You’ve spent a lot of time around technology. Whether through formal training or pursuing your natural interests, you have likely developed a skill set that employers all over will value. But if Computer Science is your subject of choice and potential career direction—you might well wonder if what you have is enough.
What computer science skills matter most? What do you need to land a job in one of the many careers a degree in Computer Science can lead to? How can you demonstrate your abilities to potential employers and turn your skill set into a salary?
Whether you are considering a career in computer programming, web development, software development or one of many other careers tied to this booming field, you want to make sure what you learn will match what employers want. Keep reading to find out which computer science skills matter most to hiring managers and a few bonus skills that will really help you stand out.
The technical computer science skills employers want
We analyzed nearly 3,000,000 online job postings that sought applicants with Computer Science degrees in the last year to find out which technical skills employers were most commonly seeking.* Note that these skills aren’t pulled from listings for a specific job role—they reflect the skills identified in any job postings that are seeking candidates with a Computer Science degree. These are the desired technical skills listed:
- Software development
- Project management
- Software engineering
- Linux operating systems
- Business process analysis
- Information systems design
But hiring managers and experts in various fields assure us that technical skills, while sometimes required for a position, aren’t necessarily the green-light signal job applicants might hope for.
“I care most about an applicant’s ability to solve a problem, how they think through a task and communicate with those around them,” says Kevin Carlson, vice president of development at DataFinch Technologies. “This shows me how they’ll work with the team long-term. I couldn’t care less if they can pass a pop quiz on a certain technology.”
Carlson explains that too many candidates think about meeting short-term needs and whatever is trending in the moment, when hiring is really a long-term play. In technology, constant learning is almost guaranteed, so some employers will be less concerned about which specific technical skills you have and a lot more interested in the soft skills and less-tangible traits and abilities you bring to the table.
Remember, an employer can always teach you a new process or platform—but it’s hard to teach someone to be a team player or a motivated problem-solver.