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One of the many questions I ask students is related to their understanding of technology and the specific applications they have learned. In almost all disciplines, it is important to be skilled in Microsoft Office, specifically Excel and PowerPoint. While most of our clients think they have intermediate abilities in Excel, the Excel Assessment that we ask them to complete shows the majority of students have beginner to low intermediate capabilities. As part of our Priority Candidates coaching programs, we include Excel training, through a technology training school, to ensure that all of our clients attain advanced Excel capabilities.

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Knowledge of Microsoft Office is just the beginning. A recent article referencing the Gartner – 2022 Digital Worker Survey, shared some surprising statistics – the average office worker uses 11 applications and 17% of workers use 16+ applications.

Today’s college students and young professionals need to be more focused on learning the technology skills required for the jobs they are interested in pursuing or currently applying for. The advent of skills-first hiring by employers has highlighted the need for technology skills as employers are now accessing candidates based on their capabilities, relaxing or abandoning degree requirements in hiring and prioritizing skills.

What are some of the categories and technology skills that today’s employers value?

Data Visualization

Microsoft Power BI

Digital Marketing

Google Analytics

Spreadsheet Manipulation

Google Sheets

Design Tools

Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe InDesign

Presentation Tools

Google Docs
Google Slides

(Knowledge of advanced features is required)

Programming Fundamentals


Many of these applications are offered online through resources which include LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Coursera, to name a few. Almost any field that you work in will require a fundamental understanding of data, and the story that the data tells. As organizations today are increasingly emphasizing collaboration, knowing how to create compelling presentations is not only essential, but often a presentation is an important part of the hiring process.

Career coaching at Priority Candidates includes early identification of the essential technologies required for each client as well as the resources to obtain the training and skills. These capabilities can be the differentiator in the hiring process and help our clients to start internships and jobs with the capabilities they need to excel and stand out from the onset.

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