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Posted by David Brown, Executive Vice President, Veredus, a Hays company, on Tuesday, Jul 5, 2016
According to the latest What Employers Want guide, 78 percent of IT employers saying they will pay more for the right soft skills, and 42 percent say increases could be more than 6 percent.
Which skills should you improve to increase your value in the market?
Keeping up with technology is important, but don’t forget to look beyond technical skills. Soft skills become increasingly important as you progress and employers will pay more to those with a combination of work ethic, communication skills, and commercial understanding.
If you can communicate externally with non-IT to both understand organization needs, and explain tech solutions then you will be able to drive your career further. Improve these skills by practicing explaining technical information to laypeople, such as friends and family, and improve your public speaking abilities by joining groups such as toastmasters.
Commerciality is a key area to focus on if you want to drive a higher rate. Technology is increasingly integrated into the business and IT employers are looking for candidates who embody that integration with an understanding of how technology can drive business results. Read your company’s financial reports, understand where its profits come from and how IT supports a healthy margin. If necessary, consider taking a business course. The better your core business acumen, the easier you will find it to offer technological solutions to business problems.
As business siloes break down, you will find yourself working on teams with sales, accounting, marketing and more. IT professionals who can work on a team with not only other IT staff, but with experts from a range of disciplines will be able to drive results and command top dollar.
Do you have a mentor? A mentor from either within IT, or from another business function, can help you identify and address areas for improvement, to become the more well-rounded IT professional in-demand across the country and across all industries.
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