The technical skills everyone needs to land their dream job

The technical skills everyone needs to land their dream job
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 01 August, 2023

If you want to advance your career or get the job you're vying for, there's a question you must ask yourself. "What are my best technical skills?" Your answer will help you in your job applications. You must showcase them on your resume, and prepare to talk about them on your interview.

Just how important are technical skills in the modern workplace?

In the 2023 " Future of Jobs " report by the World Economic Forum, technology literacy is one of the top 10 most important skills. The ability to understand AI and big data is in the top 15.

As technology continues to change business practices, technical skills are becoming more in-demand. New technology will be the key driver of business transformation, now and in the coming years.

In this age of digital and AI-powered technologies, having relevant technical skills will benefit your career and job search. These sought-after abilities include data analysis, programming, and. technical writing. Other examples are Web and App development, digital science, and machine learning.

This article contains all you need to know about technical skills and how to use them to your advantage.

Read on, take action, and get ready for the skills of the future.

Understanding technical skills

A woman working from home

Technical skills are job-specific knowledge and specialised techniques. These are needed to perform tasks that require a high level of proficiency in a particular subject matter. They can also be referred to as hard skills, as they can be learned through time, education, and experience.

In the Information Technology industry, for example, you will learn technical skills like programming, data science, and web design. It also goes beyond the digital world. Say, if you were a nurse, your technical skills would be reading patient charts, checking vital signs, or anything to do with patient care.

In whatever role you fill in, you will need the necessary skills and expertise that are particular to your industry. And yes, this includes your relevant technical skills. The more technical skills you know, the higher your chances of getting hired will be.

The most significant difference between hard and soft skills is that soft skills are transferable regardless of the role or industry. Soft skills are much less tangible and are personal attributes in some instances. Some examples of soft skills are time management, teamwork, and communication.

Looking for talent with specific technical skills continues to be a fierce competition, and it's no longer just tech companies competing against one another. Other industries have jumped into the fray and are winning a larger share of tech talent.

Look at your best technical skills and what industry you would like to be a part of. You will most likely find your technical skills to have enormous value.

Interested in jump-starting your career in the Tech Industry? Read the 5 Most Effective Ways To Break Into The Tech Industry.

Types of technical skills

So what technical skills are in demand? With the Malaysian government emphasising the National Policy on Industry 4.0, the computer/information technology industry is arguably the most in-demand sector where Malaysia needs a competent tech workforce. Below are some examples of technical skills that are vital to different industries.

Software development

Focusing on knowledge of programming languages with the specific application of creating bespoke software for a specific purpose. A software developer can be a master in a particular area, like creating code or developing a streamlined interface. If you possess these basic technical skills, you are a job seeker in high demand.

Data science

Nearly every industry today relies on data, whether it's statistics about market trends or similar studies done about their product. While it's easy for companies to get data, they need employees who can collect, organise, and interpret it.

Data mining, statistical analysis, and predictive modelling are highly valued technical skills in this field. Read How to Build a Strong Data Science Career as a Fresh Graduate on Jobstreet's Career Resources.

Cloud computing

Cloud computing enables people to access software applications, data storage, and other services over the Internet instead of through traditional physical servers in a back office.

Businesses have been shifting to the cloud for the past several years, gradually reducing investment in on-premises data centres and servers. This means employers are now actively seeking qualified and experienced cloud experts with technical skills in cloud architecture design, cloud security, and cloud migration.

Networking and infrastructure

Network infrastructure refers to the hardware and software that enable network connectivity and communication among users, devices, apps, the Internet, and more.

With the rise of hybrid workplace environments, wireless network infrastructure has become essential for employees. It allows them to access the network anytime, anywhere, from any device. And this is done reliably and securely. Organisations need talent who can adopt new, innovative technologies.


Companies face an abundance of cyber threats every day. This is why organisations need protection against any possible attacks from cybercriminals. This might be the right job if you're excited about protecting a company's digital assets and intelligence from security breaches.

Some examples of the technical skills needed in this field are vulnerability assessment, malware analysis, and cryptography.

Web Development

Websites are necessary, wherein companies rely heavily on contacting customers online. In Web Development, web pages and applications are built to accommodate demand and a respectable digital footprint. A job here entails an understanding of web design, programming, publishing, and database management.

Consider a career in web development if you possess these hard skills. You might want to read up on What is Web 3.0? to learn more about career opportunities in this discipline.

Mobile Development

Today, mobile devices are the most popular way for people and businesses to connect to the Internet. This is where mobile app development comes in.

Retail, telecommunications, e-commerce, government, and organisations across industries need to stay relevant and responsive to the needs of their customers, partners, and employees.

Some of these technical skills examples are iOS or Android app development, mobile app design, and push notifications.

