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What are the most in-demand IT skills for the 2020s?

Alex McCrudden our consultant managing the role
Published on 26 June 2023

The IT industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the UK and it is at the heart of our economy. Over 1.9 million people are employed by the tech sector, yet there remains a shortage of skilled IT engineers and IT technicians. The good news is that IT professionals are in a very strong position as this shortage is causing companies to compete against each other in a bid to attract skilled workers.

So how can you take advantage of the digital skills gap and showcase yourself as an attractive hire and secure some of the most in-demand IT jobs?

The digital skills gap

According to Microsoft, there will be an additional three million tech jobs in the UK by 2025 but there’s a worry that we don’t have the functional ICT skills to meet this demand. Employers are finding it increasingly difficult to fill IT roles - the global average sits at around 62 days time-to-fill for all tech roles, well above averages in other industries.

This impacts the decision-making process both at the organisational level and the individual level; tech companies need to think about expanding their talent pool and up-skilling their employees, while employees need to keep their experience relevant and ensure they’re not falling behind in the ever-innovating digital landscape. Every year new software is updated and developed, and new challenges present themselves to organisations across all sectors. With that in mind, here are four technology skills areas that every IT professional should explore:

1. Cyber security

In 2021 alone, businesses around the globe spent $150 billion on cyber security. This demand has sparked new initiatives, such as the UK government's National Cyber Security Strategy - a tactic to create more cyber-security roles, including security engineers, security analysts and security managers. 

However, the challenge to fill these vacancies remains as high as ever. The 2022 Cyber security skills in the UK labour market report reveals that as many as 44% of cyber security jobs are flagged as ‘hard to fill’ and the top reason is due to a lack of technical skills and knowledge among candidates. 

2. AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a hotly discussed topic for some time now and from 2021 to 2022, the rise in AI talent growth amounted to 42.1%. A once novel technology, PwC now predicts that by 2030 AI could contribute around $15.7 trillion to the global economy, and advances in AI would be more rapid if it weren’t for the shortage of skilled AI engineers. This highly profitable technology is creating job opportunities in all industries, from healthcare to entertainment, meaning that career options are limitless.

3. Blockchain

Cryptocurrency was once seen as the root cause of surging demands for blockchain talent. Now, it appears this technology could be the secret to fighting climate change.

The initial widespread application of Blockchain was a result of companies identifying the benefits of the software, such as decentralisation, security and transparency. As it’s become more clear how the technology can be used to standardise data and manage efficient use of natural resources throughout the supply chain, the need for Blockchain developers has skyrocketed. And since there’s no telling what efficiencies this technology could unlock in the future, it’s certainly an IT skill to watch. 

4. Cloud/ Amazon Web Services (AWS)

In 2019, 14.2% of ICT job advertisements listed Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a required skill. And the demand only continues to rise. In response, Amazon has pledged to upskill 29 million people in cloud computing.

IT industry experts forecast that companies will begin creating their own cloud services in order to reduce their costs but more importantly to ensure their data is sufficiently protected. As this happens the demand for employees who are trained in cloud services - such as AWS - will surge, making it a highly valuable skill to have.

Find your next IT job with Quanta

Tech is where Quanta’s recruitment story began and continues to be integral to our growth. Since our advent in 1992, our specialist IT consultants have helped candidates find their next job in a wide range of industries, in both permanent and temporary roles.

Head straight to our latest IT jobs to get your application started. Or if you think you’ve got the right tech skills but need help getting your job search started, contact us and we’ll be in touch!