According to a report by Modies, the number of tech employment is expected to increase by 12% by 2024. With the number of tech positions in web development, cybersecurity and analysis expected to grow exponentially within the next year, one may find the competition to acquire a skilled job candidate harder than they think.
While job seekers will offer an array of technical skills, employers are typically looking for a more balanced employee who also possesses soft skills that are not readily apparent on a resume. The ability to communicate with others and be approachable in their demeanor can go a long way for potential candidates looking to break into the tech space.
From strong communication skills and adaptability to experience with the latest technologies, here are several skill sets expected to be in high demand in the tech industry in 2018.
1. MACHINE LEARNING
Machine learning and artificial intelligence is one of the most innovative and exciting fields moving into the future, making it one of the most profitable skills you can learn. From Siri and Alexa to chatbots to predictive analysis to self-driving cars, there are a ton of uses for this futuristic tech.
Those who begin taking online courses in machine learning now will still be getting in relatively early, as demand is only increasing from here.
Machine learning can be applied to every industry, including healthcare, education, finance, etc. Translation? The possibilities are endless, and you can apply your machine learning skills to a role that suits your personality and interests.
Quick facts about machine learning as a career:
- Average salary: $135K+ (Machine Learning Engineer)
- 550 AI/machine learning startups received $5 billion in funding in 2016
- Netflix uses machine learning to make recommendations to its users
- There are 1,829 open positions listed on LinkedIn alone (a 10x increase from 5 years ago)
2. MOBILE DEVELOPMENT
In 2018, it’s estimated that there will be over 2.5 billion smartphone usersin the world. This means that companies who want to stay relevant don’t just need websites; they need apps. Having mobile development skills also comes with the perk that if you can build apps for others, you can build and sell your own as well–so it’s an ideal career path for aspiring entrepreneurs.
One interesting direction that mobile apps are headed in is augmented reality. Apps like Pokémon Go and the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite game engage with the real world, blending technology and reality.
If you want to start learning mobile development without committing to the Team Treehouse tech degree spotlighted below, check out these 21 mobile app development courses.
Quick facts about mobile development as a career:
- Average salary: $97K (with starting salaries as high as $75K)
- It’s one of LinkedIn’s skills that companies need the most in 2018 (ranked #9).
- At the time of writing there are 48,215 mobile developer jobs posted on Glassdoor.
- The global app economy is predicted to be worth $6.3 trillion by 2021, up from $1.3 trillion in 2016.
- The future of mobile development goes beyond phones: wearable technologies, the Internet of Things, beacon technology, increase in use of VR/AR, and more.
3. SEO/SEM MARKETING
Employers are looking for people with digital marketing skills to improve their company’s web presence and visibility. This is one of the tech skills in demand for obvious reasons: more site visits mean more conversions, customers, and revenue.
If you’re data-minded, SEO/SEM may be a great fit, since the role involves constant testing, measuring, and experimenting to see what works and make changes based on observations/metrics/KPIs.
Digital marketing is another skill that can benefit you if you decide to start your own business in the future. You can leverage SEO skills to market yourself, find freelancing clients, start a tech/personal blog, and build a brand.
Quick facts about SEO/SEM as a career:
- It’s one of LinkedIn’s skills companies need the most (ranks #8 on their list of most in-demand jobs for 2018).
- The top five organic search results get over 75% of the clicks.
- Only 22% of businesses report being satisfied with their conversion rates.
- Web developers who learn SEO/SEM can offer bundled services: not only building the websites, but optimizing and marketing them.
4. DATA VISUALIZATION
Data visualization is a way to help people understand the significance of data by placing it in a visual context (turn spreadsheets or reports into charts and graphs that can be easily understood).
Think of this career as a bridge between technical and non-technical roles. You’re taking the data collected by analysts and transforming it into a form anyone can understand.
Quick facts about data visualization as a career:
- Average salary: $101,736 per year for Data Visualization Engineers
- It’s in demand because employers can make sense of large amounts of data to drive real business results. For example, predict sales volume, understand what factors influence human behavior, identify areas in the business that can be improved, identify trends, relationships, patterns, etc.
