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Anticipating 2021’s Most In-Demand Tech Skills for Your IT Career

by Javier Ceide

June 23, 2020


in-demand tech skills

The technology industry remains one of the hottest fields in America. While COVID-19 had many implications for job seekers across the world, pausing operations for some companies and changing employment markets everywhere, IT skills are always in demand. In fact, as the overall U.S. unemployment rate skyrocketed between January and April of 2020, the IT unemployment rate actually moved even lower. Despite this widespread demand, certain technology skill sets are hotter than others. As businesses move past the coronavirus and set their eyes on 2021, they’ll be especially keen on hiring in the following areas.


Healthcare IT

In the first half of 2020, the whole world was forced to focus on health. Technology and healthcare have always gone together hand-in-hand, and now they must be aligned more strategically than ever before. The demand for professionals who can engineer, implement, and maintain key technologies in a hospital, clinic, or other healthcare setting is strong. Some initiatives may only require other skills on this list (data, cloud, app development, etc.) while others require specialized knowledge in areas such as patient portals, HIPAA compliant solutions, or technologies like Allscripts.



Speeding up processes and development cycles while maintaining accuracy is a business goal that DevOps promises to achieve. Agile mentalities that blur the lines between software development and operations are key to increasing efficiency, but doing so while maintaining security is an even more coveted skill set. When 57% of operations teams don’t follow security best practices, it’s clear that professionals versed in DevOps combined with cybersecurity knowledge are the true cream of the crop and highly sought after.



Even if no information is actually compromised, a single security breach can be enough to destroy trust in any company. Nearly every organization relies on technology to some extent, and that means nearly every organization’s information is vulnerable. While cybersecurity best practices should be in place within every IT role, cybersecurity at large continues to be one of the most in-demand IT skill sets. There’s a reason successful ransomware attacks to city infrastructure, medical facilities, and even political parties are so common, and it comes down to a lack of cybersecurity talent.


Big Data

Organizations process a vast amount of information every single day. Many are beginning to understand the deep insights and business improvements that data can unlock when it is harnessed and analyzed appropriately. The game-changing potential of data is why demand for Data Analysts, Data Architects, Database Administrators, Business Analysts, Chief Data Officers, and similar roles continues to rise sharply. The number of Data Scientist openings alone increases by 45% every year.


AI, Automation, and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence and automation have already revolutionized entire industries, with machine learning set to keep the momentum going. While robots in manufacturing and self-driving cars take the headlines, advancements in AI and automation are transforming a number of positions in tech. Consider that in a recent three-year period the number of job postings containing “AI” or “machine learning” increased by 100% while searches for those terms on Indeed increased by 182%. These are hot areas, and developing even a little knowledge in them can make you more valuable in your current IT role.


IoT and Cloud

These days nearly everything is connected to the internet, whether it’s a household device like a smart light bulb, TV, and thermostat or machinery in manufacturing, industrial, medical, office, and farm settings. IoT technology and the cloud often work hand-in-hand to provide functionality that was impossible just a few years ago. This synergy is why the IoT market is valued at over $20 billion and growing at a rate of 25% per year. Further, California became the first state to enact an IoT cybersecurity law, placing formal regulations on the technology and underscoring how much need companies will continue to have for IoT and cloud talent.


App and Mobile Development

There are so many cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices in use today that 73% of internet use takes place on them rather than on traditional computers. Whether it’s a smart watch, fitness device, or iPhone, consumers are spending over five hours per day on mobile devices. For these reasons, App Developers and Programmers who can keep mobile applications and software operating smoothly and evolving with consumer interest will continue to be in high demand into 2021 and beyond. With an increasing focus on mobile advertising and mobile-optimized websites, mobile development is a secure and attractive niche for any tech pro.


Soft Skills

With over half of business leaders determining that soft skills are more important than hard skills, it’s clear employers look to hire well-rounded IT professionals. Owning your technical expertise is important, but consider the soft skills that can provide a boost to your career. Are you able to translate tech processes into layman’s terms for other departments? Do you have the presentation skills required to speak to executives about a certain IT initiative? Are you a team player who can pick up projects, complete your part, and pass them off to a coworker seamlessly? Focusing on these areas can make you one of next year’s most in-demand tech professionals.


Anticipating 2021’s Most In-Demand Tech Skills for Your IT Career

For those IT professionals who wish to push their career forward, it’s not enough to simply be a part of a thriving industry. Continuously pursuing new skill sets that can expand your knowledge and capabilities in the field is the way to set yourself apart from other tech professionals and receive the most attractive offers. Dive into the most in-demand tech skills, and by this time next year you could be in your dream position with bigger responsibilities (and yes, bigger paychecks).


Ready to go further in your IT career? Reach out to IntellaPro and get connected to your next great tech role.



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