In the past few week I have been doing some research into different career fields. I have been looking in fields like cloud development, computer networking and database management, just to name some fields I have looked into. When looking into each field I look at job requirements that the employers are looking for in new employees. There are two camps of skills every employer has under their skill requirements. The first is technical skills, the main reason the employer is looking to hire new employees. The second camp skills or what most employers call “Soft
Skills” are not written down as concrete visible like the technical skills but soft skills can help differentiate prospective employees that have the same technical skills. So lets take a deeper look into five technical skill Information system employers look for in new recruits and five soft skills that can help career hunters separate from other hunters.
In a study of the requirements from employers in the Information Systems field, written by Charles R. Woratschek and Terri L. Lenox titled ”Information Systems Entry-Level Job Skills: A Survey Of Employers ”, the authors asked and looked at past surveys to gather a view of the skill set employers are looking for in new Information System graduates. Woratschek and Lenox findings were:
- Programing languages, have the highest value to employers
- Knowledge of Systems Development Life Cycles
- Networking Concepts
- Data Communication
- Operating systems
Keep in mind that this research is coming from 2002 but the skill set employers in the field researched kept wide areas as any technology field will change quickly but these five skill areas as noted in the study give employees tools to adapt to the changes in the skills listed(p.4 ). When I look at these skills I see how even though back in 2002 cloud computing was still years away these skill would easily help people transition to a cloud platform like AWS or Google’s Cloud.
Woratschek and Lenox also got a list of soft skills that employers desired all their employees to embody:
- Professional Ethics
- Motivation To Work
- Ability to Learn
- Attention To Details
- Time Management
On their listing of soft skills they had listed 20 skill, I have the top 5 but like the technical skills I can see why these would be in the top 5(p.6). Each of the top five would help employees scouted with these skill evolve and keep up with the quickly changing technologies of the field. Changing with a field is not only good for the employee because they can have a job for many years but it also help a company from having to hire new employees with high demand skills. When companies have to look and hire new employees with high demand needs it can cost the company more money/time than having their current employees train up their technical skills.
the paper”Soft Skills and Technical Expertise of Effective Project Managers” written by Sharlett Gillard, talks about the different technical and soft skills a project manager need to be successful according to others research. Skill like communication were some of the top soft skill required for a project manager to be deemed successful(pp.724-725). In my current project, when I was a sprint leader for the project, I found how important it is to have clear communication. I attempted to make clear communication channels for which the team could communicate like utilizing a Facebook groups posting system. The use of a Facebook groups chat I found useful for centralization of communication which led to a lowering of issues of missing a person in a group email message. Having a clear communication channel did helped reduce possible issues of having a group member misinterpret or miss what I was trying to concave– to the team. The reduction in errors reduced any error extra error fixing time that would have had to been done if that communication was not there.
Getting down technical skills will help anyone pick a field to work in but having the wanted soft skill will help people stick in the job fields they want.
Gillard, S. (2009). Soft skills and technical expertise of effective project managers. Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 6(2009), 723-729.
Woratschek, C. R., & Lenox, T. L. (2002, October). Information systems entry-level job skills: a survey of employers. In Proceedings of the Information Systems Educators Conference, San Antonio TX (Vol. 19).