UI/UX design

UI stands for “user interface” while UX means “user experience”. Organisations should be customer-obsessed to succeed in their respective markets. And one of the ways they reach out to their customers is through a positive user experience. This is achieved with a great UI/UX design team.

A successful UX/UX design encourages the customer to stick with a brand or product. Employers will seek expertise in wireframing and prototyping, design thinking, and information architecture.

Product management

Product management is a role within the product development team. It focuses on successfully executing the product lifecycle. They serve at the intersection of UX teams, engineering teams, and leaders to hold the shared product vision across.

Product managers define success for each product and create the product strategy. Technical skills in this field are competitive analysis, customer research, product launch, mapping, marketing, and execution.

IT operations

IT operations mainly focus on all processes and services administered by an organisation's information technology (IT) department. Regardless of industry, customers rely on immediate access to applications and expect seamless customer experiences.

IT operations ensure the smooth performance of IT and business technologies for business operations to remain uninterrupted. Some skills in this field cover IT infrastructure management, incident management, and ITIL (the industry standard best practices framework for IT service management).

Importance of technical skills

Are technical skills important in all industries? No matter what field or industry you are in, you have to understand that good technical skills are key to the company's success, as well as your own. They may, at times, seem irrelevant to you if you work in something other than your selected field. But having these technical skills, or at least the basic concept, can give you an advantage in your career.

Here are some reasons why technical skills and developing them are essential.

Future-proof your career

Roles and industries rely heavily on technology. In the not-so-distant future, it's essential to develop your technical skill now. This will help you be more adaptable and ready for any changes in the future.

Increase self-confidence

If you don't have technical skills but are required to carry out a role that increasingly revolves around technology, you may need more confidence in your capabilities. Understanding technology will make you feel more comfortable in your role.

Work more efficiently

Having self-confidence in your role and the skill you need, you will find that you can be more efficient and competent, too. You don't need to constantly worry about lacking the knowledge or understanding of the technology.

Remain relevant

You always continue learning, even if you already possess the technical skills. Since technology constantly evolves, continuous learning is required to ensure your skill stays up-to-date and relevant.

Become a valuable asset

If you have limited IT skills in a business that's increasingly relying on technology to operate, you may stay caught up on colleagues with sound technical knowledge. You will be far more valuable by improving your technical skills.

Be visible for a promotion

Technical skills are increasingly in demand. Having sound technical knowledge and continuous upskilling will help you be visible inside your organisation. This could put your name on the shortlist for a job promotion.

Be more employable

If you're looking for a new job, regardless of the industry or role, having technical skills on your resume will make you a much more experienced employee. This can be extremely attractive and desirable to an employer. It can also help you stand out from other job seekers, which is extremely important in such a competitive job market.

Boost your passion

If you've been in your job for a while, then it can be easy for your interest to slip, leaving you unmotivated and unproductive. Learning new hard skills can help to revive your passion for your work, encouraging you to put in your best effort and provide even better results.

How to improve your technical skills

Now that you know the importance of technical skills, you may now look for other ways to improve them. Knowing how to develop them can make you a better asset to your current or prospective organisation.

The specifics of what to develop may vary, but surely improving technical skills means you're going to have to combine training, education, on-the-job learning, and experience. Here's how to make sure your technical skills stay sharp.

Workplace learning

Employers might already have training programs that help upskill your job. Ask and see if you can join available programs where you can brush up on tools and changes in your career.

In Malaysia, 43% of tech talent want specific training to boost technical skills while 48% expect to be provided with on-the-job skills and training development. Learn more about the Computer/IT industry in the Laws of Attraction Malaysia Report.

Self-directed learning

You'll also need to take an active role in your learning if you want to keep up with trends in your industry. Books, industry magazines, and podcasts are some of the easiest ways to keep up with the latest topics in your field. Self-directed learning helps your personal growth and makes you more valuable in your skills.

Online courses

Whatever your chosen field, there will be plenty of online courses from providers like Coursera or Udemy. Seek out classes that offer bite-sized learning, like short videos and brief tutorials, to make it easier to fit around your daily schedule. Learning in quick and focused bursts is excellent for knowledge retention.

Informal learning channels

Try informal learning channels like YouTube. There's a wealth of information available to us on the Internet, and many educators have embraced this medium to deliver informative and engaging content.

Social learning

Another way to develop your skills is by joining forces with fellow learners. There may be others within your organisation who are looking to upskill. Sharing the experience can boost accountability and make learning a lot more fun.

Learn from others

Working with a mentor who is an expert in your field is another way to improve your skills. If you spend time with an expert, you can pick up skills and get sound advice on challenging situations.

Be a lifelong learner

Finally, have a growth mindset by continuously being curious and keen to learn new things. The rapid advancement of technology calls for a lifelong learner who will keep on developing as technology progresses.

