Tech Leaders Talk Hiring

Develop perennial skills to get ahead in the IT job market.

Those pursuing careers in information technology are currently a desirable commodity. The fact is that IT jobs are on the rise, and quality talent can be tough for any company to lock down. However, having a wide range of tech talent is just the starting point. Besides needing a degree, IT pros need to exhibit problem-solving skills, intuition and confidence. Fast Company recently talked to a group of six tech leaders to find out what skills they expect in applicants looking to get hired at their companies. While those just getting into the industry might anticipate complicated computing skills and knowledge of specific programs, many of the answers were much more straightforward. This is because leaders in the industry know that with a strong educational background and a passion for IT, all professionals will be able to talk about the most recent developments in the industry. Therefore, leaders expect applicants to possess a skill set that is more perennial. Here are a few of the qualities it takes to get hired by a top IT company:

Problem solving
One of the most important skills IT pros learn in the course of their education is the ability to problem solve. New technology is being produced rapidly, and being able to keep up with current developments is important, but innovation is often a product of solving a problem. Tech companies need workers that can come up with immediate and long term business solutions. This is why interviews for IT jobs might seem untraditional. This process sometimes includes interpreting data or creating a presentation, giving techies a chance to show off their problem-solving skills.

Networking Skills
Collaboration is an integral part of the IT industry. Those in the tech industry need to be able to utilize a wide network of peers and colleagues to work out problems efficiently. Furthermore, company culture is imperative to an employee being successful, and a broad network can indicate good social skills and the ability to work well with others. This is particularly important with social networking companies and other tech firms that have a distinct company culture. 

Drive
The IT industry is fast-paced and requires professionals that are driven to work hard and give a company their all. Hiring managers can often gain insight to a person's drive based on their previous experiences, as well as how prepared they are for an interview. 

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers bachelor's and master's online degree programs in IT. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_IT

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