The Top 10 In-Demand Tech Skills You Need To Have In 2021 - The Next Tech

The Top 10 In-Demand Tech Skills you need to have in 2021

by Ashwin Bhargava — 3 years ago in Top 10 7 min. read

The year 2020 has finally come to an end and will be surely be remembered for the paradigm shift it has brought to the world. The pandemic started a digital transformation revolution as people have now realized the power of collaboration and technology.

According to Burning Glass Technologies, the top two tech job skills with the highest salary premiums currently are IT Automation ($24,969) and AI & Machine Learning ($14,175).

Now, coming back to the real situation of students and their current skill set:

Peter Thiel was right when he said,

“By the time a student gets to college, he’s spent a decade curating a bewilderingly diverse resume to prepare for a completely unknowable future. Come what may, he’s ready — for nothing in particular.”

To be ready for what the new year will bring, you need to keep up with the current needs of the world. Instead of diversifying your resume, you must master one skill in your area of interest.

So if you’re looking for a way to set yourself apart from the rest of the world, you must think beyond your degree and your certifications and toward the top in-demand skills employers are looking for in 2021.

Here is a list of the top 10 tech skills that you need to have in 2021

Top 10 tech skills that you need to have in 2021

1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have become synonymous with innovation as humans now expect computers to not only do their work but to also get smarter as they work.

Simply put, Artificial Intelligence is the concept of machines carrying out smart tasks such as image and speech recognition, image classification and facial recognition. AI skills are becoming highly sought-after skills as machines can perform tasks quicker and more accurately.

The World Economic Forum has termed AI as the fastest growing technology and forecasts that it will create 133 million new jobs by 2025.

On the other hand, Machine Learning is an application of AI which mines data to make a decision or execute a task more efficiently. Applications of Machine Learning include data analytics, data mining, and pattern recognition.

Skills such as TensorFlow, Python, Java, R, Natural Language Processing, and building chatbots are skills that you should learn today as they are the highest in demand in this field.

A majority of companies expect to streamline their workflows and derive insightful data while minimizing costs. Therefore, experts in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are in high demand. There is a great need for skilled people in AI and machine learning as it is hard to find technology leaders who can manage teams made of AI and data science.

Due to this need, IT employees with strong AI and ML skills are sure to earn the highest salaries and demand in 2021.

2. Data Science and Analytics

Data science includes gaining insights and extracting information from data by using a blend of tools, algorithms, and machine learning principles. As data science assists organizations to make better and faster data-driven decisions, it is in demand in key industries such as finance, banking, and healthcare.

LinkedIn’s Most Promising Jobs 2018 report has stated that job openings for Data Scientist roles have a 45% year-over-year growth rate. It also crowned Data Scientists and Data Analysts as the top emerging in-demand role by 2022.

Since the pandemic, businesses have started relying on data to drive decision-making. This is why data-driven skills are highly valued and there is a high demand for roles such as Data Analysts, BI Analysts, Data Architects, Database Administrators, Business Analysts, and Chief Data Officers.
Also read: How To Stream On Twitch? Guide For Streamers, Gamers, and Fans! (2023 Updated)

3. Cloud Computing 

Owing to the pandemic and the emerging work from home culture, a growing number of companies are switching from the traditional server infrastructure to cloud solutions. The cloud explosion has led to the birth of numerable job opportunities for cloud computing engineers.

According to Gartner, by 2022, the public cloud market will be a $331.2 billion market opportunity dominated by market leader Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

So what exactly does a cloud computing engineer do?

Cloud engineers develop solutions that make use of both in-house technology and external systems to design, plan, manage, maintain and support cloud computing. The end goal is that end users can easily store files and back up their data.

The top in-demand cloud computing skills are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Java, Linux, software development, DevOps, Docker, Kubernetes, and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

4. Cyber Security

Cyber Security has an increasing demand since 2020 due to a series of two events:

First, the pandemic has forced companies to adopt remote working and shift their operations and data to the cloud.

Secondly, this shift has led to an increase in cyber-attacks by hackers who want to steal customer information collected by companies. Since almost every major company today stores sensitive customer and company data in databases, they are facing cybersecurity threats.

These events have made organizations realize the importance of building a digital infrastructure that is proactive rather than reactive to breaches. Thus, Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing career paths and is seven times faster than the national average job growth.

There will be 3.5 million unfulfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021 owing to the huge gap in the current market. This means that if you learn skills such as Cybersecurity, Information Security, Network Security, and Vulnerability Assessment, you will have a huge chance of succeeding in IT. Job roles for cybersecurity professionals range from the ethical hacker to security engineer to Chief Security Officer.
Also read: Best Online Courses to get highest paid in 2021

5. Citizen Development 

Whether big or small, companies are getting ready for a digital transformation and are changing the way they operate to improve productivity, stay competitive, and adapt to the changing business environment. The only way these companies can completely undergo a digital transformation is by adopting no-code low-code platforms through citizen developers. 

