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3 Key Skills Students Should Develop for a Career in Tech

Technical skills aren’t the only thing employers are looking for when they read your CV. Many companies are removing degree qualifications from their entry criteria, so it’s important to have a well-rounded skill set if you want stand out from the crowd.

Not sure where to get started? Here are three skills you should develop to prepare for a career in tech.

1. Collaboration

Group of five students with laptop working at a wooden desk

In tech, you’ll rarely work in isolation so collaboration is an essential skill to master. Wherever you land a job, you’ll be working with a team of people from a range of different backgrounds and a variety of skills and goals.

Good collaboration requires good (and frequent) communication. Developing good habits of communication by being clear, honest, and precise when delegating tasks or having a progress meeting is key.

People management also plays into being a good collaborator. Being able to advise people and give critique without damaging relationships, as well as letting each team member play to their strengths, will lead to a better collaborative environment.

Humility ties into people management too. Being humble and kind in your own work will encourage others to do the same, and will make them more receptive to instructions and critique.

2. Time Management

alarm clock on a two-toned pastel background

Time management is an incredibly powerful skill to have.

Learning how to schedule and how use your time effectively has benefits both for your personal and working life. Having a plan and, crucially, not feeling rushed leads to reduced stress and better quality of life. It also leads to better quality of work.

All the tools you might need to organise your time are available online. There are so many resources online for calendar apps, planners and productivity organisers. The most important thing is to commit to managing your time well, and hold yourself accountable.

Good time management boils down to two things: setting goals and being realistic. Set short, medium, and long-term goals. Prioritise, and then plan out your time. Be realistic rather than optimistic about how much time you’ll need to achieve what you want. According to the Planning Fallacy, things will undoubtedly take longer than expected.

3. Creativity

sign on a  chair that says think outside the box

Some people think of creativity as a skill that’s only associated with artists, musicians, and inventors. But creativity can be put into practice in all aspects of life, especially in the tech world.

The way you approach problem-solving, the strategies you use to develop new ideas, and even the way you present those ideas to the world, all include elements of creativity. By practicing creative habits, you benefit not only through the eyes of potential employers but in your personal work.

Coding teaches creativity in many ways, but it's good practice to self-examine your work every once in a while and ask yourself: is there another, better way I could do this?

Invest in yourself

How many of these skills have you worked on developing recently? Make that investment in yourself, and you’ll see it pay off!

Katherine Lutz
Katherine (Tori) Lutz is a graduate of Florida State University and current student at Columbia University. She is a writer, editor and digital marketer. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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