The world of work has undoubtedly changed over the last couple of years. The “new era” the pandemic created has pushed many companies across the globe to accelerate their pace of digital transformation and automation. This fact, among other things, has led to a distinct shift in the most in-demand tech skills for the years to come.
Forward-thinking employers now seek individuals with advanced technical skills, as much as soft skills, to drive their businesses into the next level of digital, make intelligent decisions and fuel growth. According to LinkedIn, nearly 150 million new tech jobs will be created by 2025.
As the pace of technology adoption is expected to remain unabated and may accelerate in some areas, as stated in the Future of Jobs Report 2020, the adoption of cloud computing, big data and e-commerce will remain high priorities for business leaders. There has also been a significant rise in interest for encryption, non-humanoid robots and artificial intelligence. Additionally, critical thinking and analysis, complex problem-solving and self-management skills (such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility) are among the top skills that global employers will prioritize as important in the run to adapt to the rapid transformation of tomorrow.
Templeton’s tech recruitment specialists have 25 years’ experience matching niche skilled candidates to IT and leadership roles – our experienced consultants reveal the top tech and soft skills that will be in high demand in the job market for the years to come.
Upskilling and Reskilling for the Digital World
The last couple of years made everyone realize that a sweeping change has taken place and that things will never be the same again. Along with the pandemic, new technological challenges arose. For businesses, this revealed an essential need to move faster into the digital transformation process, while, for tech professionals, a necessity to keep learning, relearning or even unlearning obsolete, forgotten technologies.
- A recent Gartner survey reveals that 33% of job skills that were required for an average job in 2017 were not needed in 2021.
- According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, 50% of all employees will need to reskill and/or upskill by 2025 as the adoption of technology increases.
- 80% of employees say upskilling/reskilling has improved their confidence.
Emerging technologies are transforming the labour market, pushing the workforce to acquire the latest in-demand skills to adapt to future roles and responsibilities. At the same time, businesses are realizing the importance of digital transformation and require specific skillsets from their employees to stay ahead in the game. Now the challenge faced is skill gaps, which can be overcome by digital upskilling and reskilling.
What is Upskilling?
Adaptability is key to maintaining and gaining a competitive advantage in the job market. Upskilling is the act to adapt by improving your current skills and expanding your abilities. This can better position you, as an employee, to take over new responsibilities in your role, as the digital transformation of your workplace progresses. In other words, upskilling means making yourself capable of adapting to a technology-driven world so that you can avoid having skill gaps that could make you redundant.
What is Reskilling?
Reskilling is all about acquiring completely new technical knowledge, as well as a fresh set of skills that will help you deal with the continuous change brought on by digital transformation, such as adaptability and collaboration. It mainly involves learning pristine skills to be able to do a different job or switch to new roles in your current workplace by keeping your skillset current and up to speed.
McKinsey's 2019 study found that 87% of executives and managers already have skill gaps within their organization or expect these gaps to develop within the next five years. Bridging those skill gaps is a complex global problem that requires all stakeholders to work together in reskilling and upskilling – employers need to provide the money and the resources that would enable those processes, while employees need to put in the time and effort.
Ready to go digital? Discover the Most Important Skills Needed for Digital Transformation.
10 Most In-demand Skills Needed in Tech for 2022
With more and more people working remotely, a lot of top tech and IT skills as well as much-needed soft skills are in high demand in the job market. Here's a list of 10 skills that are valuable in many different technology-based positions:
Cybersecurity jumps to the top of the list as the digital world remains a playground for cyber criminals who are constantly developing new and more creative tactics to obtain sensitive data. It’s a fact that during the COVID-19 pandemic, where more and more devices were connected to the internet for remote work, the rate of cybercrime increased by 600%. As the volume and the frequency of cyber security breaches grow, so does the need for professionals with slick IT skills to protect companies from hacking, phishing and viruses.