- It’s a blend of science and art: raw information meeting visually appealing mediums.
- Data visualization is the key to “bringing the power of Big Data to the mainstream.“
5. DATA ENGINEERING
Data engineering is separate from data science, but the former is what enables the latter to exist. Data engineers build the infrastructure and tools that data scientists rely on to conduct their own work.
There’s no better time for U.S. citizens to enter the field, due to changes in immigration laws. “Following recent government policy changes in the H1-B Visa application process, demand for US citizen data engineers has increased drastically and shows no signs of easing,” writes Sam Brown.
Quick facts about data engineering as a career:
- Average salary: $90,286 per year
- In some ways, data engineering is more closely related to software engineering than to other data roles.
- Growth of data engineering roles has historically outpaced growthfor data scientist jobs.
- Apache Kafka–a type of data engineering software–is Udemy’s 4th hotest tech skill for 2018, with a 40% increase in demand. Twitter & Airbnb both use it to analyze customer behavior.
6. UI/UX DESIGN
While they’re in the same family, UI and UX are different. UI (user interface) specialists design interfaces for websites and apps to be visually appealing, flow well, and be easy for users to navigate. UX (user experience) specialists do a lot of research and testing to consider every element of how the user will interact with the company and website, coordinating with developers and UI designers.
This type of career is perfect for those who want a creative-meets-analytical type of role (graphic design meets A/B testing and so on).
Ultimately, UI is better for those who want to focus on the visuals, layout, and general look and feel of a page or product. UX is better for those who want to use analysis and testing to help a business seamlessly meet their users’ needs.
Quick facts about UI/UX as a career:
- 87% of managers surveyed by Adobe said hiring more UX designers is the #1 priority for their organization.
- There are 14,000 UX designer jobs in the United States alone (and 24,000 in Europe).
- UX and UI designers have many specific tools of the trade–like these design programs.
- Demand for UX/UI skills is mostly in mobile platforms, but demand for innovative design in VR, AR, AI, and wearables is growing.
7. NETWORK AND INFORMATION SECURITY (CYBERSECURITY)
For any company that collects customer information or deals with sensitive data of their own, keeping networks secure is paramount.
When data breaches do happen, they can be big, newsworthy, and costly for the company to recover from. 2017 had its fair share of cybersecurity disasters, and companies famously hacked in the past include Sony, LinkedIn, Chipotle, and others.
These situations underscore just how critical it is for companies to keep their network security up to par, and make cybersecurity one of the most-needed jobs and one of the tech skills in demand in 2018. Unfortunately for those companies, right now there is a shortage of people trained in network security. Fortunately for you, that means there’s a gap in the market you can fill.
Quick facts about cybersecurity as a career:
- Average salary: $82,768/yr
- 6 of the 15 top-paying IT certifications are focused on security.
- Demand for security professionals is far outpacing supply: the talent gap in this field expected to reach 3.5 million unfilled jobs by 2022–tripling from 2017.
- In part due to such a massive shortage, damage from cyber crimes are anticipated to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021. This is a career where you can truly make an impact.
8. DATA SCIENTIST
While you need a BI analyst to help understand and communicate data patterns from a business perspective, a data scientist is the person who helps gather, process and analyze data. They should also be skilled in communicating those findings and offering recommendations to others in the business.
Skills and experience to look for:
- Programming languages (specifically Python or Java)
- Strong analytical skills
- Strong mathematical skills
- A masters or Ph.D.
9. TALENT FOR SAAS IN THE CLOUD
IT professionals with skills in cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS) will be the hot ticket in 2018. Virtualization skills in Amazon AWS, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware for private cloud hosting will, without a doubt, help you stand out from the crowd. Experience with DevOps, containers, the entire cloud stack and IPv6 will also benefit your chances for a top job tremendously.
10. Digital Transformation
An important skill is to identify and implement digital platforms across the whole organization that will impact operational efficiencies and increase revenue