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IT Skills: What Employers Wish You Knew

The field of information technology is growing exponentially as new technologies emerge and older technologies mature and change. The growing list of new software, programming languages, and processes employers want their employees to know can be overwhelming for IT professionals. How can you determine which ones are most desirable and will provide you with the skills you need to land your dream job?

The desired skills needed to fill IT positions vary widely and depend largely on your role in the organization. While some employers are looking for individuals with experience with very specific software or programming languages, others are content to hire skilled individuals with a broad knowledge base about information technology.

Let’s examine some of the top skills employers seek in new hires and the doors they could open for you.

5 Top Skills for IT Professionals

1. Programming

Even if you are applying for a position that does not require creating software or developing apps, knowing basic programming languages and constructs may still be useful. A working knowledge of HTML or C++ will allow you to understand scripts written by other programmers and write time-saving scripts to improve efficiency.

For those applying for coding positions, many employers want applicants who can demonstrate proficiency in multiple languages. Companies often use software written in different languages and need individuals to support and update the code as needed. Some of the most common languages include Java, Python, C, C++, and C#.

Programming skills are useful in software development, web programming, web application development, and automating tasks.

2. Cyber Security

A hot topic on the world stage, companies are noticing the number of cyber attacks targeting government, social, and business entities. No organization appears to be too small or immune to these incidents. Because many small businesses can not afford to hire a full-time security team, they want individuals who know how to implement security measures to protect their assets.

Key skills to know include penetration testing, ethical hacking, industry security standards, threat analysis, encryption, and risk mitigation. Knowledge of firewalls and other physical and network security measures is also desirable.

Security skills are useful in and out of IT positions, but especially in IT roles.

3. Machine Learning

Often confused with AI, machine learning tasks computers with developing accurate algorithms to describe large amounts of data, which would take humans much longer to sort through. For data professionals, machine learning is one of the top technologies to add to your tool belt.

Machine learning also has applications in business growth and product development. Organizations can use this technology to discover trends through large amounts of customer data and interactions. It can lead to improvements in business processes and the development of new products based on data.

Data scientists, data analysts, and programmers can use machine learning to improve their current processes.

4. Cloud Computing

With data centers popping up nationwide, more and more businesses are turning to this data storage solution for its many benefits. Organizations that move their online operations to the cloud eliminate the need for large server rooms to host their data, as well as the maintenance this equipment requires. Additionally, their data and systems become accessible on-demand, even while not in the office.

Individuals skilled in cloud architecture, development, and administration are key assets to companies wanting to move their operations to the cloud or maintain their cloud infrastructure. Popular cloud platforms to know include Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Oracle.

Expertise in cloud computing can lead to jobs with titles such as cloud developer, cloud administrator, cloud engineer, and cloud architect.

5. DevOps

As the name suggests, DevOps positions are a bridge between development and operations teams within an organization. Individuals qualified for these positions must understand both sides of the coin and work effectively with both teams to improve software development practices. Because they have visibility into the software development process from beginning to end, DevOps professionals are key to improving the speed and security of software development. The result is a top-notch product for clients delivered reliably and efficiently.

Those pursuing a career in DevOps should have a working knowledge of the following:

  • Scripting languages like C, Java, Ruby, PHP, or Python
  • Linux operating systems
  • Cloud computing
  • Docker Engine, LXC, Kubernetes, or other container technologies
  • Continuous delivery theory
  • Vulnerability assessment
  • Version management

Don’t Forget the Basics

Acquiring and adding top IT skills to your resume is bound to boost your chances of landing a top-paying job in the world of IT. However, your skills will only get you so far if you don’t have the foundational skills necessary to get the job done. Utah IT recruiters are looking for highly skilled applicants with these skills in addition to their technology proficiencies.

Communication – IT professionals rarely work in isolation. Complex projects require the combined efforts of experts in various IT fields. Collaborating with team members and other teams effectively is vital, as is communicating clearly with non-tech-savvy individuals within the organization.

Curiosity – IT fields are never stagnant. As new technologies emerge and evolve, professionals must continue to educate themselves about their chosen field to remain competitive and an asset to the business. Self-motivated learners will seek to learn independently and from their coworkers, adding to their knowledge and skills.

Time Management – While on a timeline, software development, and other IT projects can take an unpredictable path. To maintain team productivity and meet deadlines, IT professionals must be goal-oriented planners. Regularly assessing and planning based on the project’s progress can help balance the workload among team members and keep deliverables on track.

A Bright Future

Skilled IT professionals are in high demand nationwide, and the number of open positions is expected to grow in the coming years. Educating yourself with the right skills now can lead to a lucrative and fulfilling career working in IT.


IT Skills: What Employers Wish You Knew


The skills needed for IT positions vary widely depending on your role. Some employers seek specific software or programming language experience, while others value a broad knowledge base. Explore these top skills in this infographic.

5 IT Professional Skills Infographic