What are the Most Demanded Skills for a Competitive IT Worker?

The key to  shaping your career accurately is to get to know the demanded skills and responsibilities of the position you are dreaming of. It is always easy to say I want to be a CTO, a lead iOS developer, or a system analyst. But, hey, do you imagine the task and responsibility list? Well, it gives foundation to think about it deeper.

Information Technologies is a large field and you need to focus on one main sphere to become a competitive worker in the global job market. iTechnology.am using the resource of  shares the basic task list and responsibilities for IT positionns. Have a look and you can feel ready and confident to stay competitive in the global job market.

Skill Set for Different IT Positions

Database Administrator

  • Implement, support and manage the corporate database.
  • Design and configure relational database objects.
  • Are responsible for data integrity and availability.
  • May design, deploy and monitor database servers.
  • Design data distribution and data archiving solutions.
  • Ensure database security, including backups & disaster recovery.
  • Plan and implement application and data provisioning.
  • Transfer database information to integrated mobile devices.
  • Some database administrators design and develop the corporate database.
  • Some DBAs analyze and report on corporate data to help shape business decisions.
  • Produce entity relationship & data flow diagrams, database normalization schemata,
    logical to physical database maps, and data table parameters.
  • Database administrators are proficient in one or more of the leading database
    management systems, such as, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, MySQL and Oracle

Mobile Application Developer

  • Mobile developers are fluent in object-oriented programming languages such as Java, Objective-C and C++.
  • Mobile application developers code, test, debug, monitor and document changes for mobile applications.
  • Mobile devs are skilled at working inside the development environments of one or more the top mobile OSes.
  • Mobile app developers can implement application programming interfaces (APIs) to support mobile functionality.
  • Mobile application developers know the terminology, concepts, and best practices for coding mobile applications.
  • Mobile application developers migrate and adapt existing web applications to the leading mobile platforms.
  • In-house mobile developers work closely with other departments to brainstorm and optimize deployments.
  • Mobile application developers recommend changes and enhancements to existing mobile applications.

Web Developer

  • Are fluent in the core web development scripting languages: HTML, CSS and Javascript.
  • Should know one or more server-side programming languages, such as Java, PHP and .Net.
  • Use search engine optimization (SEO) to develop websites that rank high in Google, Bing, etc.
  • Test web pages and web apps in multiple browsers, e.g., Chrome, FireFox & Internet Explorer.
  • Implement Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to efficiently control the style of multiple pages in site.
  • Develop websites that interact with popular database systems like MySQL, SQL Server & Oracle.
  • Use wireframes to plan the layout, navigation and functionality of new web development projects.
  • Communicate with clients and colleagues to troubleshoot websites and optimize performance.
  • Some web developers are responsible for designing a website’s graphics and multimedia elements.

IT Help Desk Technician

  • Help desk technicians diagnose PC errors and provide technical support.
  • Help desk technicians troubleshoot software, hardware and network issues.
  • Help desk technicians train end-users how to setup and use new technologies.
  • Help desk technicians backup and restore an organization’s data files and folders.
  • Help desk techs install, configure and upgrade PC software and operating systems.
  • Help desk technicians clean and repair computer hardware, such as keyboards and printers.
  • Remote IT help desk specialists provide technical support over the telephone or Internet.
  • Remote help desk technicians may use specialized help desk support software to take remote
    control of end-users’ computers to troubleshoot, diagnose and resolve complex issues.

Network Administrator

  • Configure and maintain the organization’s internal computer network.
  • Manage network security tools, e.g., firewall, anti-virus and intrusion detection systems.
  • Identify, troubleshoot, solve and document network connectivity and performance issues.
  • Install and support hard-line telephones and other networked telecommunication devices.
  • Monitor network performance and optimize the network for optimal speed and availability.
  • Install, configure and maintain network hardware, for example, Cisco routers and switches.
  • Deploy, configure and upgrade network software, such as, enterprise antivirus or diagnostics programs.
  • Implement and maintain emergency backup and restore systems for mission-critical network servers.
  • Network administrators regulate user access to sensitive files to protect against internal security breaches.
  • In smaller companies, network administrators are often responsible for end-user desktop support, and the
    maintenance of servers and other networked devices.

