Essential IT skills to break into the tech industry

By Robert Half on 26 November 2018

The world of information technology is a vast, ever-changing one.

Over the past few years, a skill gap has led to the demand for certain IT skills outweighing the supply of candidates with the expertise to fill those positions.

A good IT degree is no longer the golden ticket that it used to be - graduates would do well to be equipped with the following essential IT skills.

If you are looking to land a stellar career in the tech industry, here are some essential IT skills you’ll need in your arsenal.


With the recent spate of cyber-crimes globally, the demand for IT security professionals is at an all-time high.

Companies prioritise putting together high-quality IT security teams to ensure that their confidential data is safe from external attacks, and they’re willing to pay top dollar for the best.

Data / Database Management

The demand for database management and digital curation is now supersized with new challenges brought on by big data, the buzzword referring to massive amounts of information.

Too large to be processed via traditional methods, big data is invaluable to companies who can make use of the information to gain insights into consumer behaviour.

Candidates with a background in statistical analysis and a keen eye for business would also do well in this area, as they would be able to translate the raw, unstructured data into opportunities for growth.


Networking has revolutionised how organisations work and share information, especially with the advent of cloud computing.

With hundreds of different cloud providers to choose from, companies are in need of employees with training in networking, especially the implementation and management of cloud systems.

Software & Application Development

In the past, development of software and applications – or apps, as they’re more commonly known – was a less complicated process. In today’s technology industry, they have to be multi-platform, to cater for the entire consumer demographic across various different operating systems and devices.

Particularly, IT skills for mobile application development will be in vogue for a long time to come. As smartphones and tablets become the gadget of choice for navigating the web, companies are scrambling to jump on the mobile app bandwagon.

If you’re aiming to get a job in development, it pays to be a jack of a few trades, with regard to programming languages. There are hundreds out there, but you can’t go wrong with learning one of the top five: Python, C++, Ruby on Rails, Java and Javascript – the last two being two entirely different scripting languages.

Project Management

Technology is what paves the way for growth in a business, and IT professionals can no longer operate within a vacuum.

They are now expected to do double duty, providing technological support and assisting the company in its growth strategies.

IT professionals with leadership and project management experience will be highly sought after to climb the corporate ladder.

Learn more about the IT skills in demand

The list may be daunting, but never fear; many of these IT skills can be picked up easily through internships, entry-level contract positions and e-learning.

Once you have them at your fingertips, you’ll have one foot in the door of the IT career of your dreams.

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