Role of certifications and training programs

When employers look at your resume, they will look to your certifications and training to find out if your technical skills align with their needs. It can be a qualifier for the position in some instances. Many companies even require some job positions to certify and maintain certifications. It's like an investment toward your future that should likely pay off.

The main benefit for organisations to have certified employees is the ability to close the organisational skill gaps. Certified employees are also more productive. They meet client requirements and troubleshoot issues quickly. They also provide an edge over competitors and complete projects faster.

Measuring technical skills

Certifications, diplomas, and other proof of education are enough to prove you are capable of a specific skill. According to Harvard Business Review, nearly 50% of job seekers embellish their resumes. This reduces looking at CVs as initial screening tools.

Most organisations have turned to these tests to check your knowledge and skill when they fill a tech position. At times, they may perform a technical assessment. It's better to be prepared and make sure you can demonstrate your skill and match any specific needs.

You might encounter technical assessment tests that may include open-ended or multiple-choice questions. This should help the recruiter narrow the field to just a few qualified job seekers. Organisations use these tests because they are less expensive and are good performance predictors.

There's also a possibility that you might go through a technical interview with someone who is an expert to identify the standards of the technical skills you possess. A technical interview will look at your technical capabilities and soft skills, from communication to collaboration and more. This only means that the employer is searching for the best talent for the job.

These technical assessments have several advantages for job seekers. For one, it saves time by reducing the number of interviews. It can also lead to shorter interviews, as technical expertise has already been evaluated during the testing stage. It provides an objective way to measure skills, and it eliminates bias.

Unfortunately, there can also be disadvantages, such as tests that give a bigger picture of abilities. Tests might also be too long for job seekers. And there's always a risk that good ones could be turned down because of a single test.

If you are going for a highly skilled position, you need to be sure to be prepared to ace those assessments and interviews to be shortlisted for the role. Read How to Nail a Job Interview and the Salary You Seek for more advice on getting your dream job.

Showcasing technical skills

Let employers know that you have the right technical skills for the job. List technical skills that are relevant to the role you're applying for.

Chances are, employers only spend a few seconds of their time reading resumes. This makes it all the more important to ensure that your skill section draws their eye at first glance.

When you list down your work history, which has descriptions of past roles, you should learn to highlight the expertise you have to offer. Showcase the technical skills employers are looking for. You may even create a separate list for certain problems you encountered and solved in each area of your knowledge system. This makes your skills easy to find and even gives employers an overview of your skill set without making them read the entire resume.

In your cover letter, mention one or two of your skills that highlight the role requirement and how you have demonstrated those skills at work. Please ensure you know what technical skills the employers are looking for.

Use the exact skill words during your job interview and give examples of your performance. Emphasise good situations and outcomes from work that give them a clear idea of how you are as an employee.

Another way of highlighting your capabilities is through an online portfolio. This increases your visibility and is a great first impression for employers. You can build a website that shows your experience and features all your excellent capabilities. Companies can do a simple Google search, and your professional portfolio pops out. This is a way to stand out from the rest of your competition.

Look at some examples of technical skills you could use for your resume.

Common misconceptions about technical skills

You may think that technical skills are challenging to learn and you need a formal education to be skilled. However, these are just some common misconceptions. Let's debunk a few of them before you start your application process.

Technical skills are only crucial for technical jobs

While there are plenty of technological jobs that require specialised skills, essential technical capabilities are also needed in other industries like healthcare, finance, and manufacturing.

Technical skills are only relevant to entry-level positions

According to DevSkiller, a skill assessment company, a junior developer's average number of skills is 40, while a mid-level developer's is 106. This shows how important it is to continuously develop skills throughout your career journey. Proficiency in technical roles is expected to increase as you gain a higher position.

Technical skills are only developed through formal education

Education is essential, but it's not the end-all for a job seeker. It counts only as a starting point and not as a finish line. Technical skills can be self-taught if you have the ambition, drive, and willingness to learn and be good in tech.

Don't let these misconceptions dissuade you from building a career you aspire to have. Looking for an opportunity to get into your dream job? Read How to Get Your Ideal Job on Career Resources.Examples of technical skills for your resume

Example of technical skills to highlight in your resume

We've listed some of the technical skills you may want to include to highlight in your resume. Remember that these skills may not necessarily be limited to tech companies. After all, your capabilities may also be needed in other industries.

