“We’re in a digital revolution,” says Hirsch. “Everything is changing quickly.” That means new grads need to figure out the tech skills that are most appealing to employers.
According to the just-released top 10 tech skills in demand list from the NYC Labor Market Information Service, the Microsoft Office trifecta (Excel, PowerPoint and Word) zoomed to the head of the pack. “This suite is valuable,” says Dan Schawbel, research director at Future Workplace. “Being able to PDF a document isn’t a skill, it’s expected. This doesn’t give you an edge, it’s the expectation.”
From a national standpoint, tech skills are extremely important, says Schawbel. “Companies are hiring engineers and not liberal arts majors. Companies need STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) majors,” he says. “These skills are becoming more important.”
But no matter what type of job you’re gunning for, having a basic level of coding or programming skills will set you apart from a company’s current employees, says Jaime Klein, founder and president of Inspire Human Resources. “All organizations need to have a strong online presence,” she says. “Leaders will be attracted to new hires who can take on tasks ranging from quick website updates to creating plug-ins that enable new ways to reach customers and finding innovative ways to use social media.” She suggests new grads develop these skills by taking online courses by Lynda.com, or coding bootcamps from Trilogy offered at partner universities
Your tech skills should be conveyed throughout your résumé; showcase any projects completed and innovative ideas implemented, says Klein. “The traditional Skills section at the bottom should not be the only placeholder,” she adds.
During the interview, grads should be prepared to rattle off examples of projects completed and innovative ideas implemented. “Be ready to give the return on investment from your tech knowledge,” she says. “For example, if you were editor of your yearbook, to highlight results, talk about how you grew your online subscription by X percent over Y months, resulting in Z percent increase in revenue.”
- Java (backend development)
- Python (backend development)
- Adobe Photoshop