Video Game Designer

  • Devise the missions, challenges and puzzles that will be encountered in game play.
  • Create narrative features, such as story-lines, role-play mechanics and character bios.
  • Conduct periodic design reviews throughout the video game development timeline.
  • Collaborate with artists and sound engineers to achieve the desired audio/visual style.
  • Plan games using screenshot mockups, gameplay flowcharts and other visual devices.
  • Maintain design level documentation, including mechanics, guidelines and mission outlines.
  • Work closely with game programmers and artists to ensure that the design is being followed.

Sought-after skills and typical responsibilities for Video Game Artists include the following: Video game artists:

  • Are responsible for the aesthetics (or visual style) of video games and simulations.
  • Are skilled in traditional art concepts and techniques, such as line, form and color theory.
  • Design the artwork for all visual game aspects, such as characters, weapons and vehicles.
  • Use 2D/3D computer animation software to mockup and animate video game levels and worlds.
  • Some game artists use motion-capture software to incorporate live-action actors into the video game.
  • Collaborate with game programmers and designers to ensure finished product is consistent with original artwork.

Marketable skill sets and daily activities for Video Game Programmers include the following. Game programmers:

  • Are fluent in the popular video game development programming languages, such as Java, C and C++.
  • Develop the artificial intelligence (AI) that dictates reactions of computer-controlled elements.
  • Write and fine-tune precise computer code that control the difficulty level of a video game.
  • Develop the code that enables multiplayer gameplay over a network, such as Xbox Live.
  • Develop game physics, which controls how objects interact within the video game environment.
  • Work closely with game artists and designers to accurately incorporate their visions into the game.

Graphic Designer

  • Design websites, email and newsletter templates, and social media pages.
  • Plan layouts for magazines, brochures and other print publications.
  • Design corporate logos, business cards and company letterhead.
  • Make promotional displays, teasers and signs for public exhibitions.
  • Create banner ads and rich media marketing campaigns for web pages.
  • Work closely with Copywriters, Creative Directors, and Marketing Managers.
  • Are proficient in the digital media and design products in Adobe’s Creative Suite,
    e.g., Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, InDesign, Illustrator, Encore and Acrobat.

Health Information Technician

  • Manage patients’ medical data through standardized electronic health records.
  • Review paper forms and documents for accuracy before entry into EHRs.
  • Transfer existing paper medical records into electronic health records.
  • Use record management software to secure EHRs from unauthorized access.
  • Comprehend the regulatory rules of health record retention, disposal, and archiving.
  • Understand EHR classification systems, healthcare info-tech terminology & acronyms.
  • Are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the electronic health records database.
  • Can analyze electronic data and provide insight into disease patterns and treatment outcomes.
  • Specialized health IT pros perform medical billing, health record coding & cancer registry updates.

IT Security Specialist

  • Develop plans to safeguard computer files against unauthorized modification, destruction or disclosure.
  • Choose, implement, monitor and upgrade computer anti-virus and malware protection systems.
  • Encrypt data transmissions and erect firewalls to conceal confidential information during transmit.
  • Implement password authentication to keep unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data files.
  • Modify security files to incorporate new software, correct errors, and change user access status.
  • Perform risk assessments and tests on running data processing activities and security measures.
  • Educate workers about computer security and promote security awareness and security protocols.
  • Keep accurate and current backup files of all important data on the shared corporate network.
  • IT security pros who specialize in computer forensics gather evidence for prosecuting cyber crimes.
  • Computer forensics specialists can set up & operate an investigator’s lab, and process computer crime scenes.

