Top IT Skills in Demand for 2021

After everything that went down in 2020, people across all fields are awaiting continued adjustments and accelerated digital transformation. Never have IT ever had such …


After everything that went down in 2020, people across all fields are awaiting continued adjustments and accelerated digital transformation. Never have IT ever had such a huge impact on work and entertaining lives all over the globe: IT keeps us connected to our collogues, family members, and so on. To keep up with such huge demand, IT employees must actively seek and update themselves with top IT skills in demand that are sought after by Tech corporate everywhere. For sure, these in-demand skills will keep you competitive and functioning well in your IT career, regardless of what the future holds.

Not only tech jobs, but this is a time when professionals of all fields need to level up their skill sets, by obtaining specific competencies so they won’t lose relevance in the field. Possessing the right skill set, from technical expertise, and soft skills to practical experience can easily impress and persuade your potential employers and negotiate for better pay. In fact, according to PayScale, having knowledge of high-demand technologies and key fundamentals can boost your expected compensation by 14% to 26%.

So, for those looking to advance their careers by acquiring new skills or certifications, below are 21 top IT skills in demand you may want to consider:

1. Remote Working Skills in General

top skills in demand is Remote working skills in general

In fact, remote working is not considered a skill, but a set of skills required so that employees can work effectively on a remote basis. These can be excellent communication skills to communicate thoroughly with your colleagues from far away, or the ability to self-motivate yourself when there is no colleagues around to do that for you. The trend for remote working is predictable, even before COVID because of the rising of technology everywhere, with sites to connect freelancers with their desired remote jobs, such as Upwork, Fiverr, and so on. COVID-19 only catapult this movement in the working world. That means remote working is not a fad, not a trend that can be replaced quickly and easily. For sure, we can expect to see even more remote job vacancies.

Looking to upgrade your career path? See CMC Global Job Vacancies and apply today

2. Project Management 

According to the Project Management Institute report, the demand for project managers is so high that the PMI® expects 22 million new project management job openings through 2027.

For sure, project management is an incredibly rewarding role to take on so, the skills it requires are typically specific. One of the key skills is leading and managing teams but at the same time, staying focused on achieving the objectives set. That skill needs a true managing mindset and enough working experience to organize the team, checklist, and work effectively.

As of 2021, the average salary for an IT project manager is $55,000 globally. 

3. Machine Learning Skills

Machine Learning Skills in demand for 2021

In 2021, organizations are showing massive interest in applying machine learning in their products, which would in turn bring plenty of opportunities for machine learning enthusiasts. So, what are the skills for machine learning?

If you ask machine learning engineers “What do you do daily, as a machine learning engineer?”, chances are high that you will receive different versions of answers from one professional to another. Why, because there is a host of it, and IT pros can start with software engineering, system design, computer science fundamentals, and programming. These competencies help IT pros find patterns in data.

4. Artificial Intelligence Skills

AI has been around for a couple of years and it’s a skill that can be future-proofed, meaning that it is unlikely it will become outdated as some other skills in the future. Being one of the Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021, artificial intelligence (AI) requires knowledge of programming languages and data engineering. Additionally, learning about natural language processing (NLP), a branch of AI, will also be helpful to IT pros who want to add weight to their resume.

Artificial Intelligence is in demand due to a shortage of skilled professionals in the IT field. And when there are not enough skilled professionals, the demand for them will be so high that the pay packet is usually very good. So if you’re looking to enter a complex field that has an abundance of opportunities, give AI a go.

5. Cloud Computing Skills

Today, cloud computing skills, such as configuration, deployment, security for cloud services, management and troubleshooting is essential to IT talents.

Even though Cloud computing has been all the rage on Tech sites and daily news, believe it or not, this kind of technology is still fairly new. Thus, the demand for professionals skilled in cloud computing has been set to rise recently. Cloud engineer vacancies have seen considerable growth of over 100% from 2016-2019 on Technojobs.

6. Data Science Skills

It’s 2021, data is more powerful than ever – everyone craves for data, but not everyone can draw valuable insights from it. Because of technological developments in data collection, companies all around the world are rushing to collect as much data as possible. However, if they want to truly make sense of it in order to make the right business decisions, a Data sciences specialist needs to come to play. They are the ones to interpret raw data and transform it into usable feedback that enables them to create better products and services. The ability to work with a variety of programming languages (SAS, R, and Python, so on) can help IT talents do this.

A Future of Jobs report has listed Data Scientists as the most in-demand role by 2029.

7. Programming Language Skills

Of course, if you want to excel in any IT-related job, understanding programming languages, such as Java, Javascript, C++, and Python is a big MUST IT skill in demand. Every IT talents need to sharpen these skills of theirs to acquire the top it skills in demand for 2021. 

8. Cybersecurity Skills

Cybersecurity Skills is in top demand

Alongside the remote working trend, the pandemic has made companies more vulnerable than ever to cybercrime. Especially for those dealing with customer data, this is a matter of life and death.

Without any professionals who are able to provide the security that organizations needed, the risk of losing millions is real. Businesses must ensure that they have set strong cybersecurity measures, and IT Talents all over the globe can only adjust to this new situation by arming themselves with cybersecurity skills, like risk identification and management so that they can keep organizations’ sensitive data safe.

According to many surveys, cybersecurity jobs are among the most wanted job title in big corporations in the UK by 2021, with over 3.5 million unfilled slots. So if are looking to take on a tech role, then Cybersecurity could be for you.

9. DevOps

DevOps enables business to deliver products and services in a more targeted and efficient way, which make them more desirable than ever despite all the chaos of the pandemic. However, DevOps is a constantly evolving and changing field – that means if you don’t make yourself competitive, there’s hardly a chance for you in the jobs market even.

