The tech world changes every year, with the occasional rapid burst that affects every other tech. 2020 saw some of those rapid changes, which affected the IT and tech skills that will be in demand in 2021.
For those employers who want to know what to look out for in their candidates, to job seekers keen to brush up on the most vital tech skills of the year, there’s plenty to choose from. By learning a little more about the following IT and tech skills, the easier it will be to stand out from the crowd of applicants, or for employers to make it easier to narrow down the best prospects.
#1. IT Support
In demand for several years now, IT support has shifted to remote priorities just as the workplace has quickly shifted to remote working. Whether you focus your skills on 1st line support or 2nd line support will depend on the kind of career path you have mapped out. However, whatever option you choose, trained IT support teams’ demand is only growing.
That’s going to mean that even having only a surface level awareness of the fundamentals is going to be of value. Take those fundamentals into a workplace that focuses on training and development, and you’ll be of much more value to them than an applicant who lacks even a basic understanding.
#2. Software Devs
The right software in the right business can be a game-changer for brand growth. There are more examples of software types than ever, and the number is constantly growing.
There is also more demand for experienced software developers, and that looks like a trend that’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Becoming a software developer is going to mean learning a programming language like Java or SQL, but those additions to a resume are going to have an immediate impact.
#3. Cloud Professionals
Cloud computing still feels very new, but the fact is that it has quickly become the baseline for all new technologies. If it’s not on the cloud, then its value drops. That means more brands than ever are using cloud-based platforms and services than ever.
Knowing how to use those services and platforms more effectively is going to be a key skill in 2021. The good news is that it’s never been easier to find the training. It doesn’t take long to complete high priority training like hands-on Azure Fundamentals Certification for more employment options. Bosses should be looking for similar certifications on resumes too.
#4. Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR & VR)
If you think that AR and VR are only for gamers, then you’re falling behind. Big brands and SMEs are already using these technologies in practical ways. Realtors, manufacturers, healthcare brands, and educators lead the charge, but there is almost no industry that isn’t going to be looking for ways to leverage AR and VR into business processes and the customer experience. Becoming an AR/VR developer is not a small task, but with accessible technologies like Unity, you can start learning a lot more than the basics while at home.
#5. Cybersecurity Skills
Cybersecurity is an incredibly prevalent area of IT. A hacker can take down a business’s network and steal confidential data, leading to a whole host of issues, and can even be responsible for destroying a company entirely. Every business is at risk from cybercrime, no matter how small or large, no matter how new the business is or how established it is. In fact, global brands have suffered from serious online threats and attacks.
In 2019, the graphic design tool Canva suffered a data attack where criminals stole 137 million users’ email addresses, usernames, where they lived, and names. Those who wish to learn cybersecurity skills will need an understanding of hacking, known as “ethically hacking,” to truly understand how a breach of data or attack happened.
#6. Bonus Skill: ‘Soft Skills’
While the above IT skills are crucial in today’s business world, employers and employees alike shouldn’t neglect soft skills and how important they are for advancing in any company. Soft skills include clear and honest communication, teamwork, and being able to lead a team should you progress to a management level, time management, and organizational skills.
Problem-solving is also a critical skill, which can also apply to the above skills. After all, you need to master problem-solving if you want to combat and fight a task such as dealing with a security issue or learning more about augmented reality and how you can turn a problem into a solution.
IT and tech skills are only going to grow in demand. When updated and new technologies are disrupting and transforming entire industries, it makes sense that this is a job market that is always going to be growing. Learn some of the basics, and your job prospects can only improve.