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Top 10 High-Tech Job Skills That Are Expected To Grow Fastest In Demand In 2021-22

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  • IT Automation ($24,969) and AI & Machine Learning ($14,175) are the two engineering career skills paying the highest wage premiums today and in 2021, according to Burning Glass Technologies.
  • Salary premiums for the most in-demand tech skills vary from $4,204 to almost $25,000 on average.
  • Compared to their legacy Fortune 100-based rivals or peers, startups valued at $1 billion or more are 33 percent more likely to prioritize one or more top ten tech career skills in their new hire plans.

These and other interesting findings come from Burning Glass Technologies’ new research report, Skills of Mass Disruption: Pinpointing the 10 Most Disruptive Skills in Tech, which was released earlier this month. Their most recent study offers practical, actionable advice for tech professionals looking to advance their careers and earn more money. Burning Glass Technologies is a leading work market analytics company that offers data-driven job market analytics to employers, staff, and educators.

Using Artificial Intelligence To Discover The Most Useful Work Skills

Burning Glass Technologies analyzed over 17,000 unique skills demanded through their database of over one billion historical job listings using artificial intelligence-based technologies they developed. Disruptive skill clusters are defined by the study as those skill groups that are expected to grow the fastest, are undersupplied, and provide the most value. Please see page 8 of the report for more information on their methodology.

The research study is noteworthy because it demonstrates how important it is to acquire skills in order to translate the advantages of emerging technology into business value. They’ve also gone a step further with their studies, supplying technical professionals with additional knowledge to help them prepare their personal growth and careers.

The following are some key takeaways from their research:

IT Automation knowledge will give technical professionals a $24,969 salary bump in 2021, making it the most lucrative of all engineering work skills. IT Automation, according to Burning Glass Technologies, is described as the ability to automate and orchestrate digital processes and workflows. Six of the ten job skills are marketable enough to boost technical professionals’ annual salaries to more than $10,000. The market value of proactive security (cybersecurity) job skills appears to below, with an average salary increase of $8,851. The effect of the SolarWinds breach on demand for this skill set will most likely be reflected in future surveys in 2021. The graph below shows the average wage premium by technical job skill sector.

According to Burning Glass Technologies’ research, software development methodologies (DevOps) skills will be the most marketable in 2021, with 634,600 open positions in North America. Between December 2019 and November 2020, employers posted 1,714,483 job openings requiring at least one disruptive skill. Technical professionals have several lucrative options for their personal and professional growth plans, with each expertise expected to rise at least 17 percent. For the study’s time span, the following graph compares work openings by skill areas:

Skills of Mass Disruption: Pinpointing the 10 Most Disruptive Skills in Tech by Burning Glass Technologies

The fastest-growing engineering work skills in 2021 and beyond are expected to be quantum computing, embedded technology, fintech, and AI & Machine Learning expertise. According to the results of the report, technical professionals specialized in designing and optimising quantum computers and their applications will be in high demand for the next five years. Connected Technologies encompasses knowledge of the Internet of Things, connected physical tools, and the telecommunications infrastructure needed to support them. Fintech skills are linked to innovations that make financial transactions more productive and safe, such as blockchain and others.The graph below compares the top ten tech career skills that are expected to develop the most in 2021.

Skills of Mass Disruption: Pinpointing the 10 Most Disruptive Skills in Tech by Burning Glass Technologies

The most commonly used skills are artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud computing, parallel computing, and proactive security (cybersecurity), which means more work openings for technical professionals with these skills. Except for Parallel Computing, which is the most in-demand skill in Manufacturing, Professional Services leads all sectors in demand for nine of the ten computer work skills. The following factors contribute to Professional Services being the most in-demand for specialized job skills across all sectors. To begin, their business models must continue to pivot rapidly in order to stay stable throughout the pandemic. Second, remote operations require stronger risk and compliance controls.

Skills of Mass Disruption: Pinpointing the 10 Most Disruptive Skills in Tech by Burning Glass Technologies

Third, according to the CFOs, I spoke with about the survey results, greater visibility into service costs across all processes is a must-have to ensure financial reporting accuracy. The graph below compares the demand for technical skills by the business sector.

Skills of Mass Disruption: Pinpointing the 10 Most Disruptive Skills in Tech by Burning Glass Technologies

With 197,810 open positions today, demand for AI and Machine Learning skills is projected to rise at a 71 percent compound annual growth rate through 2025. Salary premiums of $14,175 are charged to technical practitioners with this skill set. Data Scientist, Software Developer, Network Engineer, Network Architect, Data Engineer, and Senior Data Scientist are among the most sought-after positions.


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