for their product.

4. Time Management

Time management is a skill potential employers seek. They want to know if you can handle a project over a long period of time, and always keep up with the task. Always being able to release a product on time makes you stand out.

5. Commitment

Employers want people who are committed to their work. They want people who are dependable when assigning a project to them. If you are committed then the employer will not have to supervise you every hour of the week, and make sure you are always on task.


The technical skills I have listed, which are: programming, development methodology, analytical skills, critical thinking, and technical writing. I was able to learn these skills throughout high school and college. Mielach says that programming, development methodology, and technical writing are musts (2013). They are the few technical skills that employers are seeking. The other two technical skills are mentioned by Aimao (2012). He says that analyzing, and critical thinking shows your creativity. It shows the employers how you interpreted the task at hand, and how you have the solution to it. The soft skills listed are stated by Doyle and they are: leadership, interpersonal communication, listening, time management, and commitment (2014). Gallagher also supports the idea of leadership and communication stating that they are important skills when applying for a job (2010). I may not have all of the soft skills I listed, but I do have some. I am hoping that is enough to have employers take interest in me. It is hard to learn the soft skills, but having the soft skills put you on top of everyone else.

Let’s recap on what we have discussed here. Technical skills are the skills that are required for your job, and soft skills are your own personal skills that are hard to teach. Having the technical skills will get you the interview with future employers, but having the soft skills will make you stand out from other people who are also trying to receive the same job.

References:

Aimao, Z., & Blakey, P. (2012). Peer Assessment of Soft Skills and Hard Skills. Journal Of Information Technology Education, 11155-168. Retrieved from: http://web.b.ebscohost.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/ehost/detail/detail?vid=20&sid=8bf0d9cb-89c2-427d-ba3d-cb2ae85d03b0%40sessionmgr115&hid=123&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=77050341

Doyle, A. (2014). Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills. The Difference between Hard Skills and Soft Skills. Retrieved from: http://jobsearch.about.com/od/skills/qt/hard-soft-skills.htm

GALLAGHER, K. P., KAISER, K. M., SIMON, J. C., BEATH, C. M., & GOLES, T. (2010). The Requisite Variety of Skills for IT Professionals. Communications Of The ACM, 53(6), 144-148. doi:10.1145/1743546.1743584 Retrieved from: http://web.b.ebscohost.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/ehost/detail/detail?vid=17&sid=8bf0d9cb-89c2-427d-ba3d-cb2ae85d03b0%40sessionmgr115&hid=123&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=51189680

Mielach, D. (2013). The Best Tech Skills to List on Your Resume in 2014. Business News Daily. Retrieved from: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4932-tech-skills-resume.html

Images:

[Untitled photograph of Technical skills + Soft Skills] Retrieved November 9th, 2014 from: http://idealearninggroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/soft_tech_bloggraphic31.png

[Untitled photograph of Soft skills] Retrieved November 9th, 2014 from: http://www.trainingmagazine.ae/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/softskills-man-icon.jpg

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3 thoughts on “What five technical skills are employers seeking? What five soft skills put you on top?

  1. Brandon,

    Thanks for this long post about the skills employers are looking for when hiring. I like that you start off by defining what technical and soft skills are. It helped me start off with a basic understanding before reading the rest of your post.

    How much time do you spend programming? Do you focus on learning as many languages as you can, or with knowing a lot about a small number of languages?

    Like

  2. Brandon,

    Very informative post! Anyone who reads this will have a good understanding of what the difference between hard skills and soft skills. I like that you provide a concise description of why each individual skill listed is valued by employers. Doing so really adds much more reason to believe these skills are more valued than others to employers. I also like that you mention hard skills are supported by soft skills, in which case we see soft skills are transferable skills that apply from one application to the next. And as you point out these are the skills that put you on top.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Bastano le softskills? | Barbara Olivieri

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