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These are the skills you need to succeed in the tech industry

2 Sep 2021

A survey of 525 workers by software communications firm Reign found that 52pc of managers wanted people to have an even mix of tech and soft skills.

As September comes around once again, a fresh crop of graduates will undoubtedly be looking for new jobs. The tech industry is always a popular one for ambitious people to break into as it offers exciting opportunities, challenges and a good chance for career progression.

It’s also an industry that is constantly changing and growing as new technologies are created and introduced – many by ambitious young graduates themselves.

The qualities required to survive and thrive in the tech industry are the same as for any. Diligence, determination, attention to detail and curiosity are all important traits for anyone getting into tech to possess.

But what about skills? What are the most important skills for somebody who hopes to make it big in the tech industry to have right now?

Let’s have a look at this recent study of 525 tech workers. The survey was done by computer software communications company Reign in partnership with marketing agency Fractl.

Infographic by Reign

Infographic by Reign.

Infographic: Reign

Of the workers and managers who took part, technical skills and soft skills both featured highly in terms of importance. Most employees (72pc) said soft skills such as communication, attention to detail and time management were very or extremely important. Managers were mostly in agreement, with 39pc saying they were very important and 37pc going further to classify them as being of extreme importance.

In terms of technical skills, managers rank their importance slightly higher than employees. Almost 45pc of managers said skills such as coding, blockchain, analytics and AI were very or extremely important, compared to 42pc of employees.

Going deeper into those technical skills, blockchain was not seen as a standout skill among employees surveyed, with less than half seeing it as at least moderately valuable to learn. More than half of managers, however, rate this as a worthwhile skill, though it sits lower down the list below other technical skills.

In terms of coding, Python, Java and JavaScript were identified as the top coding languages to learn by employees and managers alike.

Unsurprisingly, managers preferred people to have an even mix of technical and soft skills. More than half (52pc) said an ideal worker would have both.

Only 2pc said they preferred workers to have soft skills or hard skills exclusively – which might be something to bear in mind for those who have very strong feelings either way.

Infographic by Reign.

Infographic by Reign.

Infographic: Reign

On the soft skills side, critical thinking was regarded as an extremely important skill according to 52pc of managers. Almost half (49pc) also said communication was extremely important.

Analytics, databases, coding and statistics were regarded as the most valuable technical skills managers would like employees to have.

In terms of upskilling, About two-thirds of employees said that skills should be worked on and updated every three months to a year. This percentage increased to 72pc among managers.

As one might expect, tech workers favoured online courses as their main source of education and upskilling. Bootcamps were the least popular method.

Infographic by Reign.

Infographic: Reign

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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