At the same time, the global shortage of cyber security professionals has created an in-demand market for professionals to challenge and build career-advancing skill sets in this area. 3.12 million professionals are needed to fill the cybersecurity skills gap worldwide, according to the (ISC) ² 2020 report. All the above make it quite obvious that if you build career-advancing skills in cybersecurity it can benefit your career and pay packet. Below are the most important cybersecurity skills you need to excel in 2022:
- Risk assessment
- Penetration testing
- Cloud security
- Blockchain security
- Digital forensics
Cloud Computing is a $214B industry that enables companies to scale infrastructure and software at an unprecedented rate. Although cloud computing is still fairly new, its presence has become integral to every organization and businesses are moving fast towards cloud solutions for its many benefits, such as security and cost-effectiveness. Nowadays, increasingly more companies are switching from the classical server infrastructure to cloud solutions, while others are building their products and services directly in the cloud.
With this robust and rapid growth, there’s no surprise to anyone that the kind of expertise needed to create and engineer cloud platforms and solutions is now the most hireable skill on the market, while the demand for professionals skilled in cloud computing is set to rise even more the following years. There are plenty of good reasons to digitally upskill your career in the emerging field of cloud computing. Below are some of the future most in-demand skills in this sector:
- Structuring and UI designing
- Cloud infrastructure maintenance
- Web Services & APIs
- IT & Data Security
- Data Migration
According to recent research, amongst the soft skills employees are most deficient in, communication/collaboration (57%) takes first place, followed by leadership (54%) and proactive thinking (50%). That’s an interesting fact, but what’s more interesting is that most people believe communication skills are not important in the field of tech.
The truth is that communication skills are essential for anyone in IT, as information technology professionals are often required to work across many teams and groups and explain technology applications to other professionals almost daily. Additionally, they often have to provide tech solutions for people who aren’t as savvy, demonstrate leadership at all levels of projects and present ideas and reports to large groups of people. Finally, part of an IT professional’s job is to build teams and foster collaboration among their peers. Communication skills deemed important for information technology jobs include:
- Team building & teamwork
- Written & oral communication
- Active listening
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is taking over the technological world in every aspect, transforming the landscape of work. While it is essentially the ability for computers or machines to mimic human intelligence, it is most likely that AI will be creating ever more job opportunities in the future, rather than taking them away from humans.
According to LinkedIn, AI specialists earned their place in the 2021’s list of 15 jobs on the rise, as more and more employers and institutions are making efforts to upskill in this exciting new technology. So, this is the perfect timing for aspiring AI professionals to digitally upskill in:
- Programming (Python, R, Java)
- Linear algebra & statistics
- Signal processing techniques
- Neural network architectures
- Software design
The rise of the new decade brought blockchain skills to the forefront. Originally devised for the digital currency Bitcoin, blockchain is rapidly evolving, as the tech community is now finding other potential uses for this technology, such as peer-to-peer payments, crowdfunding, file storage, identity management, digital voting, etc.
According to the World Economic Forum, 10% of the world's wealth will be stored on blockchain by 2027, so it’s safe to suppose that skills related to blockchain and cryptocurrency will be in high demand in the future, providing several job opportunities within many different industries. Some of the skills you need to upskill into a blockchain developer include:
- Computer networking
- Cryptography computing
- Database design
- Programming (Java, C++, Python)
Time & Project Management
Being able to effectively coordinate resources, people and budgets are some of the best technical skills for IT professionals, who face plenty of challenges in the chase to complete their projects on time and within budget. Although projects can often take longer than anticipated, IT and tech professionals should be able to assess accurately how long they should take, stick to those timelines and help the team also manage their workload.
Project management skills are greatly useful in careers as a consultant, software developer, computer engineer and information technologist, as they are essential for:
- Digital communications
- Managing teams
- Reviewing processes
- Meeting deadlines
Although UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) are two terms that are often used interchangeably, they actually mean very different things. UI specialists design interfaces for websites and apps to be visually appealing, flow well and be easy for users to navigate, while UX specialists do a lot of research and testing to consider every element of how the user will interact with the company and website. Both roles work closely together to create a functional and appealing experience for users or target customers.
