What Skills Do You Need For IT Careers

Three Skills You Need

There are many career paths in IT, and each one has a set of required skills. But there are a few skills you will need for any IT career path: you must be comfortable with a range of technologies, you must be able to troubleshoot problems, and you must be able to do research.


Technologies are always changing, and an IT professional will have to be willing and able to change right along with them. Do you use a Mac? Fine, but what about Windows or Linux? Happy working on your laptop? What about a desktop or server hardware? Some IT jobs require that you get familiar with technologies down to the hardware level, and some need familiarity down to the circuit level. Other jobs might require more of a big picture understanding of technologies. The T in IT stands for Technology, so to enter, survive, and thrive in IT, you need to understand and be comfortable with technology.


Probably the most important skill you will need in any IT career is the ability to troubleshoot. Customer support, engineering, programming, solution architecting: it does not matter which role you are in or what you want your career path to be, solving problems is the core function of what people in IT do. Even if you believe you are a naturally good troubleshooter, you should learn some troubleshooting methodology. A simple methodology may do to start but become at least familiar with one of the more complex methodologies. In addition to helping you do your job, being able to talk about a troubleshooting methodology may help you ace an interview.


To succeed in an IT job, you have to be able to find answers. This goes beyond simply reading the manual. Someone in IT had to write that manual, and at some point in your career, you may be the one writing the manual. The Internet has put a vast amount of data at our fingertips but finding the actual data you need is a skill unto itself. You need to learn which sites provide the best information to meet your needs, but you also must be aware of new sites that may pop up that provide better information. Sometimes the information you need will not be available on the Internet. If your company has internal, proprietary information, you will have to learn how to find information in those systems too.