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Technical Skills

May 7, 2018

​Technology changes so fast it may seem impossible to keep your industry technical skills up-to-date. However, keeping your skills up-to-date makes you a more effective worker and a stronger candidate for a position.

Types of Industry Technical Skills

These are 2 types of industry technical skills: 

Industry-sector skills can be performed on any job in a given industry sector, but only within that sector. You earn these skills through education, training, and experience. When you complete the training and earn credentials for these types of positions, you will have a greater chance of being hired at any business.

Here are some examples of jobs that require technical skills, sorted by sector:

  • Information Technology
    • Software developer
    • Systems analyst
    • Database administrator
  • Skilled Labor
    • Construction worker
    • Pipefitter
    • Steamfitter
  • Manufacturing
    • CNC operator 
    • Assembler
    • Welder
  • Healthcare
    • Nurse
    • Physician assistant
    • Dental hygienist

Industry-wide skills, on the other hand, can be used in more than one sector. Examples of industry-wide skills include:

  • Safety and security.
  • Environmental law and regulations.
  • Technology applications.
  • Design and development.
  • Quality control and continuous improvement.

Staying Updated

How do you keep your industry technical skills updated? Start by following these tips:

  • Research. Find out what current in-demand skills and technology exist for your industry.
  • Use the technology. Keep your skills sharp by using the in-demand technologies in your industry.
  • Participate in discussions. Stay active in current discussion using online forums, blogs, and technical articles.
  • Train. Take steps to update your industry technical skills through training, working with a mentor, and volunteering.

Matching Your Skills to a New Career

Are you getting started on a new career path? You will need to be familiar with a new set of technical skills relevant to that industry. Start by following the steps below:

  1. Select an industry or career.  
  2. Look at the job information and related training for jobs in that industry.  
  3. Do the skills seem like a good match for you?  Do you already have skills that you could use in that career path?  
    1. If so, compare your current technical skills to any new jobs for which you want to apply. It may be time to update.
    2. If not, you can gain required skills through training and experience.  
  4. Review the training programs and follow the career path that you would like to pursue.

Skill Resources

If you're interested in exploring technical skills further, check out these resources on Illinois workNet:


*Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.

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Technical Skills by Illinois workNet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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