Software development

  • Object-oriented programming
  • Agile software development
  • Software testing
  • Continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD)
  • Source code management (e.g. Git, SVN)
  • Refactoring
  • Software documentation
  • Application performance optimisation
  • Dependency management
  • Design patterns

Data science

  • Statistical analysis
  • Machine learning algorithms
  • Data visualisation
  • Data mining
  • Data cleaning and pre-processing
  • Natural language processing (NLP)
  • Deep learning
  • Predictive modelling
  • Big data technologies (e.g. Hadoop, Spark)
  • Statistical programming (e.g. R, SAS)

Cloud computing

  • Cloud architecture design
  • Cloud infrastructure management
  • Cloud security
  • Cloud migration
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
  • Cloud automation
  • DevOps tools (e.g. Docker, Kubernetes)
  • Serverless computing

Networking and infrastructure

  • Network architecture design
  • Network security
  • Routing and switching
  • Virtualisation technologies (e.g. VMware, VirtualBox)
  • Firewall configuration
  • Load balancing
  • Network monitoring
  • DNS management
  • Active directory management
  • Cloud networking


  • Penetration testing
  • Vulnerability assessment
  • Security risk analysis
  • Security policy development
  • Security operations centre (SOC) management
  • Incident response management
  • Ethical hacking
  • Malware analysis
  • Cryptography
  • Identity and access management

Web Development

  • Front-end development
  • Back-end development
  • Full-stack development
  • Web design
  • Responsive web design
  • Web frameworks (e.g. React, Angular, Vue.js)
  • Content management systems (e.g. WordPress, Drupal)
  • E-commerce platforms (e.g. Shopify, WooCommerce)
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Web analytics

Mobile development

UI/UX design

  • User interface design
  • User experience design
  • Wireframing and prototyping
  • Usability testing
  • Design thinking
  • Interaction design
  • Visual design
  • Information architecture
  • Design systems
  • Design handoff and collaboration

Product management

  • Product strategy development
  • iOS app development
  • Android app development
  • Cross-platform app development (e.g. React native, Xamarin)
  • Mobile app design
  • Mobile app testing and debugging
  • Mobile app deployment
  • Mobile app monetisation strategies
  • Mobile app analytics
  • Push notifications
  • Mobile device management
  • Market analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Customer research
  • User stories and personas
  • Roadmapping and prioritisation
  • Agile development methodology
  • MVP development
  • KPI tracking and measurement
  • Product launch planning and execution

IT operations

  • IT infrastructure management
  • IT service management (ITSM)
  • Incident management
  • Change management
  • Disaster recovery planning
  • IT asset management
  • IT vendor management
  • Business continuity planning
  • SLA management
  • ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library)


Technical skills are as crucial as your transferable skills and will be more relevant as technology continues to evolve. These technical skills are no longer limited to the tech world. Other industries badly need these skills for them to thrive in the digital age.

Continuously upskilling is also valuable to any organisation you will join. Keep updating your resume as you gain newer, more coveted technical skills. Don't forget to highlight your key technical skills.

The outlook for technical skills is bright, and according to Jakub Kubrynski, DevSkiller founder and CEO, there will be rapid growth in the upcoming years for both IT and digital skills. Businesses will need to ramp up their level of general tech savviness, while IT professionals will need to deepen their technical expertise.

To be updated with the latest trends and tips to boost your career, go to Jobstreet's Career Advice page or download JobStreet's app, available on the App Store and Google Play.


  1. What are the most in-demand technical skills?
    ⁠ ⁠
    Trending for 2023 are the following skills:
    • Basic programming

    • Low-code platforms

    • UI/UX design

    • Data engineering

    • Data visualisation

    • Video editing

    • CRMs

    • Product management ⁠

  2. Can technical skills be learned online?
    Technical skills can be self-taught in different ways, either by gaining certification or learning through books or online resources. You may want to check sites offering some tech certifications (This may be just up your alley), such as:
  3. How do I identify which technical skills are essential for my field?
    Be clear about the role you want to pursue and check out job postings with similar functions. Look at the requirements and take note of the technical skills necessary to do the position. Assess if you possess the same capability and highlight this on your resume.
  4. How can I improve my technical skills without spending a lot of money?
    There are different ways to develop your technical skills, asides from taking online classes, gaining certifications, or buying books. You can access free online training materials or watch YouTube, where experts showcase their know-how.When possible, you can ask help from senior colleagues to be your mentor and show you how to deepen your proficiency. Join other fellow learners as well so you can share experiences and resources.
  5. Are technical skills more important than soft skills?
    Both technical skills and soft skills are essential in any job. Employers look for applicants with a mix of these skills. They are complementary. For example: a programmer is proficient in Python and coding, at the same time they have excellent teamwork and critical thinking skills. This combination of technical and soft skills will be a positive contribution to the success of their company.
  6. Can I still get a job without technical skills?
    There are plenty of jobs for those without experience where you can do on-the-job training. However, if you can showcase certain technical skills, it will give you an advantage over your competition.

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