With many companies and organizations having more IT (Information technology) job openings, there is no denying that many are enticed to dive into the industry. This is because the IT industry is one of the most popular and ever-growing sectors, with research estimates promising growth at a CAGR of over 10% by 2027.
However, despite the interest in IT, competition remains fierce, and not all candidates have the necessary skills for these jobs. As a result, we have compiled the most sought-after IT skills to help you grab those high-paying IT roles this year.
Here are the ten most IT skills in demand to master this year if you are considering a tech role soon.
Cybersecurity is one of the top trending tech topics and a priority for all businesses. Almost every business or organization with a digital footprint is open to cybersecurity threats on its data and resources. As such, cybersecurity is an essential skill set for many tech job roles and professionals.
That has become evident by the number of IT professionals now venturing into security certifications and courses. These security certifications allow IT professions to confirm their relevant skills and showcase their prospect of being highly trained and qualified.
Each security certification or course deals with the following areas:
- Information security
- Network fundamentals
- Ethical Hacking
- Digital forensics and analysis
- Penetration Testing and vulnerability assessment
- Database encryption and storage
- Risk and threat analysis plus mitigation
2. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
According to The World Economic Forum, Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most sought-after skills and will help create over 100 million jobs by 2025. AI, at its core, is the program performing automated tasks such as facial, speech, and image recognition.
These programs (AI) perform tasks at a faster rate and more accurately than humans. The result means AI skills remain in demand for their ability to enhance workflow in any process.
Machine Learning(ML) also becomes a highly-sought after skill since it is the application that mines data from AI and delivers comprehensive insights. Such ML applications come in handy when applying them for data mining, data analytics, plus pattern recognition.
When combined, Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning skills can border on the following areas of learning.
- Neutral Networks
- Programming esp. Python, Java, or R
- Deep Learning
- Natural Language Processing (NLP)
3. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is the future of technology, with research predicting the market figures to hit over $330 billion for the public cloud market. Major firms such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon have already taken the step to build on cloud computing by dominating the market with their cloud services.
These market leaders have created this opportunity with Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud services as they look to boost the market growth.
Inside cloud computing, the most in-demand skills to have include:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Microsoft Azure
- Linux Systems
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
4. IT Systems and Networks
Computer systems and networks are at the core of any IT team looking to operate smoothly without hitches. The control of these systems and networks is a reserve of the skilled staff, which includes system and network administrators.
These job roles are in-demand, with businesses finding them useful in other areas, such as cloud administration, due to their skill set. In essence, basic systems and networks skills can include skills like:
- Operating systems administration for Windows, Mac, or Linux.
- Installation and configuration of computer software and hardware components.
- Setup and maintenance of different networks, including wide area networks (WAN), local area networks (LAN), and virtual private networks (VPNs).
- Troubleshooting technical and software issues.
5. Data Science
Data is a core element of any business considering most firms rely on data to develop data-driven decision-making and skills. At its primary, data science is obtaining insights and information from data collected earlier.
Data science mainly focuses on using a combination of tools such as algorithms and machine learning principles. These tools help data scientists to make meaning out of the data set presented in the different industries, including sales, marketing, finance, or even human resource management.
However, a data scientist must have fundamental skills in data analysis which include skills in:
- Data collection
- Programming skills with Python, Java, R, Scala, and Go.
- Data organization
- Data analysis and statistics
- Data interpretation and intuition
A strong background in a programming language is a significant selling point for anyone looking to master in-demand skills this year. Programming can open up various career paths, especially when it comes to in-demand coding languages.
Not forgetting, newer languages such as Django, Scala, and Kotlin are also gaining popularity for their deployment in different software development projects.
7. Software Development
The increasing need for computer software and smartphone applications is a significant cause for the rise in software development. As per labor reports, software development opportunities will increase by 25% by 2030.
Such figures indicate the demand for more developers to design, test, maintain and install appropriate software and applications for different platforms. Thus, anyone looking to get into software development and gain opportunities must focus on achieving the following skills.
- Android application development.
- iOs mobile developer skills.
- Web applications development, including Search Engine Marketing and Optimization.
8. Customer Management Software (CRM)
Any business in the sales sector utilizes customer management software as the foundation for an efficient sales workflow. CRM software aims to counter the ever-demanding nature of customers and understand their behaviors across the markets.
That is why CRM software skills are becoming fundamental since they give businesses a 360-degree view of their customers, purchasing behaviors, expectations, and experience.
For example, CRM software skills are now popular enough to be on the job descriptions for managerial posts. The research indicates CRM tools are now in use by 73% of sales managers, with adoption by marketing teams sitting in at 46%. Customer service teams are also majoring in CRM tools, with figures estimating 45% of these teams are already utilizing this resource.
Virtualization is another aspect where businesses adopt the concept to get a much clearer outlook of their data information. Already server virtualization exists and with significant use by companies seeing the idea expected to hit double-digit growth within the next two years.
Storage and application virtualization are also gaining traction, with both concepts already experiencing more adoption in different industries. However, virtualization demands one to gain skills in the following areas.
- VMWare Software Professional.
- Data Center Virtualization certification.
- Citrix Certified Professional virtualization certification.
10. Edge Computing
Although cloud computing remains a game changer, there are plenty of areas that could improve. In particular, latency in cloud computing has become an apparent downside when considering the technology for IoT devices.
Edge computing aims to solve this shortcoming by bypassing cloud computing latency caused by data processing. For this reason, edge computing technology has become the go-to option for processing time-sensitive data in enormous amounts without relying on a centralized location.
The popularity is further evident by the research indicating the global edge computing sector to hit $6.72 billion by the end of this year. With the growth, edge computing creates plenty of jobs, especially for software engineers focusing on integrating IoT within the business fields. For these IoT specialists, skills in the following areas may be helpful.
- IoT Security
- Data Analytics
- Cloud Computing
- Software Automation
- Embedded systems
- IoT devices knowledge
Businesses and organizations are becoming IT-driven in their approach to critical functions such as customer service, employee development, and decision-making. As a result, more firms are in-demand of IT skills for this year and beyond.
Hopefully, our listed skills and competencies are not average but up to date with modern changes. So, your best bet is to embrace these ten most IT skills in demand to master this year and stay ahead of the pack.