Because almost every type of business needs an online presence with an interactive and visually appealing website, UI and UX design has managed to make it to LinkedIn’s list with the top 5 in-demand hard skills. Some of the skills UX/UI designers will need to upgrade for the future include:
- User research & persona development
- User testing
- Wireframing & prototyping
- Information architecture
- Visual design
Data Science & Analytics
Globally, 163 zettabytes of data will be created and replicated by 2025, ten times as much as in 2016, according to IDC. So it makes no surprise that data science and data analytics remain the most in-demand tech skills within industries such as banking, manufacturing, professional services and the federal government, which invest most heavily in Big Data.
Data analytics involves the process of storing, managing and using data to gain valuable information and insights, while data science is multi-faceted, combining two or more academic disciplines, such as math, statistics, visualization, advanced computing, domain expertise, scientific method and data engineering. Here are some essential skills for long-term success in the field of Big Data:
- Statistical analysis and computing
- Machine Learning
- Deep Learning
- Data Visualization
Almost every digital worker would agree that flexibility is the key to their productivity. Flexibility, though, is also an important skill you need to acquire to remain versatile, resilient and responsive to all new technological advances that are constantly reshaping the world.
Additionally, IT professionals often also face setbacks or unexpected changes in their everyday workload, ranging from a technical problem with their project to a last-minute issue with a vendor. So, every tech pro needs to be flexible, accept changes and immediately come up with creative solutions. Flexibility requires many different traits to succeed, some of the most important being:
- Quick Thinking
Machine learning is one of the most innovative and exciting fields moving into the future, making it one of the best skills to learn in 2022. A staggering 97% of mobile users now are using AI-powered voice assistants. From Siri and Alexa to chatbots and self-driving cars, there are many ways to apply these upcoming technologies.
As machine learning technical skills can be applied to every industry, including healthcare, education, finance, etc., the career possibilities are endless for those who will manage to acquire the right machine learning and deep learning skills will be well-positioned to excel in the coming years. Here are some relevant machine learning skills that will ensure your future role in the market:
- Applied Mathematics
- Machine Learning Algorithms
- Data Modelling and Evaluation
- Neural Networks
- Natural Language Processing
Bonus: Programming Languages
Mostly used for:
- Web & Game development
- Mobile app development
- Building web servers
HTML & CSS
HyperText Markup Language, also known as HTML, is one of the easiest entry points into the world of programming. HTML is responsible for describing how information appears on a website and is used to describe web pages with ordinary text. Sections, headings, links and paragraphs are all part of the HTML domain.
CSS, or cascading style sheets, is used in conjunction with HTML to determine the appearance of a webpage. While HTML converts text into chunks, CSS determines the size, colour, and position of all elements on the page. CSS is approachable enough for beginners, allowing them to dip their toes in the metaphorical pool of coding.
Mostly used for:
- Web documents
- Website development
- Website maintenance & design
SQL, or structured query language, is a programming language used for interacting with databases. SQL is designed to store, retrieve, manage, and manipulate data within a database management system. SQL is highly functional, but it tends to work best with small databases, and managing large ones isn't always easy.
Mostly used for:
- Database management
- Database communication
- Data collection & analysis
When it comes to creating programs, Python enables developers to use a variety of programming styles. As one of the most straightforward languages to learn, Python is ideal for beginners and experienced coders alike. Moreover, YouTube, Google Search and iRobot machines were developed with Python, making Python one of the most marketable and in-demand programming languages of 2022.
Mostly used for:
- Website & software development
- Task automation
- Data analysis & visualization
Object-oriented and general-purpose, Java is a programming language that allows users to create objects that incorporate functions and data, which can then be used as a structure for programs and applications. Java is relatively easy to learn and use, boasts incredible security and can handle massive amounts of data. The versatility of the language, however, is what learners find most appealing, as it can effectively run on any operating system.
Mostly used for:
- Processing big data
- Cloud-based applications
- App development
Land Your Next Dream Job with Templeton
If you are looking for a rewarding and successful career in the technology industry, gaining some of the most in-demand skills for 2022 and beyond is a good place to begin.
Templeton & Partners have 25 years’ experience providing contract and permanent tech jobs in 40 countries across the world. Get in touch with us today and land your next dream job in Tech and IT.
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