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35 Important In-Demand IT Skills for 2021

Matthew George | Monday, December 16, 2019

35 Important In-Demand IT Skills for 2021

The world of technology is growing rapidly, and 2021 is going to see even more of a demand for IT skills and IT-related jobs. It won’t be too long before technology starts to have another dramatic impact on the business world, and we are even starting to see the seeds of this being sown now. Many people fear losing their jobs to machines and technology, but the exciting component of this transition is that it will create new jobs in the process. 

 Many industries such as banking and manufacturing are investing heavily in new technologies, and while some jobs are becoming obsolete, but they are being replaced with job roles that require enhanced digital skills, such as coding, app development, and data science. In this new era of digital transformation, many companies are struggling to fill in these new roles. As a result, companies are competing with other companies to hire in-demand IT professionals. It’s a great time to pursue a career in IT, even if you only start with basic IT skills, it will still open doors to career advancements and a salary increase, find out what the Top 25 Highest-Paying IT Certifications are here. 

 It’s clear that technology is becoming more and more prevalent, and most businesses in the modern world are going to be using some form of technology or IT on a daily basis. As such, you need to understand the important IT elements that are going to matter in 2021 (in areas that include IBM, VMware, AWS, Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft), so you can make sure you’re skilled in these areas. This improves your chances of securing the employment you want as well as your ability to perform your role as best as you can.

Top 10 In-Demand IT Skills for 2021


Here are 10 of the most important, in-demand IT skills and areas you’ll need to master in order to meet and exceed the job skill demands of 2021 and beyond. With upgraded skills in any of these ten areas, you’ll have resume ready credentials that will increase your value — and set you apart from the competition.

  1. Cybersecurity
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Data Management
  4. Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
  5. Helpdesk
  6. Programming
  7. Project Management
  8. IT Architecture Strategies
  9. Blockchain
  10. Mobile Development

1. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is more important than ever before because of the many ways companies rely on IT and the internet. Important data and sensitive information are typically stored digitally, and it is essential to protect them as much as possible. Businesses that endure security breaches often lose clients as a result, and their reputation is tarnished indefnitely. This is why it is so crucial to work on perfecting your cybersecurity skills to put yourself in high demand from companies all over the world.

ExitCertified provides a number of certifications and training courses that can help you gain greater experience in cyber and online security, such as Google Cloud Security Engineer and IBM Security Analyst.

it skills in demand cybersecurity

2. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is very much a part of the world of business already, and it likely will have a greater impact on the industry in 2020. As one of the most useful and efficient tools available today, the cloud can help improve efficiency, productivity, security and operations. Cloud computing skills are in high demand, and command some of the highest salaries in the world of IT. Cloud adoption is growing rapidly and continues to influence other areas of business, such as project management and cybersecurity.

Businesses are going to be using the cloud whenever and however they can, so the more you can master this area, the better your employment prospects will be. ExitCertified offers a Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect course to help you get started.

3. Data Management

Data management and analytics have become much more important in the modern world, as more businesses become data-driven. As the driving force behind many business decisions, such as those around marketing, customer service and rebranding, the influence of data should not be understated. The increase of data has become overwhelming for some businesses, which is what makes the responsibility of data management so essential. ExitCertified offers plenty of data management training options to help you develop and hone your skills some of the specific brands we offer include Oracle Database training courses. Look for Oracle Database 12c courses to keep up to date with the latest technology. Other course categories available include MySQL Database Administration, MySQL Developer, Database 12c, Application Development and more.  

4. Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning

Machines are going to develop in big ways, and artificial intelligence (AI) is already becoming more prevalent in the business world. Companies are always looking for ways to boost productivity and improve efficiency at the same time, and this is why AI automation and machine learning will continue to grow. Cloud migration has also enhanced the need for AI and machine learning.

We have already seen the development of AI through innovations like driverless cars, and the business world will continue to see more machine learning and AI initiatives. The increasing availability of these technologies and the growing demands from customers could lead sectors like the manufacturing industry to embrace robots and machine learning in a bid to boost productivity.

it skills in demand artificial intelligence

5. Helpdesk

Tech support and helpdesk services have never been more important. The whole framework of modern brands is built upon digital platforms, and this means there is a need to help ensure that these digital networks are as fully operational as possible, at all times. Helpdesk and tech support roles have traditionally been outsourced, but it has become more necessary to bring helpdesk experts in house for many modern businesses to ensure there are fewer operational problems. Think about how much is at stake if a company’s network goes down for even just a few hours. This scenario is detrimental to the business of many modern brands, which is why helpdesk skills are well worth mastering.  

6. Programming

Computer programming has always been a vital cog in the wheel of modern business, and its importance will likely grow even more in 2020, as programming and app development jobs are expected to grow significantly. This means you need to make sure you’re trained and skilled in computer programming to make you even more of an asset. The average annual salary for a programming or app development job in the United States is around $118,000. Programming is essential to the world of IT, and many businesses are going to need the right sort of programming in order to help develop the company and push it forward in the right way.

