Survey: People skills valued over those for IT

Survey: People skills valued over those for IT

By Tom Espiner
Fri Dec 14 08:16:22 PST 2007

Interpersonal skills are more important in the workplace than IT
skills, according to the results of a survey commissioned by Microsoft.

In the survey of approximately 500 board-level executives, 61 percent said interpersonal and teamworking skills were more important than IT skills.

However, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said that while communication
skills are important, IT skills now permeated every level and type of
job. "One of the most important changes of the past 30 years is that
digital technology has transformed almost everyone into an information
worker," said Gates in a statement. "In almost every job now, people
use software and work with information to enable their organization to
operate more effectively."

But Gates also acknowledged the value of people skills. "Communication
skills and the ability to work well with different types of people are
very important too," he said. "Software innovation, like almost every
other kind of innovation, requires the ability to collaborate and share
ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers and
get their feedback and understand their needs."

Most of the executives questioned felt interpersonal skills
would continue to be more important than IT skills in the future. But
many felt IT skills would become more important, with 24 percent saying
IT would become the most important skill in the workplace within the
next 10 years.

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