What are technical skills?

Technical skills are the abilities you need to to be successful in a technical career or to best use technology on a job. Further, these days, that is most jobs.

While of course these do include hard tasks like actually understanding how to work with a specific technology. The interesting thing is that many of these skills have nothing to to with tech. Further, these are skills like being able to execute or work on a small team.

Many people do not realize that most technology activities are performed by small teams So what are technical skills you ask? It breaks down into 3 categories

1. The hard skills to work with technology

So in order to work with tech you do actually need to know how to work with the technology itself. To do this, you have to understand and master the following technical capabilities, skills and aptitudes.

  • Technology analyst: These technical skills have to do with finding the right technology for a job or researching the requirements for it.
  • Architect technology: Before using tech, it must be designed. These are some of the most technical roles in the discipline but crucial.
  • Engineer or develop technology: This is using technology to create something. For example an application developer who engineers or develops applications from code.
  • Implementer of technology: Once we research and architect the tech, we need to implement it.These skills have to do with things such as project management and simple execution.
  • Operate technology: There are engineers that spend their days operating technology each day. This may be a piece of equipment like a router or for example an x-ray machine.
  • Administer technology: There are generally people in charge of the overall configuration and users of a piece of tech. These administrators are generally more senior operators of the equipment.
  • Use technology: This is everyone who works in a job in our digital economy. Technology is intertwined into our lives whether we are a farmer, a scientist, or a parent. It is important to not just use technology, but to learn to use it effectively.

2. The technical skills to work with people

The big consideration with technology is that it is used to help and enable people to perform work. Any time people are involved, there are many other skills you need to know to be successful in a technical career. So as much as you need to be able to work with the tech itself, you need people related skills to be able to work with people that are influenced by the technology. These include:

  • Communication skills: When working with tech, you will constantly be explaining it and teaching it to others. This requires communication skills both verbal and written.
  • Learning skills: Tech is constantly changing and evolving, so you must be constantly learning how this has happened.
  • Teaching skills: In line with it always changing, you will constantly be having to teach others how the tech has changed.
  • Team skills: Many people believe that technology is only used in isolation. Nothing could be farther from the reality. Teams design technology, engineer it, or administer it in tech.The better you work in teams, the more effective you will be in technology.
  • Leadership skills: Someone needs to lead all of these technical teams. Both from a people perspective but also from an expertise perspective.

3. Execute skills to get work done with technology

Being able to work with the technology is important. Further, so is being able to help people with it. However, the most important aspect of technology is to use it in order to do something and get work done. Here are some of the execution skills that will make you better when in a technical career:

  • Project management: In order to get things done, you have to be able to effectively manage projects. This includes effectively managing scope, schedule and budget.
  • Use technology: We mentioned this one in the tech specific skills but we will mention it again. You have to know how to learn and then use a technology in order to support you in the associated task at hand.
  • Hard working: In tech, you must constantly iterate to get things implemented correctly. You will need to be a hard worker to work through these iterations and make progress.
  • Patient: Technology can be frustrating. So you will need to be patient in order to be successful in using it.

Next steps to know what are technical skills

Want to measure what your technical skills are? Take a look at our tech worker readiness assessment.