The war for IT talents is getting fierce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (US) estimates that the shortage of software engineers in the US will exceed 1.2 million specialists by 2026. The other industries and domains need talents with digital skills as much as the IT industry.
Several factors influence the surge of IT jobs:
- Automation of routine working processes,
- Remote work,
- Adoption of state-of-the-art technologies for business intelligence, marketing automation, and so on.
In this post, we’ll analyze digital skills that’ll pave the way for future jobs in the next ten years. Let’s review each skill in detail.
1. Software development
In the 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, LinkedIn puts Full-Stack Engineers in fourth place among the fastest-growing jobs. Since 2015, amount of job roles in this category has grown by 33%.
Full-Stack Engineers cover various tasks: from front-end and back-end development to ensuring website responsiveness and database design. In the mid-2000s, demand for Full-Stack Engineers was declining due to a trend to separate front-end, back-end, UI/UX, and other stages of software development.
Since then, the IT industry came up with numerous ready-made tools and solutions that expanded the responsibilities of software developers and pushed the renaissance of full-stack development. Peter Yared, founder, and CTO at Sapho says:
“It became possible for many programmers to deliver a complete consumer or SaaS site, including a dynamic web client, server-side business logic, a scalable database, deployment, and operational support. This new breed of full-stack developer could run circles around teams of programmers attempting the same task.”
2. Data analytics
The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2022, 85% of companies will have implemented data analytics and Big Data technologies in their daily workflows. This tendency will inevitably influence demand for Data analysts. These specialists enable companies with actionable insights regarding marketing, customer management, improvement of business processes, and more. In a nutshell, Data analysts go through the “collect – study – interpret – apply” cycle working with the data.
Typical competencies of a Data analyst include:
- SQL to write database queries,
- Knowledge of at least one of the statistical programming languages: Python, R, MATLAB, or similar,
- Machine learning skills,
- Excellent mathematical and statistical skills to interpret the data and build calculation formulas.
3. Low-code development
At the beginning of 2021, Forrester predicted that this year would become the year of low-code development. In other words, businesses will focus on platforms and solutions that’ll allow them to rapidly deploy robust IT infrastructures without significant time and finance investments.
Some of the low-code platform examples include Salesforce (a CRM), Shopify (an e-commerce solution), Zoho Creator (a cross-platform application builder), and more. These platforms offer a simple, drag-and-drop-like interface and low entry barrier even for non-tech people.
Developers with expertise in low-code development are becoming more popular because they allow organizations to quickly test their business ideas, make pivots if necessary, and save time and costs at the same time.
As data breaches and security vulnerabilities surge, cybersecurity specialists are gaining demand among employers. Not surprisingly, the LinkedIn report we cited above indicates 30% annual growth among cybersecurity specialists.
In 2020, Burning Glass released a report that analyzed skill trends in the cybersecurity domain.
Among the fastest-growing cybersecurity skills, the Burning Glass firm analysts outline DevSecOps (+174% projected growth in the next five years), container security (+155%), microservices security (+113%), and application security code review (+43%).
The growth of these skills is associated with the fact that today companies are building their secure IT infrastructures from the ground up, engaging specialists with a narrow focus. Besides, cybersecurity skills become a must-have not only for IT professionals but for other domains, including law, healthcare, finance, and so on.
5. Machine learning
Machine learning (ML) is another skill that becomes widely adopted beyond the IT industry. For example, the pharmaceutical and chemical industries in Europe face an increasing demand for Machine Learning and Big Data engineers, data scientists, and automation engineers. Factors like the rise of telemedicine, tech-driven wellbeing, and tech-powered approach to disease diagnosis foster emerging jobs in this field.
However, the pharma and healthcare industries aren’t the only adopters of ML in their domains.
Today, the top three ML use cases include reducing company costs, generating customer insights, and improving customer experience. Who knows what the future holds for ML? There’s one thing we’re sure about: machine learning will stay with us for a while. Researchers claim that the projected growth of the machine learning market will have expanded at 48% (CAGR) by 2024.
6. Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) empowers multiple industries nowadays. If you ever communicated a chatbot to get customer support, used marketing insights software to derive insights on customer behavior or anything like that – you’ve been interacting with the AI to some extent.
In 2020, Udemy studied the courses and curriculums on their platform to learn more about future skills. The results showed that AI, data science, cloud development, and web development are the top tech skills. Besides, the shortage of talents in each area is significant. For example, 35% of surveyed companies indicate the lack of specialists in AI, data science, neural networks, etc.
With that in mind, 25% of surveyed business leaders plan to increase their share of AI adoption in the nearest future.
As you can see, the roundup of top digital skills of the future consists of:
- Software development
- Low-code development
- Data analytics
- Machine learning
- Artificial intelligence
However, there are some soft skills worth mentioning too. Even though they don’t directly relate to the digital domain, they’re one of the most thought-after skills among employees. For example, growth mindset, creativity, excellent communication skills, critical thinking, and leadership have stepped forward in the last two years. It happened primarily because of COVID-19 and the switch to a remote workstyle. Businesses are interested in the proactive and self-sufficient workforce that’ll lead people after them and take responsibility.
Now that you’re aware of the future digital skills, which ones have you already been developing at your organization? Share your thoughts with us!