10 Must-Have Skills Techies Need

Hiring managers are looking for professionals with a combination of technical and soft skills that will ensure the timely delivery of projects, explains Narayan Mahadevan, founder, BridgeLabz.

Engineering and creativity form the base of most technological innovations and disruptions.

With the digital boom and growing demand for digital literacy around the world, clearly this is one of the best times to be an engineer.

However, despite the growing demand and multiple opportunities available for skilled engineers, lakhs of graduates and aspiring professionals are unable to get their dream jobs.

These graduates have the degree and the skills too, yet they simply cannot switch to new role or get a new job.

It may come as a surprise, but there is a high chance that you are not able to crack interviews due to the lack of soft skills.

Soft skills hold more importance than ever in today’s hybrid work environment.

The last two years have proved that companies want to hire professionals for the long haul.

Today, hiring managers are not looking for employees based on just their technical skills. They want employees who are quick learners, have good communication skills, cognitive flexibility and can take quick decisions in critical situations.

If you are looking for your dream job or want to switch to a new organisation in a new role, here are the key attributes that will be in demand for IT candidates this year:

1. Integrity

Knowing the latest technology is not enough to get a job with a leading company.

An ideal candidate needs to possess practical experience of ‘actually’ working on them.

Enrol for Bootcamps or fellowship programmes to get mentored by the experts in the field and gain the experience of working on the latest technologies through experiential learning.

While sifting through numerous CVs and profiles that almost look identical, employers prefer to hire professionals who are honest about their technical knowledge and work experience, which is why integrity is so important.

2. Communication skills

Apart from core skills, every engineer must possess effective communication skills along with technical knowledge.

Recruiters often look for this combination as they expect you to communicate clearly, create and overlook presentations for a smooth workflow both within and outside your department.

3. Interpersonal skills

As an employee, you are expected to mingle with colleagues and maintain a sound relationship with everyone who matters in the organisation.

You must be in a position to resolve conflicts effectively when in need, to manage your team, and maintain strong connections to move ahead in your career.

4. Problem solving and critical thinking

There may be instances at work when a problem is likely to crop up.

As a future leader, you must be able to think right, be independent and resolve the issue efficiently.

Irrespective of the deadlines, work stress and challenges of the situation, you will need to organise your thoughts and put them into action in the perfect way.

5. Enthusiasm, commitment, and motivation

Enthusiasm and commitment towards work along with a strong motivation to complete an assignment and inspire the team, are some of the key requisites modern managers expect from young professionals.

When you present your profile, recruiters often try to analyse your knowledge of the subject matter in order to understand how effectively you have executed your learnings.

6. Emotional intelligence

It is an important skill to be able to control your own emotions as well as others’ in the team.

Only when you can manage your personal emotions will you be in a position to influence people around you to get the work done.

When you master this skill, you are likely to grow in your career.

7. Judgement and decision making

The work environment is constantly evolving which is also adding up new challenges every day.

Just like critical thinking, the ability to make appropriate judgment of people and situation and take decisions that is best for everyone, is a vital skill acquired only by experience.

Recruiters value employees who are able to gauge challenging situations and make quick, favourable decisions.

8. Service orientation

If you can help others in different ways, it determines your leadership quality.

The ability to prioritise someone else’s needs ahead of you will enable you to gain the loyalty of your team members and the trust of your colleagues.

9. Negotiation 

An individual who can reach an agreement, despite the difference of opinion with their peers through negotiation, is a much necessary soft skill.

A good leader is able to see through the loopholes and come up with a favourable demand or deal that works and benefits mutually.

You can develop this skill by engaging in challenging conversations and interactions daily with your friends, colleagues and family members.

10. Cognitive flexibility

In the IT sector, a significant challenge for engineers is that technology changes very quickly.

In such a scenario, you can only survive if you have high learnability and cognitive flexibility.

The ability to adapt your thinking and work strategy to suit the changing needs of the workplace and events around you will make you indispensable.

This way, you can learn new skills and still have strong careers.

While applying for a new job, you must remember that IT managers do not just want and need team members that have the best technical skills.

Hiring managers are looking for professionals with a combination of technical and soft skills that will ensure the timely delivery of projects.

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