10 Types of Technical Competence and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

July 23, 2021

Recruitment necessitates that candidates start working on the first day to ensure companies achieve their goals. Job candidates with technical competence possess both soft and hard skills, consisting of measurable and personal attributes. They are often essential to companies in the information technology (IT) sector, but many other fields also require employees with technical competency skills. In this article, we'll discuss the various types of technical proficiency you should consider acquiring before sending future job applications.

Read more: Technical Skills: Definitions and Examples

What is technical competence?

Technical competence describes an area of knowledge or skill that is useful in a particular industry's job responsibilities. Different industries require diverse skills for candidates, so employers emphasize different competencies, depending on the products or services they offer. Mastery of functional and technical skills is essential for you to become a skilled employee in various fields.

Technical competencies differ from foundational competencies, which are the basic skill requirements for any career. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employees should attain three levels of basic competencies before they can start building technical competencies. The first level entails the general attributes of effective employees, such as reliability, dependability, interpersonal skills and professionalism. The next levels cover the academic competencies like computer skills and writing, and workplace competencies like problem solving and teamwork.

Competency requires you to first build on the basic skills before developing technical ones.

10 examples of technical competencies in most industries

Technical competencies are observable and measurable regarding a person agreeing to qualitative analysis and achieving quota targets. Here are examples of technical competencies employers look out for in prospective hires:

1. Big data analysis

Today, almost all industries rely on big data to ensure the success of companies. With factual insights into industry trends, companies can adjust their operational strategies to align with inevitable changes. It's simple to access relevant data, but companies still need employees to collect, organize and interpret the data. Sensitive information, such as client and payroll accounts, needs discreet analysis.

Here are some of the data analysis skills that are valuable to prospective employers:

  • Algorithms

  • Compiling statistics

  • Calculating

  • Data mining

  • Database management

  • Quantitative research

  • Database design

Big data centers require employees with high technical skills and learning experience, but you can use some of the skills mentioned above to impress prospects. The skills are vital in setting new standards and boosting bottom lines in finance, healthcare, banking and travel.

2. Coding and programming

Employers often choose candidates with coding and programming competencies, even when the job position is not for a coder or programmer. Writing code and understanding various programming languages can make you a preferred candidate in organizations needing functional and technical skills.

Here are some of the key skills that employers consider:

  • Applications

  • Computing

  • Solution delivery

  • Certifications

  • Information technology (IT)

  • HTML

Hundreds of computer programming languages exist, and each one fulfills a particular purpose. Although programming knowledge is applicable in almost all industries, candidates with knowledge of multiple languages hold an advantage. For example, languages that are useful in marketing differ from those utilized in science.

Related: Computer Programmer Skills: Definition and Examples

3. Project management

A great project manager is an effective leader who knows how to delegate tasks and measure all projects' success rates. Project management is a soft skill that is still essential for technical projects. Furthermore, it often necessitates the use of complex systems and programs, which are quite difficult to master.

Here are some examples of this kind of technical competence:

  • Budget planning

  • Quality assurance

  • Benchmarking

  • Task delegation

  • Following specifications

  • Project planning

The best sectors to search for project management jobs are healthcare, financial services, law and construction.

4. Digital marketing & social media management

In this age, being an expert in social media is less impressive to potential employers because billions of people use social media. However, more competitive candidates can further elaborate their experiences with specific media platforms and measurable results. Technical competence in digital marketing is useful in various fields, such as web development and public relations.

Here are some examples of skills that can make you a specialist:

  • Social media platforms

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Content Management Systems (CMS)

  • Automated marketing software

  • Digital photography

  • Web analytics

Social media is a powerful tool for marketing small businesses and large corporations, enabling them to reach new clients. E-commerce and travel companies prefer a strong social media presence, especially on Pinterest and Instagram, because they're highly visual. On the other hand, a marketing company may prefer candidates familiar with certain platforms.

5. Technical writing

Many job duties require you to communicate complex things in writing but in a way that is easy to understand. Technical writing requires strong niche knowledge to create accurate documentation about the products and services. The ability to communicate complex ideas is a prerequisite for many positions.

