This post explains the essential IT skills to learn before getting into IT. Most of the graduates who pass out of college may not get the opportunity to learn certain basic IT skills that are key to joining an IT company.
Though there are many other skills to learn and excel in IT, these are fundamental IT skills to build especially when students come from non-IT backgrounds.
The objective of this post is to introduce and highlight the key concepts of IT skills rather than to explain every concept. Please note you don’t need to go in-depth but just learn the basics.
This post will try to address the following Questions.
What basic skills should a fresher have?
What are the essential IT skills for work?
What are basic computer skills for beginners?
What is the work of IT in a company?
What is needed in the IT field?
Let me classify the computer basics into three parts – Hardware, Software and Networking.
Firstly, it is very key to know about the basics of the computer and its history of invention. Most of us know what a computer is and what exactly it does. It consists of an electronic circuit called a motherboard that is designed to run software in its memory that takes inputs from the keyboard and produces output on the screen as per the logic designed.
Being new to IT, it is critical to know about hardware basics like memory, CPU, RAM, ROM, external drives etc. I am not going to explain each or every concept here as I believe most of you know some basics but if you would like a little more and tighten the fundamentals, explore good articles on google. Some of the interesting videos below can help you in detail
Software is the key thing in the computer world. Software is costly and corporations run businesses on it. There are two basic types of software – Operating Systems and Application Software.
Operating systems act as the base and platform to run application software. Broadly two types of OS are widely used in corporations – Windows and Linux. ‘Windows’ are typically used at a user level and to some extent at the server level too like by making it an IIS server. Linux machines are preferred whenever more robust performances are required.
Application software is the applications that are built as executables that run on top of Operating systems. Let’s say, MS Office, Antivirus, Adobe etc. These software are built using programming languages which will be explained in the next section.
Some interesting videos for reference.
Networking is about connecting two or more computers or servers. It is about LAN (local area network) and WAN (wide area network) and more about the Internet. Being an IT entrant, networking is one of the basic IT skills to learn. Some of the interesting videos are below.
Application software is built for a specific purpose like to achieve or solve a problem. Let’s say Google is to search for anything in the world, Amazon is to buy things online. As explained above, application software is built using programming languages.
New languages keep evolving as per the needs and trends. Choosing the programming language for an application depends on the business requirements and the pros & cons of the language.
Being an entry-level to IT, you try to learn the Object-oriented programming (OOPs) concepts to understand how things work like object creation, abstraction, inheritance, encapsulation, polymorphism etc.
As a fresher, C++ and Java are the most preferred languages to learn and face competitive exams from companies. Learning the basics of any one programming language is the key IT skill to build before entering into IT.
As a fresher, learn at least the basics of any database. The most common databases the enterprises use are MS SQL, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle, MandoDB. You can set up a MySQL database on your PC and do it hands-on.
Being an IT fresher, you don’t need to go in-depth, it is enough to learn the fundamentals of tables creation, data insertion, table deletion, schemas, data constraints, metadata, table relationships and indexing
Some useful videos for reference are below:
Communication skill is actually a soft skill but I categorized it as an IT skill because of its significance. Though technology skills are important to learn, communication skills help you to prosper in IT life. You will be communicating with your line managers, project managers, clients and various stakeholders.
It is not an entry-level skill but a growth skill which helps you to prosper in the IT field. You will see clear prosperity in the difference between the people having this skill and not having it.
If you are not a native speaker, focus on building this skill as early as possible. Focus on English speaking and writing skills.
English novel reading, Watching news and movies, and speaking with your friends help you build this skill. Spend at least 30 min speaking and 15 min writing essays or emails.
Join a course if needed but you will need to put daily practice on your own to build expertise. Toastmasters club and any other speaking communities help you a lot. You don’t need to emphasize grammar and vocabulary but the ease of simple writing and speaking is the key.
Though it is not an IT skill, understanding the IT corporations and how they work helps you build your long-term positions
There are two kinds of IT companies – product-based and service based. The companies which do business based on their products are product-based like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Oracle etc. The companies which do business by servicing these products are service based like Accenture, IBM, Cognizant, Infosys, TCS, Deloitte etc
Corporations run businesses with some goals and objectives & of course for profits. They hire people to achieve their goals. Once you’re hired, it is essential to understand its objectives and work towards it. The project you are assigned would have a purpose. So better understand it and work accordingly.
If you are interested to know more about why companies hire IT freshers and graduates, I have written an ebook ‘Why should we hire graduates’. Please go through it.
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