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Most In-demand Human Skills You Need for a Tech Job in 2023

According to Indeed’s ‘Best Jobs of 2023’ report, tech positions account for eight out of the top ten most in-demand and well-compensated jobs in 2023. This is reaffirming news in the wake of the recent mass layoffs.

However, while workers remain uncertain about what their futures look like, CWJobs has reported that 53% of UK-based tech professionals are pre-emptively applying for new jobs over fears of redundancies at their companies.

If you’re considering getting back into the job market, you might be reflecting on your current skill set and what you need to improve. While technical skills are important, research by Stanford Research Institute International found that the individuals who enjoyed the most long-term success in a role were those with strong human skills, like being able to communicate clearly, work under pressure and collaborate effectively.

Job posts frequently cite the need for someone with a range of soft skills, as well as technical ones. We took a look at dozens of tech vacancies to find out the top human skills needed to land in-demand positions to help give you a different perspective on what you might need to work on if you’re making a career move.

*The examples provided are not all-encompassing. They provide an idea of the roles that list that specific skill in their job specs.

Top 10 human skills you need to land a tech job in 2023

1) Communication

The ability to clearly explain your process, approach and motivation to multiple stakeholders – even those who aren’t technical – is essential for those working in tech. Written communication skills are equally important, such as writing clearly and precisely when documenting a project scope or creating a user manual for a new database, for example. Communication skills are also important for tech roles that require direct interaction with clients.

*Examples of jobs that require good communication skills:

  • Data Scientist
  • Data Analyst
  • Product Manager
  • UX Researcher
  • Technical Leads
  • Sales Engineer
  • Technical Customer Support Engineer

2) Innovative thinking

Being a creative thinker is powerful when working in tech. Coming up with fresh ideas that lead to progress and further development is highly desirable, with almost every employer actively seeking out individuals who are curious, willing to challenge assumptions, ask questions and embark on experiments in pursuit of creating value and improving processes.

*Examples of jobs that need innovative thinkers:

  • Site Reliability Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Hardware Engineer
  • Solutions Architect
  • AI Engineer

3) Teamwork and collaboration

Working and collaborating well with your colleagues is an important skill in any tech role where many moving parts and teams come into play. Being a productive team member who comes to work with a positive attitude, ready to support co-workers and engage with different ideas is crucial.

*Examples of jobs where solid teamwork is important:

  • Software Engineer
  • Product Manager
  • Engineering Manager
  • UX/UI Designer
  • QA Engineer

4) Leadership abilities

Large-scale tech projects need everyone involved to demonstrate leadership abilities, like taking accountability for actions, being open to feedback and actively engaging with different ideas and opinions. Whether or not you’re interviewing for a senior role, employers are looking for people who are decisive and self-aware, good at managing conflict, and reliable team members.

*Examples of roles where behaving like a leader will get you far:

  • Product Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Release or Delivery Manager
  • AI Engineer
  • Data Scientist
  • Systems Analyst
  • Technical Team Leader

5) Problem-solving

Problem-solvers are usually top performers. Being able to assess problems and find the right solutions quickly is a highly desirable skill that recruiters and hiring managers look for. As technology and business increasingly overlap, for example, a strong candidate is able to understand challenges that impact both domains and take a holistic approach to solving them.

*Examples of jobs that require problem-solving:

  • Software Engineer
  • UX Designer
  • Site Reliability Engineer
  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Cloud Architect
  • Blockchain Engineer

6) Critical thinking

Critical thinking skills feed into almost every part of a technical job. From questioning hypotheses, identifying biases associated with question framing, and selecting appropriate models to questioning the accuracy of analyses and results and validating assumptions before deriving actionable insights, the ability to think logically and operate consistently and systematically is crucial for several roles.

*Examples of jobs that require critical thinking:

  • Data Scientist
  • Data Analyst
  • Software Developer
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Information Security Specialist
  • AI Engineer
  • DevOps Engineer

7) Emotional intelligence

In a fluid and fast-changing workplace, tech employees need to have a high degree of emotional intelligence to ensure solid relationships between team members. Being self-aware, with the ability to remain calm under pressure and interact productively with individuals around you by accepting feedback, listening and practising sensitivity is key.

*Examples of jobs where having strong emotional intelligence helpful:

  • UX Researcher
  • Information Systems Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Technical Project Manager
  • Solutions Architect

8) Being organised

Tech professionals need strong organisational skills to keep track of information and organise it in such as way that they can create structure and prioritise tasks. Being well-organised is as much a mindset as it is being able to use effective methods, tools, and techniques to manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines.

*Examples of jobs where being organised is a strong point:

  • Technical Lead
  • Product Manager
  • Application Developer
  • Data Analyst
  • Software Developer
  • Network Architect

9) Detail-oriented

Much of technology professionals’ work requires executing complex tasks with utmost precision, and for that, being detail-oriented is key. It means being observant, meticulous, and thorough in everything you do. Employers value people who can catch mistakes before they have any impact.

*Examples of jobs where having an eye for detail is important:

  • UX Designer
  • Data Analyst
  • Frontend Developer
  • Full-stack Developer
  • Mobile/Web Designer
  • Site Reliability Engineer

10) Flexibility and adaptability

Working in fast-paced environments means that tech professionals often face setbacks or unexpected changes. To handle these with ease, tech employees need to be flexible enough to accept these change requests without taking them personally or getting frustrated and prioritise finding a solution. Being willing to change direction if a teammate suggests an alternative idea, for example, is also important, as it shows commitment to learning and an open mind.

*Examples of jobs where being flexible is beneficial:

  • UX Researcher
  • Site Reliability Engineer
  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Backend Developer
  • Frontend Developer
  • Software Test Engineer

Develop a holistic skill set

Writing in Quartz, Tara Chklovski, Founder and CEO of Technovation, said, “…the engineers of tomorrow will need to do much more than write code. They will need to do the messy work of navigating uncertainty, solving problems collaboratively, and anticipating the implications of launching a technology product into the world.”

As someone who has empowered 370,000 participants across 100 countries to tackle local problems using cutting-edge technologies, she knows what she’s talking about.

If you’re wondering how to improve how you navigate conflict, communicate with your teammates, manage your time or receive feedback before looking for your next job, consider speaking to a Career Coach. They can help you assess your strengths and create an action plan to address any weaknesses. They can also work with you to set short- and long-term career goals so that you can step into a new position or industry with confidence.

Career coaching plays a fundamental role in our Career Accelerator programmes. If you’re interested in finding more, please book a call with one of our Enrolment Advisors. They’ll gladly tell you more about our approach to career-focused education, as well as provide details about any of the programmes.

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