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why professional skills are important
An individual’s professional skills are extremely important in the business world. The way that someone cooperates with others, handles their workload, and acts around the office can determine their success or failure as an employee.Listed below are the professional skills that can start being developed early to ensure future success in the workplace.
Top 3 Skills Needed for a Job in Computer Engineering
- Technical Computer Science Skills
- “Soft” Computer Science Skills
- Interview Skills
1. Technical Computer Science Skills
The technical skills you need will vary, of course, depending on the job. However, most positions require at least some technical skills. This includes experience using industry software, completing higher-level education (such as college degrees or vocational certifications), or being experienced at highly-specific tasks.
The most commonly acknowledged type of skills required among computer scientists are the practical abilities that allow them to develop software and digital tools. Some of the top skills in this category include:
Alongside a comprehensive understanding of mathematical theory—which is equally as vital for aspiring CS professionals to obtain—knowledge of statistics, calculus, linear algebra, and other advanced mathematical techniques are mandatory for individuals in this field.
Basic data analysis skills are important for computer scientists, as data plays a key role in many advanced CS practices, including artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analysis, and more.
As crucial as it is to be able to analyze data effectively, it’s also essential that CS professionals can properly visualize data and results in a way that stakeholders can understand. This includes translating raw data into graphs, charts, and other visual tools to help communicate findings.
2. “Soft” Computer Science Skills
Soft skills are considered those which are not tactical, technical, or tied directly to a specific career path. Emotional intelligence, leadership, and innovation are common examples of these kinds of traits, which are gained through hands-on experience and are valued across industries.
While technical skills were often thought of as the core of functioning workplaces in the past, businesses today now consider “soft skills” to be equally—if not more—relevant. Below, we explore the top “soft skills” that computer scientists should obtain.
Being able to identify a problem, analyze the details of the situation, and then formulate an effective solution is an incredibly important aspect of computer science work.
Attention to Detail:
Effective computer scientists must be able to pay close attention to detail, as their work is often complex, demanding, and requires a keen eye.
Creative Problem Solving:
Solutions to many of the problems computer scientists are tasked with solving are not always obvious, and instead require these individuals to think outside of the box.
Communication is a key soft skill in most industries, and computer science is no different. Professionals in this field must be able to communicate effectively with their teams, their bosses, and their stakeholders—including using data to tell stories and share insights.
Tied to the need for proper communication skills is a need for computer scientists to be good listeners. Professionals should be able to listen to people’s problems and establish the necessary context from those conversations to solve them. This is especially important when CS specialists work with industries they’re not particularly familiar with.
Despite common misconception, computer scientists very rarely work in isolation. In fact, more often than not, they are required to operate as part of a team, either working with other computer scientists to reach a solution or develop a product, or working with other members of a larger business team on a project. Either way, developing the skills needed to work as part of a larger group is essential to a computer scientist’s success.
Regardless of the job, employers want to hire people that are team players — people that are cooperative and work well with others. They don’t want employees that are difficult to work with. When you are interviewing, be sure to share examples of how you worked well on a team. Your level of teamwork indicates your ability to collaborate effectively with a wide variety of people.
When pursuing a new role in any industry, applicants should work to develop their interview skills. This might include preparing for your interview by doing research on the company you’re interviewing with, prepping your answers to commonly asked questions, or even practicing maintaining eye-contact during a conversation.
In order to prepare for this unique type of interview, Gorton identifies a few key skill sets that aspiring CS professionals should work to hone beforehand.
In certain industries, however, there is more to an interview than a simple series of questions and answers. In the computer science field, for instance, an interview often includes an in-person presentation and a descriptive explanation of your work in which applicants answer in-depth questions about how they reached their solutions. An interview in this field may also require applicants to display certain examples of their live projects via a portfolio and to speak at length about the success of that work.
“There is a whole sort of ritual for a technical interview these days,” he says. “You have to not only be able to answer [an interviewer’s] questions, but you have to also know how to communicate your solution.” In order to do this, an interviewee will be asked to write out a problem on a whiteboard and describe the thought process as they work to solve it. While the act of problem-solving should likely be second nature to those in this field, this interview task often feels more daunting to those without proper presentation skills. “You have to explain what you’re doing as you go along and engage the interviewer in a dialogue,” he says. “You don’t just want to turn around and start writing on the board for five minutes.”
Interpersonal skills, also known as people skills, are the skills you use to interact and engage with others. Many are hired quickly based purely on their ability to connect with people. Interpersonal skills can (at times) trump the other skills employers are seeking, so be sure yours are up to par.
Attitude may not be everything, but it’s extremely valuable. Employers want employees that are positive even in stressful and challenging circumstances. Positively denotes your level of resilience. Employers want to hire applicants with a “can do” attitude that are flexible, dedicated, and willing to contribute extra effort to get the job done in the face of challenges.
When companies hire for leadership roles, they seek employees that can successfully interact with employees, colleagues, and customers. Even if you’re not applying for management jobs, leadership is a valuable skill to bring to the employer. Many companies prefer to promote from within, and as such, they often look for strong leadership qualities, even when hiring for entry-level positions.