25 Most In-Demand Technical Skills for IT Professionals
One of the best ways to increase your likelihood of getting hired is to consider the skills the market is looking for and ensure that you’re not lacking in the most needed areas. As such, we’re going to take a closer look at 25 of the most in-demand technical skills on the market. This list was compiled by LinkedIn based on the results of a thorough 2018 study of hundreds of thousands of job postings to examine which skills employers are looking for.
In the number-one spot, perhaps of no surprise to anyone, the kind of expertise needed to create and engineer cloud platforms and solutions is the most hireable skill on the market.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Skills such as working with neural networks and machine learning to develop more adaptive and responsive technologies are key in a wide range of industries, putting programmers and engineers with an AI specialization in very high demand.
Though this skill often comes in use when dealing with technology, it isn’t necessarily a tech skill. Rather, it’s the ability to gather, gain insight and derive logical conclusions from large amounts of information. As big data becomes a more important part of the decision-making process for many businesses, it’s no surprise that employers are seeking candidates with increased analytical reasoning skills.
For as long as there are teams to manage, good people management skills will always remain a priority. An ability to resolve and manage conflicts, motivate and engage employees and chart a clear course with leadership are all essential capabilities of this skill.
The user experience (UX) design of any software or other technology plays a crucial role in its delivery. Without good UX design, the usability and even the purpose of any given software, site or technology can be lost. This is often confused and conflated with user interface, which some consider more to be a single component of the UX.
Mobile Application Development
Mobile apps are soaring in popularity. From shopping apps and games to social media and fitness tools, there are apps for all kinds of purposes, and as a result, there’s also an ever-increasing demand for those who are able to develop for Android, iOS and other mobile device operating systems.
Video is the most popular and common form of content engagement nowadays. Beyond TV and film, video content and marketing has practically taken over the internet. From marketing videos to web series, brands are looking for video production experts to help bring their message to a new medium of online delivery.
Just like we will always require people management skills, we will also always need sales leadership skills for as long as the sales process exists. The abilities to coach team members on optimizing their sales methods and use data to find approaches that work best are helpful help when it comes to growing sales leadership skills.
The world is becoming increasingly connected, which means there’s a higher need for translation. Often, this involves more than simply taking content from one language and translating it into another — rather, an understanding of different cultures and norms for true localization is also in higher demand these days.
Though not quite as high in demand as video, audio is still one of the most commonly used methods of communication online. Skills in recording, editing and mixing audio can help producers find a place in the modern marketing landscape or in the still burgeoning podcast industry.
Natural Language Processing
As a tech skill that lives at the boundary between computing and the real world, natural language processing involves interpreting the human sentence and finding data within it that can be used by digital systems. As we aim to integrate technology into our lives more organically, such as with smart homes, this skill will become increasingly important.
As with big data, we’re relying more and more on computers to help solve our problems. Big data gives us the tools to solve those problems by providing the information we need, but scientific programming has the computer solving those problems itself using mathematics, physics, chemistry and equations in other natural sciences.
The video game industry is forecasted to reach a revenue of $230 billion by 2022 in the U.S. alone. It’s currently the largest growing market in the world, and development teams are always looking for coders, modellers, animators and other creative technicals to help create the latest titles.
Social Media Marketing
Social media dominates much of the modern marketing landscape. This skill’s inclusion on the list shouldn’t be any real surprise, since few other methods of communication allow brands to communicate directly to so many people at once. The increasing demand for social media marketing means there’s a need for individuals who understand the different platforms and can use them well.
Whether for video content, film, TV, video games or interactive displays, animation is becoming increasingly popular. Those who know how to rig and move models — and make it look good —have a reliable place in the future of content production.
Much like analytical reasoning, business analysis means looking into the available facts and information to find both solutions to problems and improvements to operations. However, in this field, it’s purely about business, so some experience and insight into organization, workflow, strategic planning and policy development is also key.
Journalism has very much changed over the past decade, as we move further away from print and start to pull away from traditional TV in favor of digital and new media. However, the same skills of writing, storytelling, editing and fact-finding still remain key as content production becomes such a huge part of online life.
Digital marketing covers a wide range of fields of expertise. This can include social media marketing, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertisements, video marketing, content marketing and so on. More and more, businesses are looking for individuals with a comprehensive understanding of digital marketing to run whole campaigns for them.
As long as there are products and devices to sell, industrial design will always play a key role in the creation process. Companies are always on the lookout for experts with technical industrial design skills who can improve the function, value and appeal of products.
Business analysts examine internal information to find ways to optimize the way a business works. Competitive strategists look into the market surrounding the business, helping to develop long-term strategies that give the company a competitve edge, whether it’s market share, marketing dominance or superior return on investment.
Customer Service Systems
Customer service relies on both the human capital of employees manning the front lines, as well as the technology that manages and assists them. Individuals who understand both often find themselves in management and customer service strategy roles, helping to improve customer loyalty and retention across the board.
Though not as highly demanded as other technological skills, there’s still a great need for testers to assess the functionality and quality of software to ensure it actually works. This includes subsections like game testing, as testers can provide valuable feedback for any kind of software so long as they’re familiar with it.
While analytic reasoning is a broader component of this area, data science refers specifically to the ability to find, gather and use data from digital sources. As data accessibility improves and increases, there continues to be a strong need for individuals who can make sense of large amounts of data.
Practically any time that we’re sat in front of a screen that isn’t showing real humans and organisms in live action, we’re looking at computer graphics. These types of skills allow you to create the visual assets used in websites, marketing, animations and much more, and are a core component of the digital experience.
From internal memos to communicating with the press and media, the ability to manage communications so that they are professional, relevant and rich in information is essential. Those in corporate communication positions need to learn skills such as crisis communication, press release writing, forming public relations links and more.
Which Skills Will Help You Get Ahead in Your Career?
To many, it will be no surprise that the top technical skills are technology-heavy, as the market continues to shift in a more digital direction. Therefore, in order to keep up with the changing ways that companies work, employees may need to adopt more tech skills.
It’s also essential to keep in mind that this list doesn’t cover soft skills, which many employers consider more important than specific hard skills. But for now, if you’re looking for hard skills to help you upgrade and update your resume, the list above should help you get started .