While the global disruption has led to devastating consequences for many industries, it has had its silver lining for the tech job market. As businesses reorient their strategies and reinvent their technology stacks, tech skill demand factors are undergoing massive changes. Availability of the right technology skill sets are going to be instrumental for enterprises in the post-COVID era as they accelerate digital roadmaps and stay agile.
50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, as adoption of technology increases, according the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report. The report highlights the “double-disruption” of the economic impacts caused by the pandemic and increasing automation as they two key drivers of this trend. Quite clearly, it’s inevitable for professionals to upgrade themselves to not just stay relevant but to thrive in the new world order.
As a global hub of talent for emerging technologies, India offers unending possibilities for technology professionals. Here are top 5 technology skills that will dominate in 2021 and beyond.
Top IT skills in-demand for 2021
Here is the list of most in-demand skills for the future:
1. Cloud computing
Cloud computing has witnessed unprecedented growth in the last one year. Global cloud spending is predicted to grow 7 times faster than the overall IT spend in the next few years, making it one of the most in-demand skills for 2021. Cloud is instrumental for enterprises in achieving their digital aspirations, building resilience, agility and flexibility as they reinvent business models and move away from traditional monolithic infrastructures. There are several certifications on the leading cloud platforms– AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, spread across different levels. From Cloud security to cloud migration/deployment to programming/database skills, there are a host of new programs that professionals can sign up for, to upskill themselves and open doors to new career paths. The future demand for cloud computing professionals will be driven by both IT companies (including the BigTech firms) and non-IT companies
2. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
AI and ML, which ironically were once called ‘job killers’, will account for massive job opportunities in 2021 and coming years. Digital-first organizations will invest in areas such as AI and ML to embrace automation and for real-time data interpretation to derive new trends. AI and ML jobs have already witnessed a massive 75% growth in the last four years according to reports. Even when industries went on a hiring freeze post March 2020, these skills were still in demand with jobs in AI and ML witnessing a steady growth. Within this domain, sub-domains like augmented AI, NLP, robotics etc will remain some of the sought-after skills in 2021. Sectors like healthcare, ecommerce, technology sector, BFSI will be big hirers of AI and ML in 2021.
Cybersecurity professionals have always been in high demand and they will continue to be so in 2021. With the shift to work from home and adoption of digital technologies, cyber incidents have gone up drastically in the last few months. There has been a steady rise in Covid-19 related phishing and ransomware attacks according to reports. Remote working/learning models have introduced new risks. Organizations across sectors have realized the importance of real-time detection and response along with proactive prevention. Adding to the problem is a significant talent crunch that exists in the field (3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally by 2021). Quite clearly, great opportunities are awaiting cyber security professionals with the rights skills. Along with cloud security, some areas that will shine in 2021 include application development security, risk management, threat intelligence among other things.
4. Data science
Data science is another no-brainer in this list. Across industries—be it healthcare, software, ecommerce, BFSI—the demand for data scientists will continue to go up in 2021. It is also one of the best paid jobs globally and in India. In the new normal, as organizations become more data-driven to analyse new customer behaviour, open up new revenue streams and much more, data scientists will be high on demand. An industry report from Analytics Insights predicts that there will be more than 3 million new job openings in data science, worldwide, by 2021.
5. Internet of Things
The future is clearly going to be a connected world and thanks to IoT, we have been pacing towards this goal much faster than we anticipated. Smart offices, use of location data, the need to monitor behaviors to ensure safety guidelines compliance etc will drive the IoT market up in the coming days. Automotive companies, big tech companies and consumer brands will continue to look for talent in IoT space as they embark on innovative projects and roll out new products. The rise of edge computing and need for low-latency computing will add further impetus to this sector.