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Technical skills to put on your resumé  

At a glance

  • Having a combination of technical and soft skills is important for many roles in information technology.
  • Hard skills enable you to perform your job duties, while soft skills can empower you to lead, teach and improve understanding and outcomes through communication.
  • Examples of technical skills are data analysis, programming and cybersecurity.
  • Various roles benefit from technical skills. Explore how you can build your IT skill set at University of Phoenix with its flexible, online technology programs!

When it comes to resumé skills, there are two main categories: hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are quantifiable, teachable abilities that you gain through training or experience — think coding or graphic design. Soft skills are subjective and often hard to quantify — these are your interpersonal skills like communication and problem-solving. To stay relevant, your skill set must evolve with the market.

In the current job environment, some of the most career-ready job skills are related to the digital world. For example, digital marketing, blockchain competency and network management are valuable tech-related skills that make a resumé more attractive to employers.

Having a mix of hard and soft skills can help those looking to break into a new profession or enhance their career. Here, we sit down with J.L. Graff, an associate dean in the College of Business and Information Technology at University of Phoenix, to see what may be missing from your resumé.

 

Prepare for an IT career — and have the freedom to learn when you want online, 24/7/365. 

What are technical skills?  

Technical skills are a specific set of abilities that are needed to carry out particular tasks or jobs. These are industry-specific and usually acquired through formal education, training or on-the-job experience. They are tangible, practical and often quantifiable.

For example, coding and technical writing are technical skills that focus on specific aspects of computer science. These contrast with soft skills, which are more general, subjective and often related to your personality or how you relate to others.

Both types of skills are valuable, but they serve different functions and applications in the workplace. Having a good balance of both technical and soft skills is key.

 

Examples of valuable technical skills  

Numerous technical skills are valuable in the job market. “Technical skills, specifically hard skills, are transferable and relevant to other industries outside of IT and even in your personal life,” Graff says. “Hard skills in networking can help you to troubleshoot home network or connectivity issues.”

Cybersecurity is another good example, he says. “If you use electronic devices such as smartphones and computers in your field or at home, you are susceptible to cyberattacks. Hard skills in cybersecurity can teach you how to protect data using encryption and secure authentication, and to recognize and prevent cyberattacks such as malware, phishing and social engineering techniques that can compromise your personal data or the data you oversee in any job and industry.”

So, which skills do you need? That depends on the job you’re targeting. Here are some examples of technical skills that some employers may look for.

Digital design

Digital design encompasses many aspects of creating digital products, such as graphic design and real-world products with digital features. Understanding user interface and user experience is also important to truly master this skill.

For instance, designers may create webpages, mobile apps or a digital product’s user interface. This can include anything from a banner ad to a complex e-commerce website.

Many careers, such as in web design, animation and advertising, involve some sort of digital design. No two employers will be looking for the same combination of skills, but a general understanding of the tools and techniques involved in digital design is essential.

Relevant degree and certificate programs can provide an excellent foundation for developing digital design skills. Degrees in computer science, engineering, programming or graphic design can help you get started in this field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Likewise, certificate programs such as coding boot camps and UX/UI design courses are ways to acquire the needed skills.

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Data analysis

Data analysis is the process of inspecting, cleaning, transforming and modeling data to discover useful information, identify trends, draw conclusions and support decision-making. It’s essential to many roles, from entrepreneurs and marketing professionals to product managers and data scientists.

For example, data analysts might need to examine a company’s sales figures or customer feedback to identify trends or decide how to market a product. With their findings, they can make recommendations to upper management on how to optimize operations or increase revenue.

“Data analysis is used in myriad industries, but it can also be used in your personal life,” Graff notes. “If you are interested in improving your health, finances or managing your busy schedule, data analysis can help you accomplish those objectives. Many apps and tools exist to analyze your data to spot trends, unlock new or overlooked insights and suggest actions you can take to improve the situation.”

A Bachelor of Science in Data Science helps students gain a solid understanding of collecting, processing and analyzing large data sets, data engineering, machine learning, statistics and more.

Certification programs focusing on analytics are also options for those looking to build their foundational knowledge. (Note: These are external programs not supported by or prepared for at University of Phoenix.)

