14 Apr

5 Skills an IT Technician Should Have

Posted by John Brandwagt

The role of IT technician has evolved a lot over the years, and the work involved in the position is no longer just about troubleshooting. Technicians are expected to be versatile enough that they can not only handle internal and external help tickets, but help companies develop their best practices, policies, and procedures regarding computer systems and cybersecurity. The question of  “what does an IT technician do?” has shifted to “what should an IT technician be capable of doing?”

We’re here with this blog to answer the latter. If you are thinking of tackling the demanding (and in-demand) role of IT technician, read on to find out what five skills you should be proficient in.

Download our free guide on the 10 most in-demand IT jobs in Canada.

1. Professional Communication

Whether written or oral, IT technicians need to have great communication skills. This soft skill is one of the hardest to find in technically heavy positions in the IT industry. Like business analysts who identify and correct misalignments between IT and business units within a company, technicians are responsible for communicating their problem-solving process to both technical and non-technical departments.

Being technically skilled is obviously very important as a technician, but if your communication skills aren’t strong, you’re going to run into some trouble if you can’t explain in a report to your boss how you got the job done or why you believe company best practices need an update.

2. Wide Knowledge of Technology

Technician roles may have become more complex in recent years, but that doesn’t mean the core responsibilities of the job have changed. IT technicians are expected to have a broad base of knowledge regarding the specs of hardware and software. If you are going to install and maintain computer systems at a company and troubleshoot technical problems for customers, you’re going to need an insider’s perspective of various technology. 

Companies are finding that nearly every part of their business operations are becoming driven by technology. This pervasiveness is why IT technicians are essential for making digital transformation as smooth as possible.

3. Coding/Programming Skills

You might have seen that Canada’s IT industry will lack 200 thousand professionals with coding/programming proficiency by 2020 if the current trends aren’t relieved by 10 million Canadians with sufficient skills. Technicians should know enough about how coding/programming works that they can troubleshoot for company websites or mobile apps in some instances.

Why do you think some technicians double as website/database administrators and software developers? Companies are aware of how talented technicians can be in the design of web and mobile content. Pairing coding/programming literacy with professional communication makes a technician highly sought after.

4. Computer Networking

Every technician should know how to network computers for optimal working conditions. Even if it’s not your focus area, you should have sufficient skills as a technician to setup computer networks and troubleshoot for them.

Understand how the Domain Name System (DNS) works and how to check it for specific devices Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Often, your daily problem-solving will consist of a few episodes of devices having trouble connecting to a network. You will also need to trace suspicious-looking IP addresses to determine how and where they are connecting to the company network from.

5. Cybersecurity Consulting

This last skill has more to do with what specialty you might want to shoot for as an technician, but it won’t hurt to have even intermediate knowledge of cybersecurity best practices. Hacker schemes are getting more innovative and more nefarious, especially with botnets like the Dyn incident (which compromised whole networks of devices) becoming more common.

Being able to spot warning signs of a cyber threat early will be a boon to your company and your job security as well!

10 Most In-Demand IT Jobs in Canada

Topics: IT Skills

John Brandwagt

John is a Practice Leader at Inteqna. He’s been working in IT Search in Calgary since 1997. He works best with selective job seekers—those who excel at what they do and enjoy their current jobs. Since they don’t have time to look for themselves, he helps them find their dream jobs. From a client perspective, he helps organizations find the talent that will propel their business. John is involved in several of Calgary’s technical user groups and has held board roles in non-profit groups. He is a single dad of four boys who try to beat him at every physical activity from hiking to rugby.

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