Technical skills, in particular, are becoming a must for employers. At least half of employers surveyed for the Job Outlook 2023 report said they look for technical skills in a candidate’s resume and consider these skills very or extremely important in the workplace.
That’s not surprising. A staggering 93% of small business owners already report using at least one type of technology platform to help run their business. That number naturally increases among the big companies that have more resources to invest in technological advancements. Since technical expertise is typically required for one to use these modern technologies, job seekers and employees can’t afford to not have just that.
Still not convinced? In this article, you’ll learn the specific benefits of technical skills for job seekers and employees. But first:
What are technical skills?
Technical skills are specialized abilities required to perform specific tasks in real-world situations. They also refer to the know-how needed to use specific technological tools and programs.
Traditionally, only professionals working in the fields of computer science, mechanics, IT, math, etc, were known to apply technical skills. Today, however, that’s no longer the case. Because of advances in technology, even industries not known to require technical skills decades ago consider them a must now.
For instance, in recent years, even entry-level employees in the hospitality industry have had to learn how to use Point Of Sale software to print electronic receipts. Some employers nowadays even require technological skills to operate scheduling software and AI.
That said, some of the top technical skills employers look for include:
- Data analysis
- Project management
- Cloud and SaaS
- Stock analysis
- Technical writing
- Programming language
- Common operating systems
As a job seeker or current employee, you don’t need to possess all these skills. The specific technical skills you need to have will vary depending on your chosen industry. For example, knowledge of various coding languages and website design is key if you want to work as a web developer or UX designer. On the other hand, knowing how to operate data management systems and perform data analysis are valuable technical skills for customer service reps.
3 key benefits of having technical skills
Now that we’ve established what these types of skills are, let’s discuss the three key benefits of technical skills for job seekers and employees.
1. Opens doors to promising career opportunities
The first benefit of technical skills for job seekers is this: they open doors to promising career opportunities.
A study conducted by SHRM showed 83% of HR professionals have noticed a decrease in the quality of applicants, with one-third citing a lack of technical skills. So, you’ll be a more viable candidate if you have the additional technical skills potential employers are looking for.
Between an applicant who only has soft skills and another who has both soft skills and technical skills, employers are more likely to choose the second.
But I’m not just talking about local employers.
If you reskill and upskill with technical know-how, you can also become competitive globally. It’s a global village and an increasingly digital world. So, even if you’re based in Asia, for instance, you can easily apply for a job in the US.
But to be eligible for those positions, you need technical knowledge as well. As the graph above shows, a staggering 67.7% of companies worldwide look for candidates who have technological literacy, 59.9% look for those with systems thinking, and 59.5% want employees with knowledge of AI and big data processes.
2. Contributes to career advancement
The benefits of technical skills are many, but this is by far the most known. With the correct technical skills as an employee, you can easily climb the corporate ladder and advance your career.
Assume you’re a marketer. Major B2B and SaaS brands dedicate a significant portion of their marketing budgets to acquire marketing automation tools. So, to fill executive positions, they employ marketing professionals with the necessary technical skills to utilize these.
Check out the required qualifications for a VP Growth Marketing role below, for example.
If you’re already an employee, with the right technical skills, you become a more viable candidate for promotion in your company as well. That has been scientifically proven. According to a Harvard study, 15% of an individual’s job success can be attributed to their specific technical skills. That might seem like a small number, but it can spell the difference between you getting that promotion or not.
Why aim for the promotion in the first place? Well, a promotion typically means a better salary and better benefits, of course.
Plus, the higher you are in the corporate hierarchical structure, the more indispensable you become to the company as an experienced professional. The result is you have better job security.
3. Expands the horizons of tasks you can undertake
When you possess additional technical skills, you can do more than a person who doesn’t possess the same. Take this scenario as an example: You’re a content writer for a digital agency who also knows SEO. So, you’d already consider basic SEO principles when writing your content.
When you submit your written piece, then, the editor will only have to check for grammar and sense, not for SEO. You earn plus points in the eyes of the editor this way. After all, you save them the time they’d usually spend checking if a written piece is SEO-friendly.
With technical skills, you can become more productive, too. It’s amazing how much work you can get done within a short time when you have the know-how to use technologies.
Assume again you’re a content writer. If you know how to use AI templates in content creation, you can get more of your required written pieces done in one week. If you’re a marketer who knows how to use marketing software, you can send even more of the email newsletters you’re supposed to send than if you did that manually.
All that is great news for your employer or a potential employer, of course. Their profits increase by 21% thanks to engaged workers’ higher productivity levels.
But the benefits of technical skills don’t end there. When you complete your tasks within a shorter time frame thanks to your technical know-how, it follows that you have more time to spend on other things in the workplace as an employee.
That’s time you can spend learning other relevant skills through training courses. After completing the learning process and enriching your skill set, you can then help your colleagues in completing their own tasks. The result of all this? Higher productivity, not just at the individual level, but also at the team level. In the end, you become one of the more valuable assets of your team and company since you have a direct hand in helping them reach their goals.
In these modern times, technical skills are no longer something you may or may not have as a job seeker or employee. If you want to get ahead, they’re already a necessity.
You learned the specific benefits of technical skills from this article. Advanced technical skills open the doors to promising opportunities. They also help in career advancement. Additionally, they can help you expand the horizons of what you can do in the workplace.
Over to you. It’s time to undergo specialized training to learn those technical skills. Soon, you’ll land your dream job or climb that career ladder for your professional and even personal growth. Good luck!
This article has been written in collaboration with Ian Loew, Lform’s Owner, Creative Director, and Head of Business Development, which he founded in 2006. Ian has worked with a diverse range of clients, including small startups and large corporations. He takes great pride in truly understanding and translating what clients want into actionable results.