 

Programming

The act of producing a series of commands that guide a computer to execute a specific task is known as programming. Programming languages such as C++ and JavaScript help programmers write these instructions.

Gaining these skills is essential for many tech jobs. For instance, software developers use programming languages to create and maintain software products, and web designers use them to build interactive websites.

Other roles that require programming skills include:

  • Data analyst
  • IT analyst
  • Application developer

One way to learn programming is through a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. This degree provides a solid basis in various programming languages and computer systems. Alternatively, the Scripted and Compiled Programming Languages Certificate can provide specialized knowledge in particular programming languages more suitable for specific jobs.

 

Software profiency

Software proficiency refers to knowing how to use specific software required for a job. For example, data analysts must have a solid understanding of SQL (Structured Query Language) for retrieving and manipulating data. Other job roles, such as content creators or graphic designers, must also use specific software, such as Adobe Photoshop or InDesign.

Many online information technology degrees focus on specific skills you need to become a software developer. Additionally, shorter certificate programs focusing on specific software programs, such as Microsoft 365, can be helpful options for those who want to quickly acquire proficiency for their chosen job.

 

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity involves protecting computer systems and networks from theft, damage or unauthorized access. This skill is in high demand for roles such as cybersecurity analysts, IT specialists and network administrators.

These roles require skills like:

  • Security protocols
  • Encryption and authentication mechanisms
  • Malware detection

A Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity is a popular degree program related to this skill. It helps students gain an understanding of how to protect computer networks from threats and offers in-depth knowledge of cybersecurity concepts and tools.

Short courses like CompTIA Security+ or the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) credential are also strong options for those looking to build their skills quickly.

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Health information manager

Health information management is the practice of maintaining patient health records, ensuring they are safe and organized. Roles like health information manager and healthcare data analyst rely on skills inherent to this field.

For example, a health information manager must understand the systems and regulations that support patient care, such as HIPAA.

With this in mind, a degree in health information technology can lay the foundation for health information management skills, while online master’s degrees in information technology and a Health Information Systems Certificate can deepen your expertise.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Manage health information and databases
  • Organize electronic medical records
  • Interpret coding systems and analyze data

Overall, specialized courses and degree programs help you cultivate necessary knowledge and skills. Take advantage of all the resources you can; this way, you’ll ensure you have the most up-to-date knowledge in the field to stay competitive.

 

IT programs at University of Phoenix

If you’re eager to learn more about IT skills, or you’re a working professional looking to expand your existing skill set, University of Phoenix offers online degrees and certificates in technology. Learn more about undergraduate and graduate online technology degrees and start your IT journey today!

  • Advanced Cybersecurity Certificate — This program offers hands-on IT labs and simulations to help you develop a broad knowledge of cybersecurity.
  • Associate of Science in Cybersecurity — Learn the fundamentals of networking and information security concepts with this two-year degree.
  • Associate of Arts with a concentration in Information Technology — This IT program introduces you to information technology concepts and principles in programming, data analytics, cybersecurity and networking.
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology — In this program, you’ll learn skills like business process, cybersecurity, information systems, operations and systems analysis.
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity — This online program teaches skills such as security policies, network security, cybersecurity and more.
  • ·Bachelor of Science in Computer Science — This program equips you with the knowledge to apply information technology theory and principles to address real-world business challenges with advanced concepts in math, programming and computer architecture. You can also use elective courses to earn a certificate in cybersecurity, networking, cloud computing and much more.
  • Bachelor of Science in Data Science — Gain fundamental skills and knowledge for analyzing, manipulating and processing data sets using statistical software. Learn ETL (extract, transform, load) processes for integrating data sets for business intelligence. Focus on data mining and modeling, data programming languages, statistical analysis, and data visualization and storytelling. Discover techniques to transform structured and unstructured data sets into meaningful information to identify data patterns and trends and drive strategic decision-making.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and its Writing Seminars program and winner of the Stephen A. Dixon Literary Prize, Michael Feder brings an eye for detail and a passion for research to every article he writes. His academic and professional background includes experience in marketing, content development, script writing and SEO. Today, he works as a multimedia specialist at University of Phoenix where he covers a variety of topics ranging from healthcare to IT.

 

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