Citizen developers are individuals who are integrated into businesses as non-IT employees but are empowered by the ability to build applications to satisfy their needs. When citizen developers build applications for a business using no code or low code software, the process is known as citizen development.

Forrester’s 2021 predicts that Low-code no-code will make it to the mainstream in 2021 with 75% of development shops adopting this platform.

Gartner estimates that by 2024, 75% of large enterprises will be using at least four low-code no-code development tools for IT application development as well as citizen development initiatives.

In 2021, the application development space is set to experience a renaissance. It is vital to learn citizen development as a skill as companies are adopting no-code platforms and getting rid of majority of their IT department.

6. Internet of Things

The emergence of edge computing which is used to process time-sensitive data in remote locations with limited connectivity has led to an increase in the use of the Internet of Things devices.

In simpler terms, Edge computing enables devices to do more processing within themselves, in your home, instead of having to use the cloud, which causes a delay as the query is sent and answered. Essentially, Edge allows our devices to get quicker replies owing to the Internet of Things (IoT).  For example, if our fridge needs to know the weather in Singapore, it’ll be able to find that information in a matter of seconds.

By 2022, the global edge computing market is expected to reach $6.72 billion. This will have a corresponding growth in jobs for software engineers and other professionals with experience in the technologies used to integrate IoT successfully into our corporate infrastructure. Skills required in this market include IoT security, cloud computing knowledge, device knowledge, data analytics, automation, and understanding of embedded systems.

7. Extended Reality: AR and VR

Extended Reality is the combination of both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Extended Reality is definitely going to be in high demand as major industries such as entertainment, education, health, manufacturing, and advertising have begun to adopt AR and VR technology.

According to Statista, the market size of Extended Reality was around $6.1 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $215 billion by 2021. Top companies like Google, Facebook, Snapchat, NVIDIA, and HTC have already adopted Extended Reality technology.

Learning this combination of AR and VR skills will definitely land you a high paying job.

8. Project Management

The pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty, especially for organizations and start-ups. Leaders need project management skills to help teams focus on providing the right value for their employers. A project manager’s role includes responding to change, setting expectations, resolving conflicts and communicating with different members.

A Project Management Institute-commissioned report has stated that by 2027, organizations will need 88 million professionals for project management roles.

You can study for and earn the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification to qualify for a project management position. The two most valuable project management skills are change management and communication.

9. Information Systems Management

Information Systems Managers are responsible for developing an information systems strategy that aligns with broader business objectives and supports business functions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Information Systems Managers is expected to grow 10% from 2019 to 2029.

In addition to an IT-related Bachelor’s Degree, Information Systems Managers are expected to have technical expertise in computer-related technologies. To become a manager in this field, a Management Information Systems (MIS) degree which includes business-related classes as well as the necessary computer-based courses is required.
Also read: 10 Best AI Text To Speech Generator (October 2023)

10. Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation is the process of automating repetitive and complex business tasks. This includes automation of operations and performs repetitive or mundane, time-consuming, and structured tasks on a 24/7 basis.

From copy and paste work to endless data entry, RPA bots can complete these tasks efficiently in seconds. Due to its efficiency and speed, various industries have started to incorporate this automation in their business operations leading to an increase in its demand. Organizations that are in great need of a  digital transformation in their processes, cannot afford to skip RPA implementation.

According to Grand View Research study, the market of RPA is valued at USD 1.1 billion to date, and it is expected to witness a CAGR of 33.6% between 2020 to 2027. Additionally, Gartner has stated that RPA is the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market.

Since RPA is an emerging field, there is a lack of qualified RPA developers in the market. Growing demand for RPA makes it easier to be hired as an RPA developer.


As you can see, this decade is moving towards intelligence, automation, cloud technologies and citizen development. To summarize it, the world is turning into one large digital space.

Now that you have learnt about the top skills you will need to proceed in the new normal, it’s time to start working on it . Keep up with the changing times and update your skills!

Ashwin Bhargava

Ashwin Bhargava has over 18 years experience in Talent Acquisition/Human Resources, working with stake holders globally. While his recent-most stint has been in Recruiting & setting up the initial teams for PepsiCo & GAP’s GDC’s/GTC’s in Hyderabad, India, he was instrumental in setting up and managing first Talent Acquisition Sourcing Centre for Deloitte & the first RPO for CA (Computer Associates) in India. He holds a BE/BS in Computer Science from Pune University & Human Resource Management Certification from University of Minnesota. Some other Certifications that he holds are: AI For Everyone (, Organizational Leadership (Northwestern University) & People Analytics (University of Pennsylvania).

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