Technical Skills You Need for Non-Technical Jobs

I guarantee, if you walk into a job interview for a position as a cashier at your local diner, they’re not going to expect you to know Python like the back of your hand… but they might expect you to know a thing or two about technical skills specific to the industry. Even working in retail at two big clothing stores, I had to become familiar with the POS (Point of Sale) software they used! Here are some examples of skill sets employers are going to love that you have, and skills that you should start developing now:

Programming skills

Computer programming skills are not solely for high-tech professionals whose careers are centered on producing and manipulating technology. If you are looking for any kind of administrative role at one of these companies, however, a basic understanding of these skills and programs can help you better navigate customer interactions. Just as in any industry it is paramount to understand the base functions of each department, it can be beneficial to train yourself and become familiar with the language and terms that come with programming. Some you may hear frequently are HTML (a programming language that helps to create pages on the Internet), Java or JavaScript (intended to create web applications and platforms), and C++ or C# (which function similarly to Java). You don’t have to know these programs inside and out, but understanding their general functions and their individual roles within a certain company can be beneficial and will impress that employer.

Management software

If you’re looking to get a management position anywhere, there are countless software programs designed to promote organization and efficiency among managers across industry lines. JIRA is a commonly used management program used to track deadlines and projects, facilitate intra-company reservations and meetings, and complete countless other administrative tasks depending on the function of the company itself. Another big name in this market is Smartsheet, among others that work similarly.

Graphic design applications and websites

Do not be alarmed by the heading of this section – you don’t have to learn how to use Photoshop. However, knowing how to create an eye-grabbing graphic can never hurt, and there are easy programs and sites that you can use to accomplish that. One of my favorites is Canva, a free website that allows you to develop content from templates or from scratch, in any format and for any purpose. Other sites that I’ve found that work in a similar way and also provide other services (such as photo editing and animation) to Canva include Stencil, Snappa, PicMonkey, Crello, and Lightroom. These are all skills that you can list on your resume and highlight in your work at any company, depending on your role.

Common (or productivity) software applications

And of course, what we all know to be standard in almost all contexts, programs which serve the ultimate goal of productivity in the workplace. This kind of software is commanded by the Microsoft Office suite, with several of the programs within it serving this exact purpose. The most widely-used programs in this suite include Word (word processing and document creation), Excel (spreadsheet creation for information and data entry), PowerPoint (presentation and slide creation), as well as Outlook (email). It is crucial to have exposure to and an understanding of these programs! Luckily, as college students, these programs are embedded in your daily life; however, we use some programs more than others. As you are preparing to apply for certain jobs, make sure you are reviewing the qualifications and required skills. If you find a particular skill or language you’re lacking in, take some time and watch instructional videos, play around on the program, and ask questions! In the case of these programs, it can be extremely helpful to learn by doing.

Because of the nature of these skills, they are changing all the time in relevance and necessity; some of the technology and skills that will be considered the most essential a few years from now likely don’t even exist yet! What you can do to keep up with this is to stay on top of your own professional development. Set up an appointment with one of our Career Coaches today to discuss how technology factors into your career development journey.

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

By Clarice Pennock
Clarice Pennock Career Intern Clarice Pennock