Are Tech Skills Becoming the New Writing Skills?

Infini Kimbrough
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We’ve heard it all. “Brown is the new black.” “Bronze is the new black.” “Pink is the new black.” People were even saying, “Orange is the new black” at one point. But have you heard that tech skills are becoming the new writing skills? As employers shift towards skills-based hiring, should tech skills be prioritized over writing skills? Here’s the word on the street.

Tech Skills Increase Productivity. Employers want candidates that are equipped with technology skills now more than ever. Tech skills are important for modern careers as we are moving towards a more digitized world every day. The candidate that understands how IT processes work is less likely to be disgruntled and commit errors. Tech skills allow employees to work faster and increase productivity.

Writing Skills Are Becoming The Bare Minimum. In some industries, basic writing skills such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, typing and sentence structure are considered essential skills needed to add value to a role. In more writing-specific industries however, advanced writing skills such as research, planning, revising, and copywriting are essential. The ideal candidate will possess some level of writing skills to bring to any role across all industries. Writing skills are needed for every role but tech skills on the other hand, tend to vary. To answer the question if writing skills are enough and if employers should be looking for more, really depends on the role. In some cases, writing skills are considered advanced. In most cases however, writing skills are the bare minimum now because in today’s world IT skills add more value, and therefore hold more weight. If you are looking to remain agile against competitors, then prioritizing candidates that have IT skills will be essential to the growth and stamina of your organization.

These Tech Skills Are in High Demand in 2023. Employers are moving towards skills-based hiring and advertising less for degrees and qualifications, and advertising more for skills and responsibilities instead. 

1. Cloud Computing
If you’re in need of more efficient systems to host, store, manage, and process data, then the candidate with cloud computing skills is going to be your ideal hire. Cloud computing skills are in high demand because there is a major skills gap in this job market. The shortage of professionals with this skill set presents an opportunity for employers to offer competitive pay to secure top talent in cloud computing.

2. Artificial Intelligence
According to Stanford University’s AI index, 33% of all job postings in 2021 were looking for AI skills. Artificial Intelligence skills vary by specialty, but according to the AI Index Report, the following skills are listed as top AI skills: machine learning, natural language processing, data structures, artificial intelligence, and computer vision.

3. Cybersecurity
There is an existing skills gap in the cybersecurity market which is cause for concern due to the rise of cybercrime. As more businesses move to a cloud storage model for their data, the risk of exploitation becomes progressively greater. Cybersecurity remains one of the top priorities for companies who want to protect their data. As a result, seeking cybersecurity competencies in new hires and making an investment in training current employees is of uber importance.

4. Data Science
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for data scientists is expected to increase by 36% by the year 2031. Data Science skills are highly marketable skills, as the ability to use analytical tools to draw meaningful insights from data can be used in every industry. The need for organizations to practice data-driven decision making is the driving force behind the demand for data science skills. The marketing industry relies heavily on data science as metrics determine every aspect of performance and directly impact revenue.

5. Advanced Mathematical Skills
Many of the aforementioned skill sets require advanced knowledge of math concepts, therefore any candidate with advanced mathematical skills such as calculus, algebra, statistics, and probability, would be very teachable for other technical skills.

Let’s Compare and Contrast. In today's job market, both writing and tech skills are essential in most organizations, but the importance of tech skills is rapidly increasing. Employers should prioritize skill sets based on their specific needs and resources. If companies have the means to train candidates with necessary tech skills, then candidates with writing skills should be considered. However, if a role requires specific technical competencies, those skills should be emphasized in job descriptions. Ultimately, verifiable credentials are the most important factor in skills-based hiring. Tech skills are becoming essential across all industries, and prioritizing candidates with these skills is crucial for organizations to grow and evolve with advancing technology.

So maybe orange isn’t the new black, but tech skills could indeed become the new writing skills as technological advancements change the needs of the workplace. With a skills-based hiring approach, companies could attract high performing candidates who have the technical competencies that are needed to fill the skills gap and resolve talent shortages.


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