The Importance of Soft Skills in IT: What They Are and How to Develop Them

In today's world of technology, it's easy to think that the only skills that matter in IT are technical skills. While technical skills are undoubtedly important, soft skills are equally important in the IT industry. I'll discuss the value of soft skills in IT, what they are, and how to acquire them in this post.

What are Soft Skills? Soft skills refer to a person's ability to interact with others effectively. They are the personal attributes that enable someone to communicate, collaborate, and work well with others. In contrast, technical skills are specific abilities related to a particular job or industry.

In the modern workplace, soft skills are becoming more and more crucial, particularly in the realm of IT. While technical skills are still essential for IT professionals, employers are now placing a greater emphasis on soft skills when hiring and promoting employees.


According to a study conducted by LinkedIn, 57% of leaders say that soft skills are more important than hard skills. In fact, the top five most in-demand soft skills in the IT industry include creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management.

Soft Skills Statistics

Soft Skills Statistics

According to a poll conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 91% of HR professionals place a high priority on soft skills when hiring new employees. Employers need people with great communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking abilities, the poll revealed.

Another survey by the Career Advisory Board found that 77% of employers believe that soft skills are just as important as technical skills. In addition, 16% of those surveyed said that they have dismissed an employee due to a lack of soft skills.

The importance of soft skills is not limited to just the hiring process. IT professionals who possess strong soft skills are also more likely to receive promotions and advance in their careers. A survey by Robert Half found that 64% of IT executives said that they consider soft skills to be very important when promoting employees.

Despite the importance of soft skills in IT, many professionals in the industry may not have had the opportunity to develop these skills. In fact, a survey by Udemy found that only 33% of IT professionals have received soft skills training from their employers.

Soft Skills

So how can IT professionals develop their soft skills? One way is to seek out training and development opportunities, either through their employer or through external sources such as online courses and workshops. Another way is to practice these skills in their daily work, such as by communicating more effectively with colleagues and clients, or by collaborating more closely with team members.

Examples of soft skills include communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, time management, teamwork, adaptability, and leadership. These skills are essential in the IT industry because IT professionals often work in teams, interact with clients, and communicate technical concepts to non-technical people.

The Importance of Soft Skills in IT Soft skills are critical in the IT industry because they enable IT professionals to communicate with non-technical stakeholders effectively. IT professionals often work on complex projects that require collaboration with people from different departments, including project managers, business analysts, and clients. Soft skills help IT professionals to communicate technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders and explain the business value of IT projects.

Soft Skills Frequency (Linkedin)

Soft Skills Frequency (Linkedin)

Additionally, IT professionals with strong soft skills are better equipped to handle workplace challenges. They can work well under pressure, adapt to changes, and solve problems creatively. Soft skills also enable IT professionals to provide excellent customer service and support, leading to higher levels of client satisfaction.

Developing Soft Skills

How to Develop Soft Skills in IT Developing soft skills takes time and effort, but it's a worthwhile investment in your career. Here are some tips for developing soft skills in the IT industry:

  1. Online Courses and Webinars: There are a plethora of online courses and webinars available that can help you develop your soft skills. Websites like Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning offer a wide range of courses on topics such as communication, leadership, conflict resolution, and more. Several of these courses are self-paced, allowing you to complete them on your own time and at your own speed.
  2. Professional Development Programs: Many professional development programs offer courses and training in soft skills. These programs can be found through industry associations, trade groups, or through your employer. They often focus on topics such as communication, teamwork, and leadership.
  3. Conferences and Workshops: Attending conferences and workshops is an excellent way to develop your soft skills. These events allow you to learn from experts in your field, network with other professionals, and gain exposure to new ideas and technologies. You can often find workshops and conferences that focus on specific soft skills, such as public speaking or time management.
  4. Mentorship and Coaching: Mentorship and coaching can be invaluable resources for developing your soft skills. Finding a mentor or coach who has experience in your field can help you navigate challenges and develop your communication, teamwork, and leadership skills.
  5. Volunteering and Extracurricular Activities: Volunteering in your community or taking part in extracurricular activities is a great method to build your soft skills. These activities allow you to work with a diverse group of people, build relationships, and gain experience in leadership and teamwork.

My Recommendation

All the examples I have listed above are great for you, however, if you are an introvert, and it is difficult for you to start with the examples above, I can recommend that you practice your soft skills with ChatGPT. I think everyone knows what it is, but still I will tell for those who are not in the know.

ChatGPT - Soft Skills Practice (Example)

ChatGPT - Soft Skills Practice (Example)

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence tool that can engage in natural language conversations with users. It uses machine learning algorithms to understand the context of a conversation and generate responses that are appropriate for the given context. Here are some ways how one can use ChatGPT to develop their soft skills.

  1. Practice Communication Skills: AI can be used to practice communication skills by engaging in a conversation on any topic. The tool can be used to initiate a conversation and respond appropriately to the replies received. This will help in improving one's communication skills by allowing them to practice in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
  2. Learn Empathy: Empathy is an important soft skill that is crucial in building better relationships. ChatGPT can help individuals learn empathy by engaging in conversations with users from different backgrounds and cultures. This will help in developing a better understanding of different perspectives and improving empathy.
  3. Enhance Problem-Solving Skills: AI can be used to enhance problem-solving skills by engaging in conversations that require problem-solving. The tool can be used to brainstorm and come up with solutions to a problem, which will help in improving problem-solving skills.
  4. Develop Leadership Skills: Leadership is a soft skill that is essential for career growth. ChatGPT can be used to develop leadership skills by practicing leadership scenarios. The tool can be used to initiate and lead a conversation on a given topic, which will help in developing leadership skills.
  5. Improve Time Management Skills: AI can be used to improve time management skills by setting a timer for a conversation. This will help in practicing time management skills by ensuring that the conversation is completed within the set time limit.


In conclusion, soft skills are essential in the IT industry, and developing them is crucial for success. IT professionals who can communicate effectively, collaborate with others, and solve problems creatively are highly valued in the industry. By taking courses, seeking feedback, volunteering for projects, practicing active listening, and reading books or articles, you can develop your soft skills and improve your career prospects.


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