We’re facing a technology-skills drought in the United States. According to a recent Emerson survey, two in five Americans say the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) shortage in the U.S. is at a crisis level. If you’re transitioning into a new career or looking to move up, grabbing technology skills now can mean a whole new level of job security.
However, determining which skills are most needed, and how to pick them up, isn’t always so obvious. We’re here to point you in the right direction. We’ve outlined the top technology skills companies are looking for in 2021 and the best ways to develop them.
The Landscape of Technology Careers
Tech jobs are in high demand. In fact, CNBC reports there are 700,000 unfilled tech jobs in the United States. That means gaining the right skills can boost your income, help the nation, and set you up for a solid future. Wondering what technology skills are most needed? Here are the skills that are driving the future of tech:
1. Cloud Computing
Companies are rushing to move their information from physical networks to the cloud. In fact, the International Data Corporation (IDC) reports cloud spending will reach an estimated $210 billion this year.
In order to meet this demand, businesses need people who understand the ins and outs of information systems. In order to fill the need for cloud computing, companies are hiring for roles such as platform engineer, cloud architect, system engineer, and developer.
Top Certifications for Cloud Computing Skills:
- Microsoft Azure Associate: This certification shows employers you’ve mastered the fastest-growing public cloud platform out there. Some programs also offer role-based training so you can gain cloud skills geared toward a specific position.
- Amazon Web Services SysOps Administrator: This is an industry-recognized certification that proves you have the skills to lead cloud initiatives.
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA): The CCNA Cloud certification focuses on the skills you need to help businesses make the move to the cloud.
2. Mobile App Development
We live in an increasingly mobile world, and that trend is only speeding up. According to the app analytics firm App Annie, the global app market is expected to reach $6.3 trillion by 2021.
Businesses realize their customers want apps built specifically for their devices. That means they need detail-focused programmers and people with the know-how to make current systems more mobile-friendly. Mobile app development skills lead to several positions, including mobile engineer and mobile app developer.
Top Certifications for Mobile App Development Skills:
- Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD): The MCSD: App Builder certification shows employers you have the skills to design, build, and launch the latest mobile applications.
- Adobe Certified Expert: This certification is an industry standard. It proves expertise in the latest Adobe systems.
- Adobe Web Design with Microsoft Backend Development: This program preps you with a full range of web development skills, including Adobe front-end design and Microsoft back-end development skills.
3. Information Security
It seems like you can’t go a week without hearing about a new major security breach. Organizations are vulnerable to cyberattacks, and they need people who have the skills to keep their information safe.
Security experts have the skills to identify the holes in a company’s operations. They create safer systems and respond to online attacks. Common cybersecurity jobs include information security specialist and cybersecurity specialist.
Top Certifications for Information Security Skills:
- Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP): CISSP is well-recognized by IT professionals and can be a gateway to promotions and pay raises. It proves you have the skills to develop and manage cybersecurity systems.
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM): This is another top credential for IT pros. It shows employers you’re an expert in managing security risks, developing security programs, and responding to threats.
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): This certification is a staple for anyone who wants to work as a security pro. It proves you have the latest hacking skills so you can counter cyberattacks.
4. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence was once just a thing of sci-fi and futuristic tech journals. Today, machine learning and automation can be seen across industries. In fact, according to Accenture, 38 percent of today’s manual work could be automated.
As some jobs disappear, there’s a need for programming, coding, and automation skills. This can be seen in the high demand for jobs such as AI architect, data scientist, and software engineer.
Top Certifications for AI and Machine Learning Skills:
- Microsoft Professional Certification in Artificial Intelligence: This certification is designed to prepare students with skills for building predictive AI systems.
- IBM Professional Certificate in Python Data Science: This is a certification that focuses on machine learning and the high-level programming language Python.
5. Project Management
Technology is disrupting whole industries, and organizations are having to adjust fast. An IDC report predicts a lack of IT skills will cause 90 percent of organizations to change their project plans. That means businesses will need people with project management skills to fill roles such as IT project manager, management analyst, and technical project lead.
The best way to pick up project management skills is to earn globally recognized certifications such as Six Sigma and Project Management Professional (PMP).
Top Certifications for Project Management Skills:
- Six Sigma: Lean Six Sigma Certifications prove different levels of proficiency in project management. The program is used by businesses across the globe, including Fortune 500 companies. It proves you have the skills to identify mistakes, fix errors, analyze business systems, and lead. Six Sigma Certifications also let you climb the ladder with different levels. As you increase your belt value, you prove higher skill levels, have more promotion opportunities, and have a better chance of boosting pay.
- PMP: This certification is globally recognized and proves you have industry-leading project management skills. The Project Management Institute reports project managers with a PMP certification earn 20 percent more money on average.
Taking the Next Steps Toward Your New Career
These top technology skills are the key to tomorrow’s top careers. Thinking about taking the first steps toward your new career? We want to help you get there. Download our free checklist, “Questions to Consider When Looking into Further Career Training,” to help you compare the different options.