AutoCAD Drafter

  • AutoCAD drafters are fluent in one or more Autodesk CADD (computer-aided drafting & design) programs.
  • AutoCAD drafters create technical schematics and blueprints for the construction of structures and products.
  • AutoCAD drafters provide measurements, dimensions and notes on the materials needed to complete the project.
  • AutoCAD drafters coordinate with other employees to obtain technical details, optimize designs, and resolve issues.
  • AutoCAD drafting pros modify and revise designs to correct operating deficiencies and limit production problems.
  • AutoCAD drafting professionals write additional instructions & comments and position them into technical drawings.
  • AutoCAD drafters need strong communication skills to deal with both technical & non-technical employees and clients.
  • The best AutoCAD drafters are creative thinkers, with an aptitude for mathematics and a curiosity for how things work.

Software Engineer

  • Software engineers analyze end-users’ needs and develop software solutions within time and cost constraints.
  • Software engineers are fluent in object-oriented programming languages such as Java, C, C++, Perl & Python.
  • Software engineers program, test, debug, monitor and document changes to computer systems & applications.
  • Specialized software engineers, known as mobile app developers, create applications for smartphones & tablets.
  • Systems software engineers examine departmental goals and develop custom computer systems for organizations.
  • Systems software engineers develop can a corporate intranet to help streamline interdepartmental communication.
  • Applications software engineers upgrade existing computer programs to updated platforms with new specifications.
  • Software engineers recommend changes and enhancements to existing software systems and computer applications.
  • Software engineers coordinate system installation and monitor equipment functioning to ensure project specs are met.
  • Software engineers are responsible for system security and data assurance across the systems that they’re developing.

IT Manager

  • Are responsible for strategic IT planning, including fostering innovation & allocating monetary resources.
  • Direct operational IT planning, including planning IT projects and the allocation of manpower resources.
  • Oversee the financial aspects of their IT team or dept., including purchasing, budgeting & budget review.
  • Coordinate IT staffing, including hiring, supervision, scheduling, professional development and discipline.
  • Collaborate with and maintain communications with executives and department heads in the organization.
  • Design, implement and enforce the policies, procedures and best practices for their IT team or department.
  • Research IT solutions and make recommendations for the improvement of IT systems and IT infrastructure.
  • Negotiate and approve technology vendor, outsourcing, and consultant contracts and service agreements.
  • Should have superior skills in team leadership, employee development and interpersonal communication.
  • Should have a strong command of project management principles, procedures and best practices.

Systems Analyst

  • Systems analysts work closely with managers and end-users to define systems requirements and business goals.
  • Systems analysts analyze the effectiveness of computer systems and develop strategies to improve IT productivity.
  • Systems analysts assist in the design & development of new computer applications and enhancements to existing apps.
  • Computer systems analysts make recommendations to increase the ROI of an organization’s technology expenditures.
  • Systems analysts perform cost-benefit analyses for potential computer system upgrades to support purchase decisions.
  • Computer systems analysts create systems models, diagrams and charts to provide direction to system developers.
  • Computer systems analysts provide orientation and training sessions to end-users for new and modified IT systems.
  • Systems analysts assist in the deployment, customization and post-implementation troubleshooting of new applications.
  • Rather than deep expertise about every piece of technology, systems analysts need a top-level understanding of how IT processes and computer system components - hardware, software & networks - interact to further business objectives.

IT Project Manager

  • IT project managers plan, execute and finalize technology projects on schedule, under budget and to scope.
  • IT project managers develop and manage a work breakdown structure (WBS) for large-scale IT projects.
  • IT PMs write project plans detailing a project’s goals, technologies, systems, schedules, budget and personnel.
  • IT project managers develop project plans that include cost-benefit or return on investment (ROI) analyses.
  • IT PMs coordinate recruitment of project personnel and assign duties, responsibilities and spans of authority.
  • IT project managers develop and manage budgets, and subsequent budget updates, for technology projects
  • Information technology project managers understand project management concepts and best practices.
  • IT project managers monitor, analyze & summarize performance and trends to create project status reports.
  • IT project managers hold status and implementation meetings with project personnel and upper management.
  • Successful IT project managers build, grow and develop business relationships vital to the success of the project.