7. Project Management

Project management and planning have always played a key role in the modern business world, and the necessity and demand for these skills will only continue growing. Project managers must possess certain IT skills to successfully communicate and execute project requirements and strategies. Take a project management training course to build up your skillset and enhance your position as a major asset for modern businesses.

8. IT Architecture Strategies

Companies are finding that they need to align the different parts of their business and work on smooth integration, which means systems and enterprise architecture strategies will be very important in 2020. IT architecture professionals will ensure that programs align with one another and that the company is well placed to thrive in the modern business landscape amid various tech developments.

A lack of IT architecture planning can cause outdated frameworks to bring down the business, and day-to-day operations suffer as a result. To help alleviate this, ExitCertified offers IT architecture courses that cover important systems, such as Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Expert and Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA).

9. Blockchain

Blockchain is more recent phenomenon and has come to global attention due to the growth and evolution of the cryptocurrency market. But the truth is that blockchain technology is about so much more than this, and it is becoming an important technology across business and finance sectors. There has been a lot of investment in blockchain over the last few years, which equates to a higher demand for job candidates with this particular skillset. Make sure to consider blockchain training courses to enhance your expertise in this important field.

10. Mobile Development

Smartphones have become an inescapable part of the modern business world, which is why Android and iOS app developers are so sought after these days. Companies are looking for scalable options and working to streamline their business for a mobile platform and audience. Mobile-only platforms are set to become much more mainstream, which means the need for mobile developers will only increase.

All these skills and areas are already essential in the world of IT, but they are likely to play an even more prominent role in 2020. Companies need individuals who are not just tech-savvy, but who are also skilled and accomplished in the areas of technology and IT that will really give them the competitive edge they need to succeed. Mastering these IT skills help you become more employable, and there is no doubt that IT training will help put you on that path.

So now your up to date on the critical In-Demand IT skills, let’s also look at the most in-demand technical skills that can enable you as an IT professional.

Top Tech Industry Trends of 2021

Technology and the tools we use both personally and professionally rapidly changes and emerges and the need to upgrade IT skills is ever present. We’re always finding new ways to integrate technology in our lives, from hyper-fast 5G networks to advanced cloud databases. Automation both in our home and in business increases efficiency and reduces redundancy. As innovation accelerates companies’ needs to automate their business and align their departments around new platforms and technologies, the need to hire people with the right IT skills is also increasing. We have identified the top tech industry trends shaping IT and the top three are edge computing, cloud computing, and at #1 is machine learning. Edge computing involves processing data and content collection/delivery that is placed closer to the sources, repositories and consumers of the information. This computing technology reduces latency and allows for more exceptional capabilities at the edge of a connection. Cloud computing includes storage, servers, networking, databases, software, analytics and business intelligence — using a cloud hosted online. It allows for the flexible use of resources and increases internal innovation in scaling operations. One of the key benefits of cloud computing services is its affordability. Machine learning is a computer’s ability to learn autonomously by analyzing data points and tracking repeating patterns. It is used in many industries and is going to be continuously used and  in demand in the future.  These 3 IT skills and topics are transforming the IT industry and shaping the tech roles of tomorrow.

Other In-Demand IT Skills that Hiring Managers are Looking For

The Most In Demand Skills for IT Professionals

One of the best ways to increase your likelihood of getting hired is to consider the skills the market is looking for and ensure that you’re not lacking in the most needed areas. As such, we’re going to take a closer look at 25 of the most in-demand technical skills on the market. This list was compiled by LinkedIn based on the results of a thorough 2018  study of hundreds of thousands of job postings to examine which skills employers are looking for. If you're looking for a flexible way to learn any of the skills below, try Virtual training, With ExitCertified's Individual Multimedia Video Presence (iMVP), you get the same instructor-led classroom learning experience no matter where you’re sitting. You can read about the top 5 Ways ExitCertified iMVP Redefines Virtual Training in this free to download infographic. 

1. Cloud Computing

In the number-one spot, perhaps of no surprise to anyone, the kind of expertise needed to create and engineer cloud platforms and solutions is the most hirable skill on the market.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Skills such as working with neural networks and machine learning to develop more adaptive and responsive technologies are key in a wide range of industries, putting programmers and engineers with an AI specialization in very high demand.

3. Analytical Reasoning

Though this skill often comes in use when dealing with technology, it isn’t necessarily a tech skill. Rather, it’s the ability to gather, gain insight and derive logical conclusions from large amounts of information. As big data becomes a more important part of the decision-making process for many businesses, it’s no surprise that employers are seeking candidates with increased analytical reasoning skills.

4. People Management

For as long as there are teams to manage, good people management skills will always remain a priority. An ability to resolve and manage conflicts, motivate and engage employees and chart a clear course with leadership are all essential capabilities of this skill.

5. UX Design

The user experience (UX) design of any software or other technology plays a crucial role in its delivery. Without good UX design, the usability and even the purpose of any given software, site or technology can be lost. This is often confused and conflated with user interface, which some consider more to be a single component of the UX.

6. Mobile Application Development

Mobile apps are soaring in popularity. From shopping apps and games to social media and fitness tools, there are apps for all kinds of purposes, and as a result, there’s also an ever-increasing demand for those who are able to develop for Android, iOS and other mobile device operating systems.

