7 In-Demand IT Skills to Boost Your Resume in 2024

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Skills you might consider getting to enhance your IT career include cloud computing, programming, understanding systems and networks, and more.

[Featured image] An IT support specialist wearing a yellow shirt speaks into a headset while working on a laptop computer.

Working in IT can mean anything from resolving an employee’s internet connection issues to programming an organisation’s new cloud infrastructure. Because the work is so diverse, the skills you need to know to get a job in the IT field can vary widely depending on your role. Browse a few listings of jobs you’re interested in to see which skills you should focus on acquiring.

Just starting out? The Google IT Support Professional Certificate can introduce you to the basics of IT.

Essential IT skills

1. Security

Security should be foundational to any IT team. Starting out in a help desk, networking, or system administration role can introduce you to concepts that are helpful to know for security purposes. The following skills can help you qualify for IT security positions—like information security analyst—at the entry-level and beyond.

  • Familiarity with physical, network, and software security 

  • Installing firewalls and routers

  • Data encryption

  • Risk mitigation strategy and threat analysis

  • Knowledge of compliance regulations and standards like the Information Technology Act, 2000

  • Ethical hacking and penetration testing

2. Programming

Programming will be necessary for those who want to develop software, web applications, and websites. It’ll also be helpful for IT workers who want to automate tasks. The languages below are commonly requested of programmers and can also be asked of IT professionals. 

  • Python

  • C++

  • JavaScript

  • Kotlin

  • R

3. Systems and networks

Making sure computer systems and networks are operating smoothly is central to the work of an IT team. System administrators and network administrators typically specialise in this skill set, which can also be useful for cloud administration or security as well. On a basic level, these skills include:

  • Administering diverse operating systems like Windows, Linux, or Mac

  • Installing and configuring computer hardware and software

  • Cloud administration and applications

  • Maintaining local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), storage area networks (SAN), and virtual private networks (VPNs)

  • Troubleshooting

  • Helping employees with technical issues

4. Data analysis

Being able to analyse data will be useful for various IT tasks. Monitoring performance data can help teams find security threats or identify inefficiencies in their operations. Jobs that work with data in the IT realm include database administrators and data engineers. Tools you may use include:

  • SQL

  • Statistics

  • Python

5. DevOps

DevOps—a combination of “development”  and “operations”—acts as a bridge between the software development and IT teams. Though a field unto itself, DevOps skills can help in the IT and development aspects of an organisation. Working in DevOps can mean becoming a DevOps engineer. You might need the following skills:

  • Understanding of continuous delivery theory

  • Container technologies like Docker or Kubernetes

  • Scripting languages like Python, Ruby, and C 

  • Familiarity with cloud operations

6. Cloud computing

Cloud computing skills are in demand, including anything from building cloud infrastructure to maintaining them. Working with cloud technology can open doors to positions like cloud developer, cloud administrator, and cloud architect. Knowledge of the following cloud platforms can be useful:

  • AWS

  • Google Cloud

  • Microsoft Azure

  • Oracle

7. Machine learning

Machine learning, a subset of artificial intelligence, is a valuable skill for programmers and data professionals and has become one of the most prominent skills to learn in the technology sphere. You can start learning basic skills through online machine-learning coursework. Specific skills associated with machine learning can include:

  • Parametric and nonparametric algorithms

  • Kernels

  • Clustering

  • Deep learning techniques

What does IT refer to, exactly?

IT jobs generally refer to work done in an organisation’s IT department—typically jobs that help keep the organisation’s computers running smoothly, like help desk technicians, network engineers, or system administrators. However, the term “IT” is used by some as a catch-all phrase to refer to any work that includes using or developing computers and computer programs. This latter category might include software engineers or web developers. This guide includes skills that are generally applicable to both.


How to gain IT skills

Here are a few ways to learn the skills that can contribute to a successful career in IT:

  • Teach yourself: Many programming languages, data analysis techniques, and certain IT skills can be self-taught through online courses or home projects. You can find several courses on Coursera, including introductory classes in Python or cybersecurity.

  • Certifications: Certifications can be a solid way to ensure your abilities meet professional standards. You’ll generally have to study for and pass an exam. See what entry-level certification fits your interests.

  • Bootcamps: Generally lasting several weeks or months, bootcamps are intensive courses designed to bring you specific skills. Though coding bootcamps are popular, bootcamps exist for topics like cybersecurity as well.

  • Degrees: Though perhaps more time-consuming than the other options, getting a degree in computer science or a related field can be a structured way to gain the technical skills needed to enter the computer world. 

Putting your skills into action: Resumes and interview

Once you have the skills you need to start applying for jobs, it’s time to list them where people can find them. Update your CV and LinkedIn profile with your new credentials.

In interviews, come prepared with stories about how you’ve used your skills in the past. If you’ve only used your skills in a course or at home, that’s fine—just be ready to describe what you accomplished. 

If you’re looking for a quick way to get more hands-on experience, browse Coursera’s Guided Projects for projects you can complete in under two hours. They can also help you refresh old skills to prepare for the interview.

Getting started in IT roles

Changing careers or starting a new one can be an overwhelming task. But obtaining the skills can be a good place to begin. If you’re looking for a place to start learning the broad basics of IT work, consider looking at Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate. Skills you can gain through this programme include network protocols, debugging, and encryption algorithms.

Give your team access to a catalogue of 8.000+ engaging courses and hands-on Guided Projects to help them develop impactful skills. Learn more about Coursera for Business.


Keep reading

Updated on
Written by:

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.