Professional Skills

Why Soft Skills Are Key to a Successful IT Career

The non-technical business skills are often referred to as “soft skills,” but even that might be overselling it. Soft skills are really just the ability to talk to people, be nice, understand their perspective, etc. In other words, soft skills is the ability to be human. Yet amusingly, some of us are better at being human than others. In an article for, Sharon Florentine discusses the real value of these so-called soft skills to your career.

The Human Touch

There are few IT professionals who can fake knowing their stuff. And since IT pros are typically passionate about technology in the first place, they are often eager to further develop their technical skills and knowledge. In other words, there is no dearth of IT professionals with great technical skills—it is the presence of soft skills that often differentiates candidates.

Matt Brosseau, director of IT at Instant Alliance, adds this:

I would argue that soft skills, like communication, empathy, teamwork and negotiation are almost more important than technical skills, especially in leadership or executive roles. Technologists who have these soft skills are better able to understand and accurately convey the business value of IT projects to other, non-technical stakeholders, get their buy-in and support and deliver more successful projects…

This really plays into the notion that IT is now a strategic business partner working in tandem with the business. For IT to fulfill this role, the people who compose IT must understand what the business wants. But interestingly, Florentine says that experts believe technical skills are easier to teach than soft skills. Apparently, teaching someone COBOL is easier than teaching someone how to be human. This is good news for you though! It means if you can communicate effectively and respectfully with others, then you are already way ahead of the game with your competition.

You can view the original article here:

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