IT employees should develop their leadership and persuasion skills if they want to become IT managers, an analysis of key workplace competencies has revealed.
Employment research firm SHL Group has identified the critical differences between IT managers and the technical staff who work for them. The company's tests are among the most frequently used by employers to spot future managers.
According to SHL, the biggest difference between the competencies needed for an IT manager's role and a technical IT role is the manager's need to lead and persuade. IT managers also need to have strong competencies in working with people, adhering to principles, establishing strategies, planning, following procedures, adapting to change and handling pressure.
Applying technology and being creative are the only two competencies that are more important for technical IT jobs than for IT management jobs, SHL's research reveals.
Dave Bartram, research director at SHL, said, "The software engineer might have a profile that looks very much like the profile for a manager. Someone who very clearly fits the system engineer profile, however, would have more difficulty moving into a management sort of role."
SHL has put every ability that could be needed for a role into 20 different categories that its researchers have defined. The 20 competencies, which could be either skills or talents, are used in every role to varying degrees.
People in technical roles who have already developed the most important competencies for management should be able to move up the career ladder relatively easily, SHL said.
SHL Group has built a database of competencies that are needed for many of the most popular IT occupations. Researchers decide which competencies managers need by observing people at work. They also compare their conclusions with international databases of workplace competencies.