7 Characteristics of Successful IT Professionals

by Daniel Margolis | Oct 24, 2016

Knowing technology is an essential first step to a career in IT, but to truly excel, it helps to build these seven personality traits into how you approach the industry and plot your path through it. A successful IT professional generally…

1. Has a passion for technology and problem solving.

characteristic one

A born IT pro is in love with tech, both past and present – drooling over the latest in everything while feeling a pang of nostalgia at the sight of a zip disc drive. To a techie, a malfunction isn’t a headache; it’s a chance to shine.

2. Knows data and how to manage it.

characteristic two

While to ordinary people, the size of the files they juggle and the speed at which they navigate the Internet may be somewhat mysterious, to techies, it’s as basic as knowing your way around your own neighborhood.

3. Is versatile.

characteristic three

A successful IT pro surely has a niche. But just as all Marines are riflemen, all IT pros are tech support. They may specialize in cloud security, or big data management, or website design, but in a pinch they can tackle any tech problem.

4. Sees how tech and lines of business intersect.

characteristic four

The concept of a techie unaware of the value of what he or she does is as dated as Jimmy Fallon’s SNL character “Nick Burns, Your Company’s Computer Guy.” Today’s IT pro is as comfortable in the boardroom as the server room.

5. Can ​describe tech concepts in general terms.

characteristic five

No question IT professionals speak in their own language, but successful ones can slow down and explain a problem and its solution in terms anyone can understand – and even get excited about doing so.

6. Never stops learning, certifying and imparting knowledge.

characteristic six

Successful IT pros establish a solid foundation for their IT knowledge with certifications like CompTIA A+, and then spend a lifetime building on that knowledge and sharing it with others – perhaps even teaching it.

7. Stresses security and good housekeeping.

characteristic seven

IT pros don’t just want to take a byte out of cybercrime, they want to devour it entirely. That’s why they stress discipline. A successful IT pro knows the first line of defense in keeping his or her company secure and efficient is guarding against human error.


  • Alex

    Wednesday, April 6, 2016

    All Nice and good but what does really Matter? You would have to know the characteristics of unsuccesful IT workers to really find out what marters. If for example these unsuccesful People have all of these characteristics is this list still valid?

  • Evelyn

    Wednesday, October 26, 2016

    I agree with Alex. Have you considered his comment and replied to include your observation of the "unsuccessful. Not all the characteristics apply to me, so does that mean, I am not cut out for this line of work? Just getting started.

  • Aleksey

    Wednesday, October 26, 2016

    Evelyn, this is an authors opinion. In the beginning of the article it is clearly stated that "A successful IT professional generally…" has the listed characteristics (with emphasis on the generally). In my opinion what makes an IT pro successful/unsuccessful is how well they can work in a certain environment. For example you can be very good working for a law firm, but completely fall apart in a hospital environment. You can look at above characteristics as something to work towards if you want to be successful in all types of IT environments.

  • Rajendra Prasad

    Friday, November 4, 2016

    Excellent. It is a good lesson for all IT professional who want to be Omni present.

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