What Is Technical Competence? – 10 Types of Technical Competence

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In order to guarantee that businesses reach their objectives, recruitment requires candidates to begin working on day one. Candidates for jobs who are technically competent have both personal qualities and measurable soft skills. Companies in the information technology (IT) industry frequently rely on them, but many other industries also require employees with technical competency skills. In this article, we’ll talk about the various technical skills you should think about acquiring before applying for jobs.

A skill or area of knowledge used in a specific industry is referred to as a technical competency. In the hospitality industry, for instance, a hotel concierge’s knowledge of local events, venues, and services is a technical competency. Different occupations place different emphasis on distinct skills, necessitating distinct technical skills. It is essential for a worker to become a skilled employee to master the technical competencies of a field and occupation.


The skills and knowledge necessary to apply specific technical concepts and information in a job function or role are referred to as technical competencies. They are the “what” of a job and are typically learned in an educational setting or on the job. One example of a technical skill is counseling.

How do I use the technical competencies? 

The Technical Competencies and the Behavioral Competencies are meant to be used together and complement one another. For instance, combining the Behavioral Competency of Interpersonal Rapport with the Technical Competency of Counseling increases its effectiveness.

Utilizing the Technical Competencies enables:

  • Make job descriptions or refine them;
  • Examine applicants;
  • Assess the experience and suitability of candidates;
  • Establish expectations for employee performance and evaluate performance; and make plans for your professional development and self-assess your skills.

The Technical and Behavioral Competencies for Canada’s Substance Use Workforce are meant to be used as a guide, depending on the job description, the environment, and the culture of the organization. They are not meant to be followed exactly.

The behavior indicators are provided as examples, but neither are they required nor exhaustive. This feature makes it possible to assess roles in a variety of contexts and settings and modify the competencies accordingly. The proficiency levels increase over time.

What is technical competence?

The term “technical competence” refers to a body of knowledge or skill that is useful for the job responsibilities of a specific industry. Employers emphasize different competencies based on the products or services they provide because different industries require candidates to have a variety of skills. If you want to become a skilled employee in a variety of fields, you need to be proficient in both functional and technical skills.

Foundational competencies, which are the fundamental skills required for any career, are distinct from technical competencies. Before employees can begin developing technical competencies, the Department of Labor of the United States recommends that they attain three levels of basic competencies. The fundamental qualities of productive employees, such as dependability, dependability, interpersonal skills, and professionalism, are covered at the first level. The next levels cover academic skills like writing and computer skills, as well as workplace skills like problem-solving and working in a team.

Before developing technical skills, you need to build on the fundamentals in order to be competent.

Technical competencies vs core or workplace competencies

Technical competencies are not the same as foundational competencies, which are the fundamental abilities that are necessary for any occupation. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Career One Stop information center identifies three levels of competencies that are required before a worker can begin developing technical competencies. Personal effectiveness competencies like professionalism, interpersonal skills, dependability, and dependability make up the most fundamental level. 

An efficient worker generally possesses these mentalities. Academic competencies, such as writing, math, and fundamental computer skills, and workplace competencies, such as teamwork, problem-solving, and organization, are the next levels of foundational competencies. The competency model emphasizes the importance of these fundamental skills, which must be developed before a worker can begin developing more specialized technical competencies, in any industry.

Industry wide competencies

Competencies that apply to all employees in a given industry are referred to as “industry-wide technical competencies.” Being aware of these competencies is an essential part of being effective in the industry, even if a worker does not directly use them in her daily work. 

A worker in the hospitality sector, for instance, will require knowledge of customer service, quality assurance, and hotel organization. A worker can move between different roles and positions within an industry with the fundamental skills she needs to succeed by mastering industry-wide competencies.

Industry sector competencies

The fundamental skills required to work in a particular sector of an industry are reflected in the development of industry-sector technical competencies, which are based on the competencies that apply to the entire industry. Taking the hospitality industry as an example, custodial staff might be skilled in guest services, hotel management in operations, and legal staff in hotel laws and regulations. 

However, in the particular sector of the industry where they are utilized, industry-sector competencies are fundamental. For instance, all employees who work in the food production sector of the restaurant industry will need to be familiar with food safety and preparation.

