The 10 most in-demand tech skills for the 2020s

it jobs

According to Tech Nation’s 2017 industry survey, job creation in the UK’s technology sector is increasing at twice the rate of the wider economy. But which information technology roles are experiencing the most significant growth? In this article, find out what the five most in-demand roles have to offer you - whether you’re a tech-head with a flair for UX design or looking to make your move into IT management.

The tech industry is growing exponentially, and this progress shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Attracting top talent has always been key for successful business but, thanks to the feverish nature of the tech industry, it now this matters more than ever. This is great news for IT experts because not only are the jobs most definitely available, but the salaries are getting more and more competitive.

As we embark on a new decade, we take a look at the 10 most valuable tech and IT skills in the industry today. Find out which roles would suit you and the skills you’ll need to land your dream position.

Systems Architect

The importance of a great systems architect cannot be overemphasised. You’ll be fundamental in devising, configuring and maintaining the entire computer system. The role involves analysing and assessing the requirements of your client or business and identifying the best way to meet their needs.

You’ll require a broad knowledge of both hardware and software and be a technically skilled IT professional. Many systems architects will work within a particular sector time and time again in order to gain a greater understanding of the specific needs of the industry.

And, your role doesn’t end there, you’ll also need great communication skills in order to effectively communicate with the wider IT team, the development team and other stakeholders.

Cybersecurity analyst

Cybersecurity has always been important but since GDPR came into effect, the role of cybersecurity analyst is in increasingly high demand. As a security engineer or analyst, your role is to examine and scrutinise computer networks to ensure that they’re running smoothly. Furthermore, it’s your responsibility to spot potential security threats before they arise.

This role is critical in an increasingly digital world as a single data breach could cost a company millions of pounds. Risk analysis should come naturally to you and you should take a proactive approach to the role. It’s been said that a great cybersecurity analyst must be able to think like a hacker

Systems Analyst

A systems analyst is the person that management turn to when an issue relating to the business’ IT systems arises. As an analyst, your role is to take up the mantle of key problem solver. On a day-to-day basis, you’ll oversee how well systems are functioning and find ways to improve efficiency. You’ll be a keen researcher and your research will inform new upgrades and allow you to identify areas for improvement.

The role is particularly suited to patient, methodical people with an extensive knowledge of IT and the ability to solve complex problems. Sound like you? Your task will include assessing hardware, identifying inefficiencies and spotting shortfalls in the user experience. You’ll also need to be a good communicator as you should be happy interacting with the development team and IT manager to provide a list of recommendations to improve existing systems.

IT Project Manager

A project manager will oversee the completion of work of other IT professionals in the development of new systems or software. While not necessarily an executive role, the position means keeping a finger on the pulse of the whole collaborative undertaking.

From accurate planning and management to execution, the IT PM will be there for the initial kick-off right the way through to completion. You’ll need to understand the end goal, know what the project will entail and have the financial know-how to bring it all in on time and within budget. Phew! Needless to say, the scope of your skills must be pretty broad.

Firstly, you’ll need to understand a wide range of IT systems and be confident overseeing in-house teams as well as external contractors and freelancers. You should be comfortable providing progress reports to stakeholders, delegating tasks and holding team members to account.

And, as if all of that isn’t enough, it’s the PM’s job to manage the transition period. This can involve producing training materials for new systems, training staff and overseeing installations.

Software Developer

A software developer is an integral part of any digital business. The creative mind behind IT advances, a developer builds programmes and applications. The role is an inherently social one and as well develop the thinking behind programmes, they will also work comprehensively with the wider IT team.

Developers can expect to welcome contributions from architects, analysts, graphic designers and project managers and work closely with clients, too. It’s their role to assess the requirements of users and ascertain the best possible route to achieve the aims. They’ll predominantly focus on the usability of an application as well as the look and feel for the end-user, but they may also work closely with the programming team and improve or provide feedback on code.

IT Manager

In charge of the performance of the whole IT team, an IT manager is responsible for maintaining the entire technology infrastructure. As well as ongoing maintenance, an IT manager will also be responsible for spotting future needs and implementing updates. They’ll act as a go-between to various departments including management and stakeholders and less senior IT staff.

Duties will include hardware selection, system implementation and even recruitment. An IT manager will need exceptional communication skills and have experience of managing teams. You’ll be required to ensure that individual departments are carrying out their roles effectively and that the system as a whole is functioning effectively. Furthermore, you’ll have the final say on network design and be the last port of call in the event of any unexpected outages. Ultimately, the buck stops with you for all IT-related matters.

DevOps Engineer

DevOps engineers are in increasingly high demand. The position encourages faster coding and fewer deployment failures and manages IT infrastructure and software performance. In bigger companies, the position will often fall into two categories, developers who deploy network operations or sysadmins who have a passion for scripting and coding.

While basic coding is becoming an increasingly commonplace skill, there’ll always be a need for talented coders and engineers to simplify code to improve efficiency. A successful DevOps engineer will need to understand the requirements of the business and formulate strategies and goals to improve processes.

Clouds Systems Engineer

Another role that barely existed a decade ago, a cloud systems engineer is an increasingly in-demand position. In its simplest form, the role is responsible for maintaining could computing systems, but it also requires extensive computer programming knowledge as well as a familiarity with computer hardware.

Your job as a cloud systems engineer will be to plan, develop, design and install cloud-based systems and, as businesses are increasingly relying on cloud-based systems to host their entire IT infrastructure, the role is not to be undertaken lightly. You’ll need a strong understanding of programming languages, API automation and cloud databases.

Full-stack Developer

A full-stack developer must wear a number of different hats. For this role, you’ll need to have knowledge of every stage of the software development process and be able to complete the work of both the back and front-end developers. You won’t necessarily need to be an expert, but you’ll certainly understand each facet of the business. Your knowledge should incorporate networks, hosting, databases, servers, UX and UI design, phew! What’s more, you’ll need to have the necessary communication skills to work with clients and in-house teams.

Data Scientist

A data scientist doesn’t just need to understand tech but have an active curiosity in making improvements. A professional role that is increasingly high demand, data scientists will need to be comfortable gathering, process and analysing data to share with business intelligence analysts and stakeholders.

A data scientist needs to take a proactive attitude to their role and be happy to communicate new ideas with the wider team.

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