An almost accepted narrative by the corporates around the world is that year 2020-21 will be known as the ‘Age of the Pandemic’. There’s virtually no business that remained untouched by its wrath, but there are shining examples of how organizations circumvented their way to service their customers as well.
Amidst all this chaos, it is important to know that with a change in geopolitical & business environment around the world, it became necessary for businesses to move their backend operations to a leaner agile set-up. The importance of business continuity forced the organizations to design a robust and flexible delivery system. The ‘work from home’ adaptation further mandated the need to re-invent processes throughout the floor, program, and business level SOPs.
As hiring new talent got incredibly difficult, the IT & ITES companies are now looking to either hire the best in the industry or up-skill their existing talent pool which can help them design a modern agile workplace that could be scaled for clients across geographies.
In a recently published Skillsoft Tech Signals article, it reported a 53% increase in the number of learning hours viz-a-viz last year. It also reported that of the top-20 courses, 50% were in Agile and DevOps. This, despite Indeed.com reporting a 36% dip in job postings by the IT companies for the year.
For North America in particular, the course hours grew by 77%, with software, infrastructure, data, security, cloud, and programming dominating the completions. It is quite encouraging for the industry.
The rise of self-controlled learning
One of the major challenges posed by work from home setup was that each employee had a different environment to cater to, and not all were equipped with perfect working conditions to suit the organization’s business continuity needs. In such an environment, and a need to upskill, employees largely invested in courses that were compatible with their needs viz-a-viz instruction medium, time, on-demand videos, e-books, meet-ups, one-on-one sessions, etc.
Interestingly, irrespective of the IT functions, the year saw employees opting for skills upgrade, to either become hireable or adapt to changing business needs of the current employer. In the sections below, we will discover the most sought-after technical skills and the top hiring trends for them.
The most sought-after skill set
This year showcased a rather holistic preference by the employees when it comes to seeking new skills to acquire as they were spread all across the IT domain. As a tech leader, one would want to know the skills needed in the market. For better understanding, let us segregate the skills based on broad IT functions, namely:
The requirement of a robust software infrastructure has been always there, however this year saw businesses looking for software which is more agile, can be automated and deployed on cloud.
It includes everything from process management, architecture, development platform, methods & models, tools to build, test, deploy, and maintain systems. Here agile methods are pivotal to successful development teams, whereas DevOps helps pass through organizational barriers.
The top-10in-demand software skills to acquire for 2021 are:
- Software Product/Project management
- Agile& Scrum
- DevOps fundamentals
- Design patterns
- .NET design/Components
- Product quality
Programming is essentially an amalgamation ofcommand over languages and frameworks to create durable code. Whereas new languages fulfil the unique requirements, the legacy languages like Python remainshighly sought after with new Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning(ML) capabilities.Python is leading the industry when it comes to Big Data & Analytics solutions.
People who were never exposed to codes are now learning new languages & acquiring new skills to complement the technology infrastructure which market is offering.
The top-6 suggested languages to learn are:
- Scripting/Markup (HTML, XML, RUBY, ETC.)
- Java Script
The top-10 in-demand programming skills to acquire in 2021 are:
- Front-end development
- Designing & using APIs
- Programming fundamentals
- Full-stack development
- Object oriented programming
- Mobile development
- Server-side programming
- Automated testing
- Program design
Data has democratized businesses today, and now even the small businesses can offer scalable, agile and robust software deployment for clients across the world. It all depends on the insights one can draw out of the data and use it accordingly to streamline a lot of business processes.
The top-10 data in-demand skills to acquire in 2021 are:
- Data wrangling with Python programming
- Database programming& admin
- Advanced Analytics techniques
- Machine/Deep learning
- Artificial intelligence
- Warehouse architectures
The businesses were already adopting cloud solutions to deploy their applications, and this pandemic has only triggered the belief for many businesses that cloud is a necessity and not merely an option now. The cloud-based industry is expected to grow by 30% in 2021 and it can only do better from here.
The global public cloud service revenue is forecasted to reach $308.5 billion in 2021 and $354.6 billion by 2022, which further stresses its importance.
The top-10 in-demand skills in cloud to acquire in 2021 are:
- Google cloud
- Cloud fundamentals
- Other cloud platforms
- Cloud infrastructure
- Compute resources
- Cloud migration
Organizations today are investing heavily to tighten security measures around zeta bytes of customer data at their disposal. The right to privacy, GDPR compliance, and protection of IPs are a few areas where organizations are working to strengthen their security around. With new technology adoptions like cloud and big data, organizations are working on designing sophisticated layers of security.
The top-10 in-demand skills in security to acquire in 2021 are:
- Information data systems
- Security fundamentals
- Phishing defensive strategies
- Cloud security
- Threat intelligence
- Information systems security
- Application security
- Infrastructure security
- Ethical hacking