Essential skills for IT: 7 must-reads

Whether you call them "soft," "core," or "must-have," skills like leadership, empathy, agility, and communication are what drive success in IT
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There's nothing "soft" about soft skills. In fact these competencies – like leadership, empathy, agility, and communication – are hard to master and so critical for driving success in IT that CIOs call them "essential."

"It’s art rather than science," says Dan Roberts, CEO of Ouellette & Associates Consulting. "We’re lucky they weren’t called 'fuzzy skills.' But in fact, these competencies are not hard to measure or improve. And as CIOs are learning, they’re essential to moving IT from dutiful IT supplier to strategic partner and beyond."

Whether we call them "soft," "core," or "must-have," CIOs need solid advice for how to seek out and nuture these skills on their team. Our editor's picks below may make you think differently about how you hire, interview, and cultivate IT talent moving forward. 

Read on for an update on these essential skills.

Goodbye soft skills, hello core skills: Why IT must rebrand this critical competency

Labeling skills as soft undervalues them. To prioritize skills such as communication, IT leaders must call them what they are in the digital era: Core.

The most important skill to look for in data scientists

The candidates you're interviewing could be the smartest people in the world when it comes to creating machine learning systems, but if they don't have this one soft skill, they won't be as successful.

7 soft skills leaders wish they’d learned sooner

Working to build your soft skills? Consider these seven soft skill lessons that leaders advise you learn early.

Soft skills: 5 ways to tell if yours need work

Your leadership career will hit a wall if you lack strong soft skills. Ask yourself these questions about how yours stack up.

Want more soft skills in IT? Tweak your interview process

What are the essential soft skills for IT pros, and how do you find them in interviewees? Try these 3 creative approaches.

9 counterintuitive tips for dealing with people

Common wisdom doesn’t always cut it when it comes to dealing with people. Leaders who’ve honed their people skills for years share surprising strategies that work.

12 bad communication habits to break in IT

Do you start conversations on the wrong note? Deliver the right message at the wrong time? CIOs share the communication traps that hold individuals and teams back.

[ In the mood to watch instead of read? Here are 8 TED Talks to strengthen your soft skills ]

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