Computer Programmer

  • Write code using a variety of languages, e.g., C, C#, C++, PHP, Python, Perl and Java.
  • Update, optimize the performance and expand the functionality of existing programs.
  • May work in a team setting to design complex computer systems and business applications.
  • Meticulously test for and correct code errors (a.k.a. “bugs”) in a process called debugging.
  • Create and use snippets (pre-defined chunks of commonly used code) to speed up coding jobs.
  • Should insert detailed comments into their coding projects so coworkers can follow their process.
  • Work closely with software developers, application architects and engineers to keep projects on scope.
  • Employ database development skills, e.g., MySQL, SQL Server and Oracle, to build data-driven applications.

Data Scientist

  • Perform data-mining, modeling and hypothesis generation in support of high-level business goals.
  • Stay current with emerging tools and techniques in machine learning, statistical modeling & analytics.
  • Successful data scientists often have strong aptitudes for business, technology, mathematics & statistics.
  • Need strong oral & written communication skills to present data as a concise story for diverse audiences.
  • Big data scientists develop customized algorithms to solve analytical problems with incomplete data sets.
  • Big data scientists often use data visualizations, e.g., heat maps, to analyze and present complex trends.
  • Many data scientists use Hadoop - an open-source Apache framework - to analyze & mine big data sets.
  • Some data scientists have computer programming skills – such as SQL, Python, Unix, PHP, R and Java –
    which they use to modify or develop custom analytical solutions.
  • Data scientists often work in a team setting, with managers, IT administrators, programmers, statisticians,
    graphic designers, and experts in the company’s products or services.

User Interface Developer

  • Are fluent in the essential front-end web development languages, i.e., HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  • Are skilled in modern web and application programming skills, such as Java, .Net, AJAX, PHP, XHTML and Ruby.
  • Utilize Adobe Creative Suite programs, e.g., Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash & Flex to mockup and design UI elements.
  • Use responsive web design to create user interfaces that automatically conform to multiple screen sizes and devices.
  • Conduct usability testing to identify and fix UI problems, and gather real-world intelligence from their target market.
  • Utilize social networking APIs (from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.) to integrate social actions.
  • Should have working knowledge of one or more of the leading DBMS, e.g., MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle and IBM DB2.
  • Collaborate with business and IT decision makers to discuss user interface requirements and brainstorm UI ideas.
  • Use visual aids, including wireframes, storyboards and UI flow charts, to plan and present user interface designs.
  • Are familiar with popular content management systems (CMS), e.g., WordPress, Joomla!, Magneto & osCommerce.
  • Wield their knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to develop search engine-friendly user interfaces.
  • Keep current with the latest trends and best practices of UI/UX design and HCI (human-computer interaction).
  • Successful UI development managers need superior soft-skills in areas like verbal and written communication, team leadership and project management, to effectively communicate with business decision-makers and subordinates.

Chief Information Officer

Chief Information Officers employ a variety of business, technology, and soft skills to excel in this position. Here are some important day-to-day activities and marketable skills sets of the modern CIO:

  • Purchase, deploy, and evaluate the risks of adopting new technologies and computer systems.
  • Develop, champion, and enforce short-term and long-term information technology strategy.
  • Find IT service vendors and negotiate favorable contracts to cut costs and boost productivity.
  • Collaborate with other C-Suite officers and department heads to shape interdepartmental IT policy.
  • Track, optimize and enforce short-term and long-term computer and information systems budgets.
  • Keep current with emerging IT trends, competitors’ tech footing, and the day’s dominant technologies.
  • Superior soft skills (a.k.a. interpersonal communication skills) - such as negotiation, presentation,
    verbal & written communication, relationship building and team development - is central to one’s success as CIO.

