Technical Skills for Business Students

A Fourth-year student wrote to me: “I will graduate in business administration, not technology. Do I need to know about technology even my job is focusing mostly on finance and marketing? Please advise.”

Answer: Today all graduates must have some Technical skills to get a job. With technology advancing and impact everything, most companies are looking for workers with some basic technical skills, even for non-technical jobs.

As a business graduate, you need to know some basic computer skills and knowledge of web development, cloud computing, mobile development, and big data analytics. Even not a software developer, you still need some basic coding skills such as Java, HTML because your job will require it.

For example, If working in finance, you need to know Microsoft Excel because this is the most popular tools for calculation and construct fundamental accounting and finance spreadsheet. Excel lets you use formulas to calculate then organize and filtered data for display in a presentation. You can use charts, graphs for better visualization in business reports or marketing material. If you work in marketing, you will need to know about social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter etc. because these are places where people share information, and to engage in discussion about certain products and services.

Although your company has technical people to support the business but to do your job, you need to talk to them and you must be able to explain to them what you need so that they understand. It also shows that you are knowledgeable about some technical aspects and not afraid of technology. Regardless of what kind of business company that you will work for, you always need to read more and learn more about technology trends and show your managers that you are staying current on new trends and always learning.


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University