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Don't Forget the Soft Skills

Posted by TestOut Staff on

There’s a growing recognition in the IT realm, and in the business world at large, of the importance of so-called “soft skills.” It’s a given that you generally need to have directly applicable knowledge and job skills in order to be hired for any assignment more specialized than stocking shelves at the supermarket, or flipping burgers at McDonald’s. Even a college graduate with no particular knowledge of routers and switches wouldn’t expect to be paid to install and maintain an enterprise-level computer network.

Flipping Burgers

So your first step on the road to fruitful IT employment is to be sure that you have all of the right technical skills and expertise to function in the computing realm of your choosing. And TestOut Continuing Education is here for you: Our top-quality courseware is so effective that we’ll let you play around with it for an entire week, free of charge. If you aren’t well on your way to certification at that point, then you have our blessing to walk away and look elsewhere for training and study materials.

Once you’ve gone past the level of acquiring the right “hard” skills, however, there’s still work to be done to keep your career on stable footing and continue to move forward. Soft skills are often boiled down to the level of getting along with coworkers and understanding the importance of showing up for work on time, meeting the office dress code, and so forth. There’s much more to it, however, than just being able to function well on a workplace team, or complete an effective job interview.

If you’d like to get a sense of what other abilities are needed to flourish in the IT industry, then it would be well worth your time to pop over to GoCertify and immerse yourself in the most recent post from IT certification guru Ed Tittel. Tittel makes an interesting observation that different types of soft skills are important at different stages of a typical career in IT. Essentially, the longer you work and the higher you climb, the more you’ll be expected to meet changing obligations not directly related to technology.

It’s a persuasive — and fascinating — theory, but one of the most worthwhile elements of Tittel’s piece is that he outlines specific soft skills that most workers will be expected to develop, and the times that those abilities are likely to be demanded by employers. So as you’re making plans to build your IT employability, don’t forget the importance of all those things that you can’t nail down by passing an IT certification exam.

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