Survey: Future IT pros should learn security and communication skills

These were the top answers when Tech Pro Research asked current tech workers what new entrants need to know.
Written by Amy Talbott, Contributor

As technology continues to evolve, so will the skillsets companies look for in potential employees. A recent survey by ZDNet's sister site, Tech Pro Research, asked tech professionals about recent and upcoming hiring priorities in their organizations.

The majority of respondents said that if their company had done any IT hiring in the past year, it was in the areas of general support and development. Among respondents whose companies plan to hire IT workers in the upcoming year, these were also the two most common roles. This indicates that, despite all the talk of growth in areas like automation and data science, most companies are still looking for talent in more traditional IT jobs.

An open-ended question asking respondents to advise new IT professionals turned up some interesting answers. Expertise in security was the number one skill respondents recommended that those new to IT develop, which probably comes as a surprise to no-one. However, working on soft skills advised by more respondents than skills more traditionally associated with IT, like development and database administration. One respondent wrote that those going into IT will need a sense of humor and a sense of teamwork. A couple mentioned that the ability to explain technology to users is important. Many others simply wrote "communication".

Respondents were also asked about hiring difficulties within their companies and what steps had been taken to fill talent gaps. The survey wrapped up with a question about what IT jobs will have the most growth in upcoming years. Data and analysis for all survey questions can be found in the full report: IT jobs 2018: Hiring priorities, growth areas, and strategies to fill open roles(Available to Tech Pro Research subscribers).

This infographic contains more select findings from the survey:

Image: Erik Underwood/TechRepublic
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