Speaker: James Taylor - Programs Manager/Training Analyst at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Do tech professionals need “soft” skills? Based on research conducted with cyber security, as well as risk and compliance teams, the answer is a resounding YES! My presentation makes a compelling case that “soft” skills are essential, and developing these skills is a must in the IT profession, not just something that is nice to have. As technology changes, IT professionals must adapt to meet the requirements and trends of business needs, making IT professionals one of the most flexible and indispensable professions in today’s business environment.
As a collective IT workforce, we must transform to meet the demands of the future; we must also make it imperative to meet the demands and expectations of our organizational cultures. To do so, a focus on “soft” skills, especially communication skills and emotional intelligence (also known as Emotional Quotient or E.Q.), should be a must for tech professionals to prioritize and implement into their professional toolsets. Overall, “soft” skills can be defined as personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Even if you've got solid technical “hard” skills, employers will also require soft skills as you move through your career. Every role in the IT profession needs to balance and develop these hybrid skills - a combination of technical and non-technical “soft” skills.
Management, as well as instructors, of tech professionals need to consider this need as a primary focus and not only upskill and reskill to meet today’s emerging technology demands, we must also retool and expand these important non-technical skills as well, to help meet the expectations and demands of our organization cultures. The bottom-line is IT professionals need to be able to interact successfully with customers, convey their thoughts and ideas to others, interact with vendors, colleagues, and managers, and manage departments of other highly skilled technical people as their careers grow.