To increase your chances of employment, DevOps professionals can arm themselves with knowledge of current engineering trends.

10. Big Data Skills

Among the top IT skills in demand in 2021, Big data value because it enables companies to analyze huge amounts of data and make better business decisions. The IT skills that are related to big data are data handling, a problem-solving mindset, and the capability to understand programming languages. By pursuing these competencies, IT talents are on the right path to leveling up their career.

11. Automation Skills

Along with Big Data and AI, Automation, or RPA is among the top it skills in demand for its efficiency enhancement, which is exactly what many companies need in the context of an unprecedented global health crisis.

For those seeking chances in the automation field, you will need a diverse set of technical skills to qualify for hot jobs with decent pay such as RPA developer, RPA solutions architect, RPA analyst, or RPA solutions champion. The most sought-after automation-related skills include virtualization skills, cybersecurity skills, and troubleshooting skills.

In addition to knowledge of business processes, process mapping, and communication skills, RPA developers are expected to understand the Microsoft .NET Framework, and languages such as Visual Basic .NET, SQL, CSS, HTML, Python, and JavaScript.

12. Autonomous Driving

According to a report published by Allied Market Research, the Global Autonomous Vehicle market is expected to reach $556.67 Billion by 2026, creating 100,000 jobs for engineers. What is more, the average salary for self-driving engineers is now $238,018 a year, while the top 25th percentile makes over $350,000. This situation secured a place for this job among the highest paying IT skills.

Hot, top in demand Autonomous Driving Skills

So, in order to get your dream job, what should you know? In addition to being able to code in Python, C++, and C, you’ll need a thorough understanding of AI/ML, algorithms and distributed systems, and computing skills that align with specific specialties.

13. Structured Query Language (SQL) Skills

SQL is the standard programming language for relational databases, so it is of great importance that IT talents have the right know-how to structure and manage these databases. Those wanting to move into a database administrator role, they should make it their mission to learn SQL inside and out.

Having knowledge of high-demand technologies and key fundamentals can boost your expected compensation by 14% to 26%.

14. Data Analytics Skills

Any organization will need someone with decent data analytics skills so that they can examine raw data and reach conclusions that enable companies to get better business results. As a top IT skill in demand for this POST-COVID era, it is vital that tech specialists learn the art of data analytics.

So, what to do to have the right skills required? You need to assist yourself with machine learning skills, SQL skills, and language programming skills will strengthen your data analytics skill set.

15. Linux Skills

Any organization will need someone to operate Linux smoothly. Basic maintenance, installing and configuring workstations, networking, and understanding the Linux command line skills tech workers should start mastering now.

16. Mobile Application Skills

 Mobile Application Skills

Today, about 77% of its population are smartphone owners so it’s understandable for organizations all over the world to turn to mobile app solutions to reach and serve their customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

So, what to know? These are a few to be considered: understanding application programming interface (API) development platforms and cross-platform app development frameworks, the ability to develop mobile applications, and creating the solutions they need during this tumultuous time. 

17. Software Development Skills

Every day, millions of new software is developed rapidly to meet the changing needs of companies and their customers. So, it is not enough for IT employees to have average software development skills, like software testing and debugging capabilities. According to a research, 75% of developers learn a new technology every year, meaning they are always developing their skills and growing their knowledge. Learning makes them more adaptive to changes and keeps them in the games, thus ensuring job security, especially in this time of uncertain environment.

So, what skills do they need to have? They must arm themselves with other skills in this family too, including programming language skills, user experience (UX), and DevOps skills, as well as the ability to design secure databases. If you are looking to get into software development then the most in-demand programming languages to learn are SQL and Java.

The top five in-demand coding languages are Go, Scala, Ruby, TypeScript, and Kotlin. Python, C, C++, Java, and JavaScript continue to be highly sought-after skills. Clients are also requesting experience with practices such as DevOps and continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) Isaacson added.

18. UX Design Skills

Proper UX design can help increase productivity, decrease support costs, and boost customer retention and acquisition. Each of these benefits is attractive to organizations striving to create a healthier bottom line. IT pros should seek UX design skills, such as knowledge of researching target markets, visual design skills and coding, and project management skills to establish themselves as experts in the tech industry. 

19. Business Analysis Skills

Business analysis is one of the most important IT skills in demand this year. There are many skills related to business analysis, including interpersonal and consultative skills, stakeholder analysis skills, and organizational and problem-solving skills. More than anything, tech professionals need a solid foundation in IT to operate in a business analysis capacity.

20. Business Intelligence (BI) Analysis

BI Analysts are an integral part of companies looking to stay on top of competitors and be continuously developing and growing. They provide direction and focus by analyzing data. A BI analyst will need to have skills such as Data Analysis, problem-solving, and communication

21. Virtual Reality Skills

According to Deloitte, virtual reality (VR) is set to grow in 2021. We predict that…VR…will grow by 100% in 2021 over 2019 levels as reported by Hypergrid Business. Examples of virtual reality skills IT pros should pursue include software engineering skills and knowledge of 3D tools and sound design.

This again is a new area in tech that will likely explode in the upcoming years, as can already be seen by VT tech/hardware having record sales in 2020 according to Circuity Stream. AR/VR is already adopted in a number of industries such as entertainment (video games), advertising as well as education and health.

22. Soft Skills

In addition to technical skills, IT pros should bring a variety of soft skills to the table this year. Adaptability, empathy, teamwork, communication, and active listening are just as important to employers as tech skills are. With that in mind, building and strengthening soft skills should be a top priority for IT specialists.

By building as many of these skills as possible, IT pros can add maximum value to any project they contribute to. And an added bonus of upskilling is the potential to earn a higher salary. Thankfully, gaining the IT skills in demand for this year’s job market is a simpler task than you might think.