5 key skills that could make or break your I.T. career

Stephen O'Brien 05.02.2018

With the tech industry continuing to go from strength to strength, career opportunities will present themselves but the question is are you equipped to take advantage of these? Take a second and look at the successful people in your company…They didn’t get to where they are by accident. No, they all share some common skills and I’ve listed a few you should try and add to your arsenal.


As Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

The same applies to your career, nothing is achieved by standing still in business. Being able to adapt your skills to the latest technologies is essential and the same goes for always embracing change within the organisation. You don’t want to be the person sitting in the corner refusing to move with the time. Why? Because they get left behind.

Develop business skills that transfer beyond IT

Technology will continue to change as fast as Kim Kardashian changes her outfits but the one thing that will always stay in is effective communication.

Technology professionals become more valuable when they develop the ability to speak “business”. We all know there is gap between IT and various departments across an organisation, it’s the people who learn to bridge this gap who go on to become successful IT professionals.  Mix this with strong technical knowledge and you have the key to a very successful career.

Big data is en vogue. Get to know it.

Big data is very much a hot topic at the moment and is quickly becoming big business for many companies. Over the last few years we would have seen big data skills as a desirable for many employers but more recently this has changed to a must-have with skills such as R, NoSQL and Hadoop.

Gone are the days where the highest-paid person is relied on to make decisions, now companies are relying on the data produced to lead them to the right answer. Companies crave data that can help them gain insight into customer behaviour, strategise for the future, and predict future growth opportunities

Mentor somebody

We all need to be surrounded by great people in order to be successful. I’m a fan of the show Suits; you can’t think of Mike Ross without his great mentor Harvey Spector.

Mentoring somebody is a really great way to distinguish yourself from your colleagues and become a go-to person. Like Harvey, you need to be willing to share your knowledge, exhibit confidence and a positive attitude, motivate others, continue to learn and most important of all take a personal interest.  

Career planning

I’m sure you’ve noticed - your career doesn’t tend to grow in the right direction unless you proactively manage it. When you think about it, your career is your business and you should treat it that way.

You need to have long-term goals and take accountability to reach these goals because nobody else will. A successful career is highly unlikely to happen by chance. I’m a fan of quotes so I’ll finish with this one from sporting super star Michael Jordan – “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”

Which one are you going to choose for your career?

If you are on the lookout to take the next step in your career and explore the latest IT opportunities don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. 

Stephen O'Brien's picture


Excellent role just in with a leading Client of mine in Cork.
Cork City20.11.2019
Application Developer
QA Engineer with Limerick-based Cyber Security Company