When you change your career, it can feel like starting from square one, especially in an industry as intimidating as technology. But there's no need to fear. The tech and cyber sectors are calling out for a whole host of transferable skills.
Transferable skills are abilities and experiences that have broad or multiple applications. For example, knowing how to use your current employer's product may be untransferable. But the software literacy and critical thinking that came with it are transferable.
Without further ado, here are the nine skills you might be able to include on your CV as you transition into a career in technology.
1. Critical thinking
Critical thinking is your ability to make decisions from a neutral perspective, using evidence and logic. This type of thinking is essential when working as part of a team to help you make strategic and business-savvy decisions.
Example: If you’ve ever been presented with two methods to complete a task and you were quickly able to choose the fairest and most efficient way to complete it, you have critical thinking skills.
2. Analytical Reasoning
In analytical reasoning, you combine critical thinking with data and step-by-step thinking. Often this materialises in understanding the causal relationship between two or more instances at work. Example: If someone has ever asked you to solve a problem, and you’ve used data to rule out other possibilities to demonstrate the root cause of the problem, you have analytical reasoning skills.
3. Time and project management
Time management is a given when it comes to transferable skills. Project management skills are the real transferrable star of the show. You will often require multiple skill sets to complete a project in technology. Being able to align various work streams will help you stand well ahead. Example: If you’ve ever set realistic deadlines for your colleagues while avoiding bottlenecks to complete a task on time, you have project management skills.
4. Virtual team work
Working in technology is often a highly-collaborative process. You’ll need to work with other specialists for their essential skill sets and colleagues to
meet tight deadlines. Being able to work well with others in person and online will make you a valuable team member. Example: If you’ve ever successfully adjusted your work stream to help a colleague without sacrificing your deadline, you have teamwork skills.
In technology, updates and new tools are always coming out. Some will be too complicated to implement or may cause your existing software complications. You’ll need to be resourceful to adopt new technology before competitors and use your available resources to solve problems quickly.
Example: If you’ve ever completed a task without the expected tools by finding and drawing on alternative solutions, you are likely to be resourceful.
Technology is highly collaborative and relies on everyone managing their workload and completing tasks on time. Therefore tech companies want their staff to have high autonomy and be able to run with the job they are given.
Example: If you’ve ever been given a multi-day project and been able to motivate yourself to complete it without the pressure of a manager, you have good autonomy.
In technology companies, transparency is easy to achieve, so workplace hierarchies are often relatively flat. As a result, individuals need to step up and lead their colleagues to get tasks done.
Example: If you’ve ever taken responsibility for a project with colleagues by motivating them, ensuring someone is overseeing project management, and solving problems and bottlenecks for them, you are likely to be a good leader.
Technology changes quickly, so working in the field requires a thirst for knowledge. Good employees usually conduct self-learning using Google and YouTube or request time off for professional development and certifications.
Example: If you’ve ever used research to understand why things are done the way they are, you might be curious.
9. Computer literacy
Computer literacy is less about your specific software skills and more about general confidence and ease with technology. Employees need to be able to learn new software quickly and feel comfortable experimenting to achieve what they need.
Example: If you rarely become stuck on data-to-day computer tasks, feel comfortable exploring new user interfaces, and watch YouTube videos to learn how to complete tasks, you are likely computer literate.
How many of these transferable skills do you think you have?
Be sure to include your relevant skills on your CV. But remember, you’ll need to be ready to give examples of how you have used these skills at your interview.
If you’ve got these transferable skills and want to strengthen your CV further, you can look at our fully funded technical boot camps! Learn more about the Skills City fully funded boot camps here.