What is the most in-demand IT skill that I can learn quickly to find a job?

Updated on : December 3, 2021 by Brenden Gordon



What is the most in-demand IT skill that I can learn quickly to find a job?

My approach is different. Let's look at the question again.

  1. You want to find a job in IT. Fast, that is, sooner rather than later. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. By EOB at the latest. (As embarrassing as these expressions are, you must know them if you want to work in IT.)
  2. To achieve this goal, you are willing to learn an IT skill. But it must be a skill in demand. And it should be possible to learn it quickly. Very smart. It's good to maximize ROI to achieve optimal business value. (Again, I am connecting the jargon).


Other requirements are not stated (possibly intentionally).

  1. No long-term perspective for skills in q
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My approach is different. Let's look at the question again.

  1. You want to find a job in IT. Fast, that is, sooner rather than later. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. By EOB at the latest. (As embarrassing as these expressions are, you must know them if you want to work in IT.)
  2. To achieve this goal, you are willing to learn an IT skill. But it must be a skill in demand. And it should be possible to learn it quickly. Very smart. It's good to maximize ROI to achieve optimal business value. (Again, I am connecting the jargon).


Other requirements are not stated (possibly intentionally).

  1. No long-term perspective for the skills in question. A modern programming language today may disappear tomorrow. (I do know a few select people who still make a lot of money from COBOL, though.)
  2. No desire to keep the job in question. Perhaps your goal is to get an internship quickly to fill a gap in your CV and, once done, expand from there.
  3. No other skills. So we are really focusing on a basic IT skill. The one you can't do without. (Social skills are another matter entirely.)
  4. Personal growth and job satisfaction are not mentioned. This alone is a huge topic in itself. (But rest assured, Quora can help.)


So here is my advice: learn Microsoft Office.

Why? Because you can use it, and you probably will have to use it, almost everywhere. It is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for almost any job.

Note that I have used the Office 2013 logo above, but the reality of the situation is that, given your circumstances, you are more likely to find a job in a large corporation. And there, you will face Office 2003. In Windows XP. That legendary upgrade project to (are you sitting?) Office 2007 on Windows 7 has been underway for years and isn't likely to come to fruition anywhere near its lifetime.

The fact is, even today, you can impress your older colleagues by learning a few more functions than the standard user knows about. Test? Do people know how to use Microsoft Office? (To save you suspense: no, they don't.)

To get you started, here are some tips. @ other readers: feel free to add more, but let's do that in separate questions. (I'll list a few below).

Microsoft Word

  • Use formats: bold, italic, underline, font sizes, colors. Without formats, you could also use Notepad. However, don't overdo it. Instead, learn about styles, which are really just a form of formatting macros. (I just invented.)
  • For the more daring: get acquainted with Mail Merge for serial letters. This will also give you knowledge of field codes. And those are necessary to really understand tables of contents.
  • Further reading: What are some of the infrequently used features of Microsoft Word?


Microsoft Excel

  • First and foremost: use formulas. As for Word, without formulas, you could also use Notepad. Second, use graphics. Your data alone will not speak for itself. A graph will do it.
  • And then you can move on to more sophisticated things like AutoFilter, Conditional Formatting, and PivotTables. Understanding pivot tables will force you to understand data structures, a must for any advanced IT job.
  • More information: What are the best time-saving tips with Excel? What are some of the lesser known but useful Excel functions / tricks? What are some cool Microsoft Excel tricks?


Microsoft PowerPoint

  • You will need to understand the concept of slide layouts (the possible arrangement of text / image / table boxes on your slide) and slide master (the template that slide layouts are based on). For graphic objects, learn how to align them; it just looks better. Plus, learn about Groups to make it easier to manipulate multiple objects.
  • However, the main obstacle to PowerPoint is not actually how to use it, but how to make a compelling presentation. A presentation is much more than a set of slides. Think about the goal you want to achieve and craft your presentation accordingly.
  • More information: What are some of the lesser known / used features of Microsoft PowerPoint? How can I polish my PowerPoint to make my presentation more attractive?


Microsoft Outlook
You weren't expecting this one, did you? But if your company uses Word et al., It probably uses Outlook as well. (If you're lucky, sure. Otherwise, you're stuck in hell with Lotus Notes.) By the way, learn the difference between Exchange (server) and Outlook (client).

  • The most important thing to know in Outlook (or any email client) are the differences between To and CC on the sending side, and between Reply and Reply all on the receiving side. Also, use the Subject line of a message as TL; DR.
  • Specifically for Outlook, flagging and categorizing messages will help you manage your workload and get things done between one email and the next. Also, learn about the corporate address book and the personal address book, as well as shared calendars.
  • More information: What are the most useful productivity-rich hacks for Outlook?


Microsoft Office in general

  • Some tips apply to several or all products in the Office suite, for example, you can work much more efficiently by learning some of the many keyboard shortcuts. Copying and pasting a part of your work can be greatly improved with Paste Special. Also learn how to use AutoFormat and AutoCorrect, and the difference between the two. Lastly, use the spell checker extensively; is there to help you, so you have no excuse for obvious typos.
  • Enable automatic backups every few minutes. And whenever possible, enable backups on save as well. It is a global setting in Word, a per-file setting in Excel, and it is not available in PowerPoint. Generally speaking, apart from the many similarities within the Office suite, note that there are many differences, for example, regarding hyphenation.
  • More information: What are the essential Microsoft Office techniques (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Visio)?


Is all for today. I await your comments. And if you want to know more, ask Quora and A2A questions with me, I will gladly help you. Until then, I wish you all the best for your job search.

TL; DR: If you don't have IT skills, but want to learn one to get a job, learn to use Microsoft Office, this will bring you the highest return on investment.

I second to Prabhat; learn how to develop for Android, with this addition: focus on games to give your skill set niche appeal. This is a bit tricky, but it looks like Google is about to put a lot of effort on the gaming front - check out Google's Crawler 2014: Everything We Know Google is Working This Year. speed, you might be in the right space to ride that wave

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