4 Essential Skills You Will Learn in The Tech Industry
There is a huge misconception that in order to work in the tech industry you must be extremely tech-savvy and master a plethora of programming languages. It is often easy to picture the quintessential tech worker as someone who is well-versed in technical jargon, machine learning, and computers.
However, this can’t be further from the truth. Although, it will be useful to know some of the aforementioned skills. But it is not a total deal breaker if you do not possess any of them either.
In fact, working in the digital or tech industry requires skills that are generally learnable by people with all kinds of backgrounds— and they’re not technical skills per se. So, here are 4 essential skills you will learn in the tech industry.
1. Problem-Solving Skills
Working in tech is all about using technology to solve problems. Most of the time you will probably have to deal with a few operating systems that are being used in a certain project. Therefore, you will learn to use these different systems to combine things that weren’t meant to work together in the first place.
The key is to solve a problem in the most efficient way. This is not necessarily a technical skill, more like a skill involving your ability to think logically. You will learn to divide a large problem into smaller and more manageable problems — narrowing in on every small detail to find the best possible solution.
Regardless of your technical background (if any), you will learn how to analyze information and recognise patterns to help you better tackle a complex problem. Being in the tech industry also means being vigilant on new and upcoming technologies that can help ease daily operations. As tech is constantly evolving at a rapid pace, you must try to be at the forefront of new tools and resources that can help solve problems faster.
Today, companies and businesses have increased the use of new technologies in their operations. Many businesses kept their operations running without the dependency on human workers ever since the inception of the global pandemic. Therefore, you will learn to adopt and adapt to new advancements in technologies such as cloud computing, the internet of things (IoT), and 3D and 4D printing and modeling.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the accelerated adoption of technology and automation is expected to displace around 85 million jobs by 2025. At the moment, technology performs 30% of overall tasks. While we regular humans are performing the remaining 70%, a ratio that is expected to shift to 50:50 in the next few years.
With all this in mind, problem-solving processes are going to drastically change. Therefore, companies, especially tech ones, are constantly educating their employees with new developments in technologies and how they can be used in daily company operations.
2. Communication and Interpersonal Skills
Just like any other company, whether it be tech-related, sales, or even financial services, companies always strive to cultivate a working environment that is conducive for all levels of staff. That’s why communication skills are extremely important.
The more you communicate with your peers and immediate superiors, the further you will advance in your career. Regardless if you are a fresh hire or manager, you will learn a lot about organisational psychology. Moreover, how to navigate your way through the working environment. You will learn how to work in teams, delegate tasks, and understand the professional culture of your company.
Skills such as these are important for you to understand and navigate professional spaces significantly easier. It will also allow you to get to the coding and tech problems smoothly. Within a tech company, you will be working with people from many backgrounds. From finance to liberal arts, history to mathematics— it is important to recognize that not everyone will have the understanding of all the technical jargon associated with a given project.
This is another area where effective communication comes into play. You will learn how to explain certain technological concepts to non-tech people. For example, as a digital marketer at a tech start-up in the past, I had to learn to explain technical jargon. These jargons were such as ‘Facebook pixels’ and ‘ad sets’ to colleagues who were not familiar with digital advertising techniques. So, describing things in layperson’s terms is a real asset in the digital industry.
3. Task prioritisation skills
Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed with several projects at once working in the tech industry. Therefore, you will learn how to prioritise what’s important and rank certain tasks based on their difficulty and urgency.
When working on projects, you are most probably going to be part of a team. So, you need to understand your team’s goals and focus most of your time on furthering them. Tasks that culminate your team’s strengths and goals should be prioritised over ones that are more administrative.
Time management is also key. You will learn to be productive and completely intentional with your time. Learn to complete difficult tasks first. Once you’ve completed the more challenging tasks for the day. Then, move on to the more administrative and repetitive tasks that don’t require much brainpower.
As a former digital marketer, I would complete all my ad campaigns and have them ready for deployment by lunchtime. Then, I would prepare new ad designs for future campaigns. By 5 pm, I would have completed all my major tasks. So, I’m just left with replying to emails for the day.
4. Creativity skills
People tend to associate tech jobs with being non-creative. Those who work in tech jobs are stereotyped as being very analytical, detail-oriented, and having a one-track mind that is made up of ones and zeros. This misconception is truly unfair as creativity is actually a major strong point in the tech world. Technology provides an entirely new platform for creativity to blossom.
A piece of technology is nothing more than a means to an end. It takes high levels of creativity and ingenuity to elevate technology. Especially, where it can be of practical use to society. After all, isn’t that the purpose of tech companies — to provide technology that solves the problems of everyday people?
Working in the tech industry, you will be surrounded by people who are able to marry their creativity. Moreover, they would be combining with the available technological blueprint to create something new. This is a very valuable skill you will learn if you choose to make this challenging, exciting, and fun industry as your career path of choice.
Stepping into the vast world of the tech industry can be daunting at first, especially for those without any background in it. However, if you equip yourself with the right skillset and are open to learning new things. You may find yourself excelling in an industry that is rapidly growing. So go out there and get that tech job that you always wanted! Keep your head up, stay passionate, and most importantly HAVE FUN!
For further reading, check out this article on 6 Biggest Tech Job Myths In Malaysia You Need to Stop Believing.