Occupation specific competencies 

Occupation-specific skills are the most significant level of specialized capabilities. These are the skills that an employee needs to do their job in the industry. Competencies specific to an occupation may be restricted to a specific type of job, such as glass blowing, or even a specific company. Communication with foreign visitors, scheduling conventions in hotel spaces, and providing guests with information about local attractions are examples of occupation-specific competencies in the hotel industry.

As an upper-level set of competencies within an industry, management competencies are included in the Labor Department’s model of technical competencies. Knowledge of the industry, entrepreneurial skills, the ability to delegate tasks, and strategic planning are among these skills, which are necessary for overseeing a company’s extensive operations.

10 examples of technical competencies across various industries 

When it comes to agreeing to qualitative analysis and meeting quota goals, technical competencies can be observed and measured. Examples of technical skills that employers look for in potential employees are as follows:

1. Big data analysis

Big data is now used by almost all businesses to ensure their success. Companies can adjust their operational strategies to keep up with the inevitable shifts with factual insights into industry trends. Despite the ease with which relevant data can be accessed, businesses still require employees to collect, organize, and interpret the data. Client and payroll accounts, for example, require discreet analysis.

Skills in data analysis that are useful to potential employers include the following:

  • Algorithms
  • Compiling statistics
  • Calculating
  • Data mining
  • Database management
  • Quantitative research
  • Database design

Big data centers need people with a lot of technical knowledge and experience, but you can use some of these skills to impress potential employers. In the areas of travel, healthcare, banking, finance, and setting new standards, these skills are essential.

2. Coding and programming

Even if the position does not require coding or programming skills, employers frequently select candidates who possess these skills. Writing code and knowing a variety of programming languages can make you a preferred candidate for businesses looking for people with technical and functional skills.

Some of the most important skills that employers look for are:

  • Applications
  • Computing
  • Solution delivery
  • Certifications
  • Information technology (IT)
  • HTML

There are hundreds of computer programming languages, each of which serves a distinct purpose. Candidates with proficiency in multiple languages have an advantage, despite the fact that programming knowledge is applicable to almost every industry. Languages used in science, for instance, are different from those used in marketing.

3. Project management

A good project manager is a good leader who can delegate tasks and measure the success of all projects. For technical projects, project management is still a soft skill that is necessary. In addition, it frequently requires the use of intricate programs and systems that are quite challenging to master.

Examples of this kind of technical proficiency include:

  • Budget planning
  • Quality assurance
  • Benchmarking
  • Task delegation
  • Following specifications
  • Project planning

Healthcare, financial services, the legal system, and construction are the most promising industries for project management positions.

4. Digital marketing & social media management

Because billions of people use social media today, being an expert in the field is less impressive to potential employers. However, candidates who are more competitive can elaborate on their experiences with particular media platforms and measurable outcomes. Digital marketing technical expertise is useful in many areas, like web development and public relations.

The skills that can make you a specialist include the following:

  • Social media platforms
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Content Management Systems (CMS)
  • Automated marketing software
  • Digital photography
  • Web analytics

Social media is a powerful marketing tool that can help both large and small businesses reach new customers. Due to their high visual content, travel and e-commerce businesses value a robust social media presence, particularly on Pinterest and Instagram. A marketing firm, on the other hand, might choose candidates who are familiar with particular platforms.

5. Technical writing

In many jobs, you are required to write down complex information in a way that is easy to understand. To accurately document products and services, technical writing necessitates extensive industry knowledge. For a lot of positions, you need to be able to explain complicated ideas.

As a technical writer, you can learn the following skills:

  • Technical documentation
  • Press releases
  • Instruction manuals
  • Web content
  • Requirements gathering
  • Client relations
  • Research
  • Email campaigns

Employers in the medical, automotive, heavy machinery, education, and aerospace sectors value technical writing.

6. Cybersecurity

Hackers pose a threat, despite the fact that the internet serves as a gateway to the rest of the world for individuals, organizations, and businesses. Candidates who can guarantee that they are not vulnerable to cyberbullying or attacks are valued by thoughtful employers. 

Employees with both soft and hard skills who can also work as cybersecurity professionals are often preferred by businesses. You will be able to keep up with current industry practices, standards, and procedures if you have technical competence. Because cyberspace is constantly changing, excellent candidates maintain an eagerness to learn and adaptability.

