Information technology skills

Today, information technology and business are integrated and it is important for graduates to have a mix of skills to bring additional value to their job to advance in their careers. This is more important for graduates who will work at small or medium companies as they will have to assume more responsibilities with fewer people. Based on my conversation with many technology companies, following are skills that they expects you to have when you graduate.

Software Project management – As more companies are using information technology, managing software projects is becoming critical skills that all IT graduates must have. Graduates must know how to plan, estimate, schedule, organize, and implement projects in both business and information systems. IT graduates must quickly learn about business of the company, how it operates to ensure their projects meet company’s expectation. Today, many companies are recognizing the important of project management skills as a vital part of the company. By having mastery of this skill will give you significant advantage in future career, including promotion or more opportunity in the job market. My advice: Make sure you take the software project management course before graduate.

Computing Security – As more systems are connected, security is becoming a major issue. IT graduates now must have knowledge and skills in computing security. It is not in terms of reactive patching or updating but more in terms of proactive preventing. As more things will be placed in cloud computing, it is essential for the company to pay more attention at security. My advice: Before graduate, make sure that you take at least one class in computer security.

Mobile Application skills – With the explosion in mobile technology has come an explosion in mobile apps. IT graduates need to know how to develop mobile apps as well as managing these applications and their access. IT graduates also need to have skills in the use of APIs to connect applications between internal and external systems. My advice: Take at least one mobile application development class and build few mobile apps to improve your mobile development skills.

Mobile Management – As more companies are adopting tablets and smartphone as the main working devices, it is important that you have knowledge and skills in the management of these devices, especially with the concern about security. With all those mobile devices accessing company data, your skills in network security, mobile security, mobile device management, and mobile application management are critical to get good jobs.

Marketing skills – Most IT students probably never thought that they may work in marketing. With the increasing use of social network and more people are going online to search for information, marketing are changing quickly into online and they need more IT skilled workers to help them. This means there are more jobs in marketing and advertising for IT graduates. My advice: IT students need to take a class in marketing or be familiar with how online advertising works.

Strategy Development – Information technology is changing the way companies are doing business. Today there are so much potential as well as risks for many companies when it comes to the use of technologies such as mobile, cloud computing. Company leaders need to be explicit about what is and isn’t expected of users. The development of an IT strategy policy is becoming a very important skill for IT students.

Big Data Analytics – Big data offers companies many business opportunities to be competitive. To support the business, IT graduates must have some knowledge of big data as well as the use of data analysis tools and services. My advice: Some IT students may want to continue to pursue advanced degree in Data Science and Big data analytics.


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University