Technical skills are the specialized knowledge and experience necessary to perform specific tasks and use specific tools and programs in real-world situations. Various technical skills are required in almost every field and industry, from IT and business administration to healthcare and education.
In reality, many entry-level positions in many industries require fundamental technology skills, such as using cloud computing services like Google Drive and understanding social media platforms.
Examples of more advanced technical skills a job might require include programming languages, technical writing, or data analysis.
Unlike job skills, also called soft skills, such as communication and time management, technical skills often require specific education and training to acquire.
Examples of technical skills
Technical skill, sometimes called hard skills, involve the practical knowledge you use to complete tasks. Some examples of technical skills are:
• Data analysis
• Web development
• Computer programming languages
• Financial management
• User experience design
• Graphic design
What technical skills are employers looking for?
As a term, “technical skills” often appears in a job search or career advancement context. Knowing what technical talents are and how to define them can help you decide what skills you possess now and need to learn to advance your career. It’s crucial to keep an eye on how your business or area is changing and what new skills will enable you to enter the workforce, perform more effectively in your current role, discover new career options, or even research a different topic.
We search job postings and general career information to find instances of the technical skills companies are looking for in particular industries. Here are some examples of industries in demand and their related technical skills:
You may need experience in these areas to work as a cybersecurity analyst:
• Incident response
• Operating systems
• Data security
• Terminal protection
With these and other technical cybersecurity skills, you could help protect a company’s networks from cyberattacks and investigate current security breaches.
To get a job as a data scientist, some organizations may require you to be an expert in:
• Automatic learning
• Programming languages like Python
With these and other technical data science skills, you can build machine learning models, analyze data patterns and trends, and recommend courses of action that help companies achieve their goals.
It’s important to note that data skills are valuable in a variety of careers, from marketing and sales to human resources and finance.
To get a job as a financial analyst, some organizations may require you to have skills in:
• Financial modeling
• Modern portfolio theory
With these and other technical financial skills, you could help a company track its financial performance and stay on top of investment regulations and policies.
To get a job as a social media marketer, some organizations may require you to know how to:
• Design of advertising campaigns for Facebook and other websites.
• Develop paid advertising assets
• Content design
With these and other technical marketing skills, you could help a business build a social media presence and brand awareness, and increase the effectiveness of paid ads.
To get a job as a UX designer, some organizations may require that you be able to:
• Browse Adobe Creative Suite
• Conduct UX research
• Create wireframes
With these and other technical UX design skills, you could help businesses improve their user experiences when browsing websites, mobile apps, and other platforms.
To get a job as a physician assistant, some hospitals or doctor’s offices may require that you be able to:
• Operate medical equipment
• Administer injections
• Take vital signs
• Record the health history of patients
With these and other technical healthcare skills, you could help keep medical facilities running smoothly and provide excellent patient care.
In order to be hired as a K-12 teacher, some schools may require you to have skills such as:
• CPR and first aid
• Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL)
• Online education programs like Blackboard
With these educational skills, you can help students bridge language gaps, coach parents and teach from anywhere in the world, and manage class assignments online.
How to improve your technical skills
You may be considering how to improve your knowledge or acquire new talent now that you have a better understanding of the technical skills that are in demand at every company. It’s important to plan your next steps to prioritize the skills you need most and find the right training programs.
Follow these steps to expedite this process:
1. Identify your career goals.
Write down exactly what you would like to experience in your career. While the job market can be unpredictable and there are no guarantees, gaining clarity can help you reach your goals faster. Start with these sample career goals, then add your own details:
• Improve your performance at work;
• be promoted within your company;
• pursue a career in a higher paying industry;
• choose a career that supports the lifestyle you want.
2. List the technical skills you need.
Once you know your goals, you need to determine what technical skills will enable you to achieve them.
Search career development sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed for real job postings in your desired field. Pay close attention to the description of each job:
• What tasks, projects and responsibilities would you like to take on, either in your current job or in a new one?
• What kind of lifestyle would these jobs support?
• What are the required skills, education and other
3. Qualifications that appear on the job listings?
You may find it helpful to create a spreadsheet to keep track of the technical skills employers require and assess which ones you should prioritize.
4. Review your current skills and look for opportunities to improve.
For this step, get into a reflective and exploratory state of mind and ask yourself:
• Which of these skills match the requirements of the jobs I want?
• What required skills do I need to obtain?
• How can I rank them in order of importance?
5. Develop new technical skills.
There are a number of ways to develop career-specific technical skills, from taking a course or training program to getting certified in a particular skill or earning a college or graduate degree. Find the program that best suits your goals and lifestyle by researching the details of each program:
• Course syllabus: What are the required readings? Will you be able to complete hands-on career-focused projects, gain experience in real-world situations, and explore what it would be like to work in your desired field?
• Expected results: What specific skills does this program teach?
• Career Potential: How do the expected outcomes of the program relate to the skills and qualifications required by employers in your field? Does this program offer certifications or credentials that employers request?
How to List Technical Skills on a Resume
As you develop new technical skills and improve existing ones, one very important thing to do is update your resume with the latest information. This section is about how to describe your technical skills, so you feel confident that you are presenting your technical strengths to the best advantage.
Adopt these standards that summarize best practices:
• Tailor your resume to each job you’re applying for by aligning your technical skills and experience with the job requirements.
• Use action words, such as “managed,” “implemented,” or “developed,” to describe tasks you performed or projects you completed in previous roles.
• Emphasize measurable results.
• List the names of the specific trainings, courses, and certifications you have completed, along with the topics and skills each covered.
To list your technical skills, follow these three career-focused examples:
• Implemented a backup system to add a layer of security company data
• Reduced data loss from cyberattacks by 20%
Social Media Marketer
• Increased Facebook conversion by 30 percent
• Visual content design to increase brand awareness
User Experience Designer
• Increased user satisfaction by 23%
• Creation of intuitive user interfaces
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