Technology Job Skills That Employers Want in 2020

  • 09/03/2020
  • 15:30
Tags:
  • Candidate

According to a forecast from CompTIA, the global IT and emerging technologies industry is expected to grow by 3.7% in 2020, and demand for roles in the digital technology sector has grown by 150% over the past four years. Among the many factors that have driven recent growth is the increasing adoption of new and emerging technologies, from information security and risk to cloud computing, data management and mobile networking. The future for IT talent looks bright, with technology professionals in increasing demand. But which skills and expertise are employers looking for, to bridge skills gaps in their teams and grow their business?

Here are some of the most in-demand IT skills for technology professionals, by specialism.

DevOps

DevOps refers to a combination of tools and practices that increases a company’s ability to deliver service at a faster pace, than the use of traditional softwares. DevOps speeds up processes which enables businesses to serve their customers more effectively.

Any new device or gadget requires a tech professional to write the code that makes it work - and with more and more businesses adopting DevOps in the past few years, you won’t see a shortage of demand for DevOps engineers anytime soon. Besides coding knowledge, DevOps will be expected to have skills in infrastructure, scripting and security, plus a range of ‘soft’ skills such as decision making, flexibility and adaptability.

This is also supported by Spring specialist DevOps consultants, who report that DevOps is becoming closely linked with Automation and Cloud, and that the key skills desirable to hiring professionals include:

  • AWS/GCP/Azure significant experience
  • Cloud Networking
  • Experience with containers, dockers and Kubernetes
  • Cloud provisioning frameworks such as Terraform, serverless frameworks as well as provisioning frameworks: Chef, Puppet, Ansible
  • Scripting programming languages and automation testing
  • Software engineering with knowledge of the popular programming languages within Python, JavaScript, ELT and ETL scripts
  • Monitoring, planning and responding to problems by utilising DevOps practices and tools.

Traditionally, DevOps hiring leaned towards building a network of ‘I’ shaped professionals - teams of specialists with highly specific areas of technical expertise (for example software developers, or security practitioners). In recent years however, more employers have been looking to hire ‘T’ shaped professionals, who come with the depth of experience in a particular DevOps field, but with working knowledge in other related practices. Therefore, when applying for a competitive DevOps role, it’s a good idea to include any additional areas of knowledge or interest, in addition to highlighting your core skillset and experience most relevant to the role you’re going for.

Business Intelligence and Data

In today’s digital landscape, huge amounts of data are continuously generated – in fact, every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years alone, and this data must be used and interpreted, managed, stored and kept secure. Almost every industry is gathering more data than ever before, and as a consequence, an increasing number of data specialists are required to handle and process this data.

With most companies currently using just 12% of the data they have, the demand for experienced business intelligence and data specialists is set to rise. According to LinkedIn statistics, the talent pool of professionals with data skills around the world has increased by 27% to 9 million since 2018. When honing your CV for a data management role, including the following skills or areas of knowledge may help get you shortlisted for an interview:

  • Statistics
  • Data extraction, transformation and loading
  • Business Intelligence processing frameworks
  • Data wrangling and exploration
  • Data visualisation

Spring Technology’s BI and Data consultants are reporting the following trends: “More and more businesses are moving away from Oracle and focussing on the Microsoft stack of SQL Server. Also, Cloud based platforms for Data such as Azure and AWS are becoming increasingly desirable skills. Data Science and Big Data are growing rapidly, however, they still hold a predominantly more contract focus. We are also seeing more requirements for AI and Machine Learning. The following skills are in demand: MS BI stack (SSIS, SSRS, SSAS), Azure, OLAP, PowerBI, Tableau and Python.”

Information Security and Risk

The rising risks and costs associated with cybercrime have put cybersecurity measures at the forefront of many business operations. Once a luxury, information security is now a necessity in today’s environment, and the increasing demand for job skills in the area reflects this reality. Strong security measures are increasingly vital for any company that collects customer personal data or other sensitive data, and securing the right talent and expertise is vital. A new Burning Glass study found that in the US, demand for information security and risk professionals is outstripping supply, and that the number of job postings in this field has grown by 94% in six years.

It’s a similar picture in the UK as described by Spring Cybersecurity team; “Clients are finding it really hard to secure good perm employees across the board if they aren’t being flexible (allowing working from home and providing or subsidising training for example). We are still filling a good number of security roles across the Midlands where this is the case, but there are some clients who are unwilling or unable to be flexible when recruiting and have had roles open for 6+ months some even for 12+ months. This goes for all areas of security including: security management, security architecture, assurance, cyber resilience, risk management, network security.”

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Machine learning (ML) is one of the biggest emerging technologies creating digital transformations across a huge number of sectors, from healthcare to financial services, retail and transportation. Most industries working with big data have recognised the value of machine learning technology; using ML to collect insights from this data makes companies able to work more efficiently or gain an edge over competitors.

While machine learning's ability to automate and evolve is significant, it still requires human operators to set parameters of operation, to provide context, and to continue improving the algorithms. A survey by Tech Pro Research found that 40% of companies reported their existing IT personnel lack the capability to implement and support machine learning and/or AI, creating an abundance of opportunities for professionals with ML expertise. Key skill areas include:

  • Data modelling
  • Software engineering with knowledge of the popular programming languages within ML - Python, R, Java, and C++
  • Statistics
  • Probability
  • Data science

Artificial Intelligence refers to the concept of machines being able to carry out tasks “smartly” and applies machine learning, deep learning and other techniques to solve problems. Technology professionals looking to pursue a career in AI should be able to demonstrate abilities such as problem-solving and an analytical thought process. Employers will also be looking for technical skills in the design, repair and maintenance of software programmes, along with the ability to translate highly technical information and to communicate effectively within a team.

Do you have the technology skills our clients are looking for? Search our latest tech jobs and connect with our consultants today.