Computer Hardware Engineer

Computer hardware engineers need a range of expertise to successfully execute this position. Here are some typical day-to-day activities and highly marketable skill sets of successful computer hardware engineers:

  • Design, build and test new hardware systems, computer components, and peripherals
  • Draft blueprints for new computer systems using AutoCAD or another drafting program
  • Design, test and optimize electronic circuits, assemblies and other electrical components
  • Recommend computer systems and peripherals based on end-users’ business needs
  • Build non-computer devices with embedded IT systems, e.g., medical devices & automobiles
  • Update existing computer systems to ensure compatibility with the latest software iterations
  • Employ soft skills such as creative problem solving and effective oral/written communication
  • May assist sales and marketing staff in explaining new hardware systems to prospective clients
  • Possess at least a working knowledge of computer programming and software development
  • Effectively wield the tools of the trade, e.g., circuit testers, electronic measuring probes, oscilloscopes,
    multimeters, frequency analyzers, and a range of scientific and analytical software solutions

Computer Scientist

Computer scientists employ a range of technical skills and soft skills to successfully execute this position. Here are some typical day-to-day activities and marketable skill sets for this job role. Computer scientists:

  • Identify and solve complex technology problems in business, medicine and other essential industries.
  • Apply and adapt theoretical principles to develop new computer software and/or hardware solutions.
  • Are well-versed in CS-related math skills, e.g., linear algebra, calculus, statistics & discrete mathematics.
  • Must possess world-class soft skills in complex problem-solving, communication and creative thinking.
  • Consult with end-users, managers and vendors to determine computing goals and system requirements.
  • May work closely with computer engineers and natural scientists to solve complex computing problems.
  • Utilize superior technical writing skills to document and publish their most significant CS findings.
  • May supplement their income with [or focus solely on] CS teaching gigs across all levels of academia.
  • Not all computer scientists are coders, but those who are must be fluent in the day’s leading programming languages, such as Java, C++ and Python, and must continue learning new languages as they emerge.

Computer Animator

Computer animators need a range of creative, technical and communication skills to perform effectively in this role. Here are some common day-to-day duties and marketable computer animation skill sets. Computer animators:

  • Are proficient in the leading animation software, such as Autodesk Maya, Mari, and a variety of
    programs from Adobe’s Creative Suite (notably Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator and After Effects).
  • Wield cutting-edge digital animation techniques, such as motion capture, character rigging, 3D
    modeling and texture development, to make their on-screen creations come to life.
  • Benefit from a working knowledge of physics and anatomy, as a deeper understanding of how
    and why things move will help you develop the most realistic animations.
  • Usually work as part of a team to create large-scale effects and productions. This team setting is
    another reason why career-minded animators should focus on a computer animation specialty.
  • Utilize storyboarding to plan complex scenes and visualize sustained animation sequences.
  • May be called upon to collaborate with talent in the entertainment industry, e.g., actors and directors.
  • Possess strong knowledge of traditional art concepts, such as color, shading, composition and perspective.
  • Can work 50+ hours per week and even pull all-nighters when deadlines are approaching or work is past due.

 It’s All About Business

Jonathan Thatcher, director of business integration for the Chicago-based Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), says he has already begun to see changes in IT titles that downplay specific technologies and focus more on business attributes. “Wireless technicians, for example, are turning into mobility support staff, and tech support is called high-availability support,” he notes.

Key factors driving the evolution of IT job titles and roles include the commoditization of technology, plus an ever-growing base of new workers who are technologically savvy and quite accustomed to having technology play a background role in just about everything they do.

These workers and the industries they’re in have less of a need for computer programmers and help desk analysts because they either know how to program themselves or the help they need is built right into the software they’re using to do their own jobs.

“IT is no longer a subset specialty. IT is integrated into whatever work you’re trying to get done,” says Patti Dodgen, vice president at Mosaica Partners LLC, an IT consulting company specializing in the health care industry. In that industry, for example, “there is a huge drive to fill positions with someone who has a foot in both the medical world and the technology world,” Dodgen says.

No one knows exactly what to call these positions, she says, but they definitely include more than pure technical skills. “If you have been a heads-down programmer, you’re at a terrible disadvantage” to secure one of these new roles, says Dodgen. “But if you’ve been on an application development team and worked with a business partner to facilitate their goals, you have a big leg up,” she adds.