Learning cybersecurity can help you develop these skills:

  • Operating systems (Windows, Linux, etc.)
  • Virtualization software
  • Networking
  • Software analytics
  • Critical thinking
  • Performance review

Since many businesses are aware of the danger posed by cyberattacks, they frequently prepare in advance to avoid any breach. Healthcare, banking, the government, the military, and education are some of the industries that require these skills the most.

7. Microsoft office certifications

Businesses use the Microsoft Office Suite, a collection of productivity tools, for a variety of tasks. It includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Publisher, and OneNote among other programs. It is a common misunderstanding that the tool can only be used to write texts; in reality, it can also assist with other complex tasks. The majority of mid- and high-level positions require knowledge of the complex functionalities, but many jobs only require basic skills.

Some important skills you can acquire are as follows:

  • Creating documents
  • Data analysis and visualizations
  • Embedding videos and images
  • Presentation design
  • Task distribution
  • Document sharing

Microsoft Office skills are required for most office jobs.

8. Video creation

Traditional media companies are moving into the digital space, and the video industry is constantly changing. For instance, YouTube is now showing more prime-time shows and movie trailers than ever before. Many creators find the development to be intimidating, but developing certain skills ensures that you can consistently produce high-quality content as an employee or independent contractor.

The following are a few examples of the technical expertise that video producers possess:

  • Proofreading and editing copy
  • Research writing
  • Photo editing
  • Digital photography
  • Storyboarding
  • Blogging
  • SEO

Because the human brain processes video content more quickly than written content, video traffic continues to rise. Video campaigns are now being used by a lot of businesses for branding and advertising. Law, software as a service (SaaS), finance, and e-commerce are some of the industries that are looking for candidates with this skill.

9. Cloud/SaaS services

Cloud services are complicated and necessitate a number of technical abilities. More than just the fundamentals, the essential capabilities you’ll need include things like moving to public servers and automating module infrastructures. It also grows to include management, security, and ongoing protection.

The following are some of the essential skills:

  • 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

Organizations of all sizes, requirements, and industries are affected by the cloud. Automotive, insurance, hospitality, production, and real estate are some of the industries that favor candidates with these skills.

10. Telecommunication

Many industries are becoming obsolete as a result of the internet age. One of the most savvy employees who have dealt with the communications industry’s massive transformations is the telecom professional. In order to increase the variety of revenue streams and lower the operational costs incurred by their employers, they must continually employ various novel strategies.

The fundamental technical skills that telecommunication specialists possess are as follows:

  • Strategic planning
  • Innovative thinking
  • Analytics
  • IT competency
  • Customer support
  • Video conferencing

Traveling, training new employees, and communicating with customers consume substantial budgets. By using the internet to communicate with team members or clients in other locations, teleconferencing reduces costs and limitations. Because effective communication ensures the operation of businesses, telecommunication is an essential technical skill in all sectors. These skills are valued in the advertising, online marketing, and IT industries.


The application of knowledge and skills required to perform effectively in a specific job or group of jobs within the organization are referred to as technical competencies. The “know-how” that is required for successful performance is closely aligned with these kinds of competencies.

Employees’ technical competence is defined as the knowledge, abilities, and competencies they need to successfully complete specific workplace tasks. It encompasses more than just the skills of production workers—their capacity to carry out routine maintenance tasks like cleaning, lubricating, inspecting, making minor repairs, and so on. but also to the competencies and abilities of management and administrative staff (maintenance of IT equipment, printers, copiers, etc.).

Technical competencies are the skills that a person “must be able to do” in order to do a particular job, role, or function well. The various “units of work” that an individual performs are referred to as technical competencies. The application of skills, knowledge, and abilities is required for technical competencies. For specific jobs within a single organization or across branches, technical competencies can be identified. In order to establish performance standards for national certification and training programs, technical competencies are also developed at the professional or industry level.

Technical Competencies make sure that departments learn the skills they need to put the company’s plans and strategy into action. Identifying your technical competencies is necessary for the following reasons:

  • To be able to recognize and reward professional development among technically skilled individual contributors
  • To enable HR staff to develop applications in professional development, developing career paths, and succession planning
  • To develop a training and professional development curriculum to efficiently develop a staff

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