10 Critical Skills for Today’s IT Workforce

by Debra B. McCraw | Mar 17, 2017

Earlier this month, CompTIA President and CEO Todd Thibodeaux spoke to IT professionals and students at the College of DuPage in Chicago’s western suburbs about the top 10 skills needed by today’s IT workforce. Take a look at the list to find the areas in which you excel and those in which you can focus your professional development.

Watch the video of the full presentation plus the panel discussion that followed, or check out clips in the videos below.

1. The Ability to Integrate Technologies

Today’s IT pros need to be able to understand how all the programs, systems and devices in their organization function and how they work together. The more diverse your skill set, the better equipped you’ll be to address any issues that come your way.

2. The Ability to Understand How the Cloud Works

With how much organizations rely on the cloud – whether they use their own servers or a vendor’s – it’s critical for IT pros to understand how the cloud works, how to secure it and what regulatory issues their organization needs to be aware of.

3. The Ability to Understand Different Programming Platforms

Until now, there has been a clear division between programming and infrastructure, but they are quickly integrating and melding, and the two sides need to be able to communicate and understand each other.

4. The Ability to Work Effectively in a Multi-Generational Workforce

Today’s workforce includes four generations, and each one brings unique capabilities. Each also has different communication styles, work styles and work expectations. Rather than clashing and going head to head, employees from different generations should embrace their differences and find ways to learn from each other and work smarter.

5. The Ability to Recognize the Value of Soft Skills in Productivity

This is what separates a good candidate from a bad candidate,” Thibodeaux said. “If you don’t have soft skills, your chances of landing a job with a good company are substantially diminished.” Today’s IT workers need strong communication and collaboration skills to work across functions and with staff at all levels, from entry-level to the C-suite, as well as both on-site and remote employees.

6. The Ability to Recognize and Respond to Cyber Imperatives

Every IT role needs some cyber capability, and CompTIA certifications from A+ to CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) have components of cybersecurity. This doesn’t mean that every IT pro needs to be a cybersecurity expert, but they need to understand the process of how breaches happen and be able to recognize vulnerabilities. Check out the CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway to see how CompTIA certifications build upon each other and include increasingly more complex security content.

7. The Ability to Relinquish Some Degree of Control

With so many programs, apps and innovations out there, departments other than IT have ideas about what tools will help them work best. Today’s IT pro has to be flexible and open to relinquishing some of the control they’ve previously had.

8. The Ability to Understand and Develop Data Analytics

Being able to understand analytics tools and how they work is going to become increasingly important. This not only applies to cybersecurity, but also web traffic, artificial intelligence, business intelligence, even analyzing app usage to ensure resources are being used effectively.

9. The Ability to Incorporate Continuous Education

IT is constantly evolving, and as an IT pro, you need to stay on top of those changes. Rather than keeping up with everything that’s new and innovative, focus on a handful of things so you can be an expert in cloud or cybersecurity or whatever the topic may be. In addition to learning new skills, you’ll want to make sure to stay sharp on the skills that helped you land your job.

10. The Ability to Mentor and Inspire the Next Generation of Workers

Technology is not as attractive to young people as it used to be, so today’s IT workforce needs to communicate why they love what they do and what excites them. To fill the gap left by retiring baby boomers, IT needs more than just young people. “We need to inspire all kinds of people – minorities, women, people re-entering workforce,” Thibodeaux said. “They will listen to people who can communicate that excitement, that love. If we don’t get great people in, we won’t be able to do all the exciting things we want to do.”


  • Rafael Torres

    Tuesday, April 11, 2017

    Great delivery from Todd Thibodeaux

  • Mohammad Suhail.K.M

    Saturday, April 22, 2017

    10 Critical Skills,. To understand​ IT how all the programs, systems and devices in their organization function

  • Tom McLaughlin

    Monday, April 24, 2017

    Great presentation, good wake up call for those of us in the industry

  • Tamara Jooste

    Wednesday, April 26, 2017

    Thank you very much. Helps us realise what we have and what we had better learn! This link will definitely be forwarded

  • Jasper Green

    Wednesday, February 27, 2019

    Mahalo for sharing your 10 most popular pillars of information security moving into the future.

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