7. Video Production

Video is the most popular and common form of content engagement nowadays. Beyond TV and film, video content and marketing has practically taken over the internet. From marketing videos to web series, brands are looking for video production experts to help bring their message to a new medium of online delivery.

8. Sales Leadership

Just like we will always require people management skills, we will also always need sales leadership skills for as long as the sales process exists. The abilities to coach team members on optimizing their sales methods and use data to find approaches that work best are helpful help when it comes to growing sales leadership skills.

9. Translation

The world is becoming increasingly connected, which means there’s a higher need for translation. Often, this involves more than simply taking content from one language and translating it into another — rather, an understanding of different cultures and norms for true localization is also in higher demand these days.

10. Audio Production

Though not quite as high in demand as video, audio is still one of the most commonly used methods of communication online. Skills in recording, editing and mixing audio can help producers find a place in the modern marketing landscape or in the still burgeoning podcast industry.

11. Natural Language Processing

As a tech skill that lives at the boundary between computing and the real world, natural language processing involves interpreting the human sentence and finding data within it that can be used by digital systems. As we aim to integrate technology into our lives more organically, such as with smart homes, this skill will become increasingly important.

12. Scientific Computing

As with big data, we’re relying more and more on computers to help solve our problems. Big data gives us the tools to solve those problems by providing the information we need, but scientific programming has the computer solving those problems itself using mathematics, physics, chemistry and equations in other natural sciences.

13. Game Development

The video game industry is forecasted to reach a revenue of $230 billion by 2022 in the U.S.  alone. It’s currently the largest growing market in the world, and development teams are always looking for coders, modellers, animators and other creative technicals to help create the latest titles.

14. Social Media Marketing

Social media dominates much of the modern marketing landscape. This skill’s inclusion on the list shouldn’t be any real surprise, since few other methods of communication allow brands to communicate directly to so many people at once. The increasing demand for social media marketing means there’s a need for individuals who understand the different platforms and can use them well.

15. Animation

Whether for video content, film, TV, video games or interactive displays, animation is becoming increasingly popular. Those who know how to rig and move models — and make it look good —have a reliable place in the future of content production.

16. Business Analysis

Much like analytical reasoning, business analysis means looking into the available facts and information to find both solutions to problems and improvements to operations. However, in this field, it’s purely about business, so some experience and insight into organization, workflow, strategic planning and policy development is also key.

17. Journalism

Journalism has very much changed over the past decade, as we move further away from print and start to pull away from traditional TV in favor of digital and new media. However, the same skills of writing, storytelling, editing and fact-finding still remain key as content production becomes such a huge part of online life.

18. Digital Marketing

Digital marketing covers a wide range of fields of expertise. This can include social media marketing, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertisements, video marketing, content marketing and so on. More and more, businesses are looking for individuals with a comprehensive understanding of digital marketing to run whole campaigns for them.

19. Industrial Design

As long as there are products and devices to sell, industrial design will always play a key role in the creation process. Companies are always on the lookout for experts with technical industrial design skills who can improve the function, value and appeal of products.

20. Competitive Strategies

Business analysts examine internal information to find ways to optimize the way a business works. Competitive strategists look into the market surrounding the business, helping to develop long-term strategies that give the company a competitve edge, whether it’s market share, marketing dominance or superior return on investment.

21. Customer Service Systems

Customer service relies on both the human capital of employees manning the front lines, as well as the technology that manages and assists them. Individuals who understand both often find themselves in management and customer service strategy roles, helping to improve customer loyalty and retention across the board.

22. Software Testing

Though not as highly demanded as other technological skills, there’s still a great need for testers to assess the functionality and quality of software to ensure it actually works. This includes subsections like game testing, as testers can provide valuable feedback for any kind of software so long as they’re familiar with it.

23. Data Science

While analytic reasoning is a broader component of this area, data science refers specifically to the ability to find, gather and use data from digital sources. As data accessibility improves and increases, there continues to be a strong need for individuals who can make sense of large amounts of data.

24. Computer Graphics

Practically any time that we’re sat in front of a screen that isn’t showing real humans and organisms in live action, we’re looking at computer graphics. These types of skills allow you to create the visual assets used in websites, marketing, animations and much more, and are a core component of the digital experience.

25. Corporate Communications

From internal memos to communicating with the press and media, the ability to manage communications so that they are professional, relevant and rich in information is essential. Those in corporate communication positions need to learn skills such as crisis communication, press release writing, forming public relations links and more.

All these skills and areas are already essential in the world of IT, but they are likely to play an even more prominent role in the coming years. Companies need individuals who are not just tech-savvy, but who are also skilled and accomplished in the areas of technology and IT that will really give them the competitive edge they need to succeed. Mastering these IT skills help you become more employable, and there is no doubt that IT training will help put you on that path.

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Skills are virtual for both personal and professional development; that’s why we must keep them up to date and monitor trends in the market.

Find Out What the Top 25 Highest-Paying IT Certifications are in 2021

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