Here are some of the skills you can acquire as a technical writer:

  • Technical documentation

  • Press releases

  • Instruction manuals

  • Web content

  • Requirements gathering

  • Client relations

  • Research

  • Email campaigns

Technical writing is valuable to employers in the medical, automotive manufacturing, heavy machinery, education and aerospace industries.

Related: Learn About Being a Technical Writer

6. Cybersecurity

As much as the internet is a gateway to the rest of the world for individuals, businesses and organizations, there lies a threat – hackers. Thoughtful employers value candidates who can ensure they are not prone to attacks or cyberbullying. Companies often prefer employees with soft and hard skills who can also serve as cybersecurity professionals. Technical competence enables you to maintain knowledge and awareness of contemporary industry practices, standards and procedures. Great candidates maintain an eagerness to learn and remain adaptable because cyberspace is continually evolving.

Here are some skills you can acquire by learning cybersecurity:

  • Operating systems (Windows, Linux, etc.)

  • Virtualization software

  • Networking

  • Software analytics

  • Critical thinking

  • Performance review

Many businesses understand the risk cyber attacks pose, so they often prepare in advance to prevent any breach. Some of the industries in dire need of these skills are healthcare, banking, government, military and education.

7. Microsoft office certifications

Microsoft Office Suite is a set of productivity tools that businesses use to perform various tasks. It comprises several programs, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Publisher and OneNote. The common misconception is that the tool is only useful for writing texts, but it can also help perform other advanced tasks. Many jobs require only the basic functions, but most mid-level and high-level positions require knowledge of the tricky functionalities.

Here are some essential skills you can gain:

  • Creating documents

  • Data analysis and visualizations

  • Embedding videos and images

  • Presentation design

  • Task distribution

  • Document sharing

Most office jobs require Microsoft Office skills.

8. Video creation

The video space is continually evolving and traditional media brands are migrating into the digital space. For example, YouTube is increasingly showing more movie trailers and prime-time shows than ever before. The development seems intimidating for many creators, but honing certain skills ensures you can consistently produce quality content, whether as an independent contractor or employee.

Here are some examples of the technical competence video creators possess:

  • Proofreading and editing copy

  • Research writing

  • Photo editing

  • Digital photography

  • Storyboarding

  • Blogging

  • SEO

Video traffic continues to increase because the human brain processes video content faster than written content. Many businesses are now adopting video campaigns for branding and advertising purposes. Some industries that look for candidates with this skill include law, SaaS (software as a service), finance and e-commerce.

9. Cloud/SaaS services

Cloud services are complex and require several technical skills. The essential capabilities you'll need cover more than the core basics, such as migration to public servers and automation of module infrastructures. It also evolves to encompass management, assurance and ongoing security.

Here are some of the core competencies:

  • Model and simulate cloud services

  • Assemble cloud services (from internal and external sources)

  • Automation across diverse systems

  • Service performance assurance

  • Access and identity control

  • Hybrid cloud service management

The cloud impacts organizations of all industries, needs and sizes. Some industries that prefer candidates with these skills include automotive, insurance, hospitality, production and real estate.

Read more: What Is Cloud Computing? (With Usage Info and Benefits)

10. Telecommunication

The internet era is causing many sectors to become obsolete. Telecom professionals are among the savviest employees who have experience dealing with the sweeping transformations of the communications industry. They need to continuously apply various innovative strategies to diversify revenue streams and reduce operational costs for their employers.

Here are the core technical competence skills that telecommunication specialists possess:

  • Strategic planning

  • Innovative thinking

  • Analytics

  • IT competency

  • Customer support

  • Video conferencing

Companies allocate huge budgets for communicating with customers, training new hires and traveling. Teleconferencing cuts costs and limitations by using the internet to communicate with team members or clients in other locations. Telecommunication is a crucial technical competence in all industries because proper communication ensures businesses operate effectively. Online marketing, advertising and IT industries value these skills.

Types of tech jobs

Many positions require certain skills, especially relating to technology, so it's important to develop technical competence to prepare for future jobs. Here are 10 jobs that require one or more specific technical competencies:

1. Data analyst

2. Software developer

3. Social media marketing manager

4. Administrative assistant

5. Video editor

6. Cloud architect

7. Graphic designer

8. 3D modeler

9. Cybersecurity analyst

10. Accountant

Browse more articles