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What are durable skills and do tech workers need them?

Employers are increasingly looking beyond targets and productivity when assessing their staff and quantifying their actual value, both in the short and long term. One way they are doing this is through durable skills. 
What are durable skills and do tech workers need them?


If you work in tech, there’s no escaping or ignoring the headlines surrounding mass layoffs at some of the biggest names in the industry. 

While most of those working in software development or engineering, particularly in cybersecurity, AI, and machine learning tend to be immune from recent job market volatility, employers are increasingly looking beyond targets and productivity when assessing their staff and quantifying their actual value, both in the short and long term. One way they are doing this is through durable skills. 

The value of soft skills

Skills are often broken down into hard and soft skills, the former being the kind of specific learned skills like proficiency in a coding language like Python or C++ that are essential for tech workers to do their jobs. 

The latter can often be overlooked—according to a recent study by Deloitte, soft skill-intensive jobs will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030, however, there is a gap between demand and supply with a quarter of entry-level employers reporting that they have difficulty filling positions because applicants lack soft skills. 

These findings align with a separate report that details that the three most important soft skills are teamwork and collaboration, communication and problem-solving and critical thinking, so the importance of soft skills can’t be ignored. 

Reframing soft skills as durable skills and understanding their value means you can not only excel in your current role, but future proof your career, and potentially avoid future layoffs. 

A lasting impression

Take coding skills as a good example. While your most recent accreditation will help you right now, it probably won’t hold any value in a couple of years. But an ability to communicate efficiently and effectively, solve problems and lead your team through a period of flux will stand the test of time, and this is what employers are looking for. 

If you’re eager to explore ways to sharpen your skill set, look to your employer for access to learning and development courses that can help you develop durable skills. Day-to-day, you can continuously improve your durable skills by actively listening in meetings, asking for feedback and taking constructive criticism on board. Taking on more of a leadership role within your team can also help you flex your durability in an ongoing context. 

However, if your current employer isn’t facilitating your desire to diversify your skillset, it could be time for you to reassess your current role. If this is the case, the Tech EU Job Board has hundreds of opportunities, like the three below. 

Senior Data Engineer - Data Platform, Deezer, Paris

From a French tech start-up created in 2007, Deezer has become one of the first French unicorns and the second-largest independent music streaming platform in the world. Data is embedded within Deezer’s data operations team and the Senior Data Engineer will be tasked with designing, developing and improving data pipelines and be accountable for them, be a technical referent for your team members and the data community. Applicants should have five-plus years’ of experience in software engineering, proficiency in programming languages like SQL, Spark, PySpark, Python or Scala and experience of sharing good practices between teams. See more details about this role here

CTO, Carbon13, Berlin 

Do you want to take your career to the next level and work as the CTO of a scalable climatech startup? Carbon13 is looking for bio and chemical engineers, developers, data scientists, or machine learning specialists to become co-founders and CTOs of startups that fight climate change. The job consists of an eight-month Venture Builder programme where you’ll be supported to find an idea to develop which can significantly reduce emissions, or join a team that already has an idea or strong insights into an emitting industry. You may choose to apply your skills to a software idea or to cofound a hardtech or deeptech startup with a scientist or engineer co-founder. This role is based in Berlin or Cambridge but can be done remotely from anywhere in the world. Get more information on this exciting opportunity

Senior Platform Engineer (m/f/d), Flink, Berlin 

Online supermarket Flink is looking for a Senior Platform Engineer to help build and scale the cloud platform it runs on. You will do so across multiple Kubernetes clusters and other GCP services, helping your fellow engineers innovate and be productive while having fun shaping the future of quick commerce. You’ll get to sharpen your skills on the latest tech stack in the areas of DevOps tooling, CI/CD, Containerization, Orchestration, and Cloud Infrastructure as Code. You must also be comfortable working in an agile environment. View the full job description here

Want to put your durable skills to the test? Discover thousands of open roles on the Tech EU Job Board now

Lead Image: Florian Olivo

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