14th June, 2016
If you’re interested in getting a job in tech but not sure where to start, a great strategy is to look at job listings—mountains and mountains of job listings.
That’s what I did, and I noticed quite a few skills that appear on a majority of them, especially when I looked at somewhat related job roles, like data analyst and marketing manager or front end developer and back end developer.
Even jobs in the tech space that don’t seem all that related will have shared skills. Marketers need to know how to analyze data, and web developers need to understand how data might be used by other teams (plus figure out the best way to integrate data into their sites and apps). Web designers need to understand how WordPress works and how to use it, and so do bloggers. Customer support people need to have problem-solving skills, just like web developers do!
(Psst! Read more about all those tech careers here: 41 job titles in tech.)
Noticing a pattern here?
Things like data analysis, problem-solving skills, and even more specific skills—like having some degree of familiarity with WordPress—are going to keep cropping up in job listings regardless of your path in tech. The great thing is that you probably already have a ton of the skills you’ll need (or can learn them in a weekend), you just need to make sure to call them out when you’re applying.
Once you know which in-demand skills you already have, you can figure out what to learn next to prepare yourself for the job market. I looked at tons of job listings and found these 12 most in-demand skills that you probably already have.
Completely new to tech? Not sure where to even begin? Check out our free 10-Day Coding Bootcamp. It’s perfect for beginners!
1. Ability to Work With a Team
It doesn’t matter what your job title is in tech, you’re probably going to be working with other people on a team. At Skillcrush, everyone is part of a team. Teams tackle projects together, as well as on their own. It’s vital to be able to work with others effectively and efficiently.
But most jobs are like that, in one way or another. Even school is like that (group projects, anyone?), so you already have some experience working with others!
2. Problem-Solving Skills
Customer support equals problem-solving. Web development equals problem-solving. Web design equals problem-solving. Marketing equals problem-solving. It doesn’t matter what kind of tech job you’re looking for, you’re going to need problem-solving skills.
Virtually every area of tech focuses on coming up with solutions to problems. That might mean figuring out how to get more leads or customers in marketing. Or it could be how to make code work the way you want it to as a developer.
But you solve problems every day! When you’re getting ready to apply for a tech job, think through a handful of times you’ve solved problems professionally (at work, while volunteering, or even in school) and be prepared to talk about them. You want the hiring manager to walk away from the interview feeling like you are ready to get out there and fix their biggest problems.
3. Planning and Organizational Skills
So much of tech revolves around being organized. From keeping your code neat and tidy to staying organized on a big project with multiple team members, you have to be able to keep everything in order.
The same goes for planning. So much of what you’ll do in tech depends on being able to plan ahead and anticipate what you’ll need tomorrow or next week, and how other members of your team (or other teams entirely) need to work together to accomplish goals.
When you’re interviewing, talk about any more complicated, multi-step, or long-term projects you’ve worked on to show off these planning and organizational skills.
4. Data Analysis
A lot of jobs in tech revolve around data. The obvious ones are data analyst or marketing analyst, which both directly involve analyzing data. But developers also need to know how to analyze the data they’re dealing with, so that they know how best to work with it.
And even in jobs like content marketing or customer support, you’ll be dealing with some data on a regular basis, even if it’s just things like how many visits your blog post got compared to the number of email leads it generated, or the overall satisfaction ratings of your customer support contacts.
If you excelled in statistics in high school or college, you’ll probably have no problem with data analysis. But even if math wasn’t your strong suit, drawing basic conclusions from data is more common sense than anything else.
Showing a future employer that you’ve used data to make decisions on your personal blog, at work in another industry, or even to do something like grow your Instagram account can go a long way.
5. Report Creation
Good reports are a big part of tech. You’ll share reports with your colleagues on everything from sales to how well a website is performing to a plan for future projects or goals.
But creating reports is fairly simple. Just gather your data, and then present it in a way that makes it easy for others to understand and get the value out of it that they need. Anyone who’s worked in an office before is likely familiar with writing (or at least reading) reports.
The key is in showing that your reports help people do their jobs better and don’t just take up time!
Tech changes fast. What you learned six months ago might not apply next month. Or at least it might have changed significantly.
If you work at a startup, especially, things change all the time. Your job description when you get hired might take a complete 180 three months down the road. You need to be comfortable changing and adapting as your company and the industry at large change.
7. Research Skills
Are you a master of Google? Are you great at finding information almost instantly (I call it Google-Fu)? If you are, then you’re already one-up on a lot of other tech job seekers.
Being able to find the information you need to do your job is a key aspect of working in tech. The tech industry is constantly changing and the only way to keep up with it is to research things as you need them.
I’ve heard of companies who won’t even hire someone who fails to look up answers or solutions on Google!