The demand for various roles with tech talent is rising, and that means there’s going to be a larger pool of job candidates in 2021 than ever before. That also means you’ll have more competition when looking for the top jobs in tech.
One way to make yourself more attractive as a candidate is by learning new skills that will set you apart from other applicants and position you as an expert among your peers.
What technology skills will be in the most demand for 2021?
To figure that out, we looked at which jobs are growing the fastest, and then analyzed how much time people spend on those technologies today.
While some of these skills may already be on your radar as a tech pro, you’ll likely want to expand your knowledge beyond what you’re currently doing or learning now. And if you don’t have any experience with certain tech skills now, this can help provide direction when looking for ways to develop them.
Skills like cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) continue to grow faster than more traditional technologies over the next few years, so they’re worth being aware of. But some emerging areas might not be on your radar, like augmented reality (AR) and machine learning.
Other skills are going to be in demand for more basic reasons. For example, coding is always going to be a highly desired skill set because it’s such an essential part of so many companies’ tech operations. But what about people who don’t want to become developers? What other opportunities should they consider?
So we looked at the total number of hours spent today across professional social networks so as to get a better picture of how broadly each technology is being used in the market today. This gave us a more complete picture than simply looking at which jobs were growing the fastest: We wanted to know which skills were also being used across a variety of companies.
What does this mean for you?
So, what can we learn from this? Here’s what’s in store for the most demanded tech skills over the next few years:
1. Cloud computing will continue to grow as businesses look for ways to become more agile and efficient while reducing costs. Data storage is becoming cheaper, and that means it makes sense for apps to run on remote servers rather than local ones, allowing them to scale up or down based on user demand. In 2021, the number of hours people spend working with cloud technologies will be greater than ever before. If you’re looking at ways to improve your technical knowledge beyond what you’re doing now, consider picking up the fundamentals of cloud technologies.
2. Artificial intelligence (AI) will also grow, with an estimated 12 percent increase in usage hours among tech professionals by 2021. AI is taking hold in a wide range of industries, and a lot of people are clamoring to get more familiar with it. Machine learning, neural networks, and deep learning are all parts of AI that can be leveraged to scale up operations quickly while reducing costs for companies. Being able to understand how AI works—as well as some of its limitations—will guarantee to give you a leg-up on your competition.
3. Augmented reality is going to become increasingly important over the next few years. It’s already being used in enterprise settings for training purposes, but it’s also going to have a bigger role in the consumer world as virtual reality grows more popular. Because most augmented reality is based on mobile technology, it’s easy to see how these two trends will overlap and complement each other along with various applications for gaming, messaging, shopping, and beyond.
It was predicted by 2021, augmented reality (AR) will become ubiquitous across industries, and its growth will continue to explode year by year through 2028. In fact, IDC predicts that spending on AR devices and software will account for $81 billion annually by 2022—and that’s just for AR-based hardware alone! As with VR, it might be a few years before AR really takes off among businesses because it’s still relatively new to consumers, but eventually, these two tech trends will blend together into a new industry standard with far-reaching effects on how people perceive technology around them.
4. Machine learning (ML) usage hours are steadily rising to help businesses find patterns in data. ML looks at large volumes of data to make predictions about future outcomes—and that helps enterprises gain deeper insights into what their customers want while providing their employees better ways of doing their jobs. Companies are beginning to adopt machine learning technologies like IBM’s Watson Analytics, which has advanced natural language query capabilities, so you can interact with data in your preferred language rather than having to learn a new programming language.
5. Virtual reality (VR) is already being used for design, gaming, and training purposes, but its usage hours are not yet at the point of exploding demand. One of the barriers to VR’s growth is getting people to try out these new headsets and decide whether they like them or not. As creators make better content for VR devices that consumers can access through their existing phones, we’re likely going to see increased demand—though it will take time for VR-based platforms like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Microsoft HoloLens to go mainstream in businesses.
6. Data science technologies are being adopted by more organizations each year as businesses look to get maximum value from large amounts of data. This includes the R programming language, SAS, and Python. Data science is already being used in a variety of industries to identify patterns in large volumes of data for better decision-making. If you want to learn more about it, check out these free online data science courses for a start.
7. Business intelligence (BI) technologies are widely used by companies that have their toes dipped into the world of big data. BI combines statistics and business processes to give businesses better insights into customer trends on an enterprise-level so they can increase revenue generation while reducing costs. People who understand how BI works will be valuable assets to any tech organization looking into big data analytics—and many others as well!
8. As coding becomes a thing of the past, IT professionals will need to look at new programming languages in order to keep up with rapidly emerging technologies. The most popular tech jobs in years ahead will be for Java programmers and Python developers—the two most commonly used programming languages among enterprise software engineers. Learning Java is considered a plus for those who want to get into data science because it’s been used by so many organizations to build business intelligence applications. Leading companies like Platri IT also offers an outsourcing channel for companies or individual who doesn’t have the means to do it themselves.
9. As computing power continues to advance, more companies are adopting high-performance computing (HPC) platforms such as NVIDIA DGX-1 systems or cloud services from Amazon Web Services (AWS). HPC hardware has typically been confined mainly to large research labs that can afford them, but as prices drop and render farms become more affordable, we could see HPC systems in a variety of commercial settings as soon as the next few years.
10. The Internet Things (IoT) revolution is in full swing with billions of devices now connected to networks. Usage will continue to rise in areas like smart homes and connected cars, but IoT’s potential also lies in connecting industrial machines and equipment. This could help prevent mistakes, increase operational efficiency, or even save lives if applied correctly—but it’s still a massive undertaking that many companies are trying to figure out how to do.
11. Machine learning (ML) technologies will take over routine tasks in virtually every industry, touching everything from medical practices to manufacturing plants. A report by Information Management cites the retail and manufacturing industries as two sectors where ML technology can be put into practical use within the next few years. As far as programming languages go, Python Java, and rare among the most popular for creating ML algorithms.
12. Blockchain technology will be the next big thing to hit major industries. The blockchain is a distributed database that records transactions across multiple computers simultaneously—and it can be used for everything from medical records to financial trading markets. While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have gotten most of the recent press, the real value of blockchain technology lies in its potential to change how businesses are run.
13. With more companies turning to DevOps methodologies, web developers need to get acquainted with cloud computing technologies like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. Both services offer virtual servers for hosting websites or applications, along with databases such as MySQL and other tools needed for managing them from a centralized platform. These are part of the most commonly used cloud computing platforms in business today, and they’re only getting more popular relative to other types.
In today’s technologically advanced world, it is necessary to have top technical skills in order to make a place for yourself. The tech industry can be hard-hitting and competitive at times and it’s not enough to be talented. These skills are needed to prevail over what comes in the future to secure one’s own.
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