15 most in-demand tech skills for upskilling or job searching during COVID-19

While SQL, Java, Python, and Linux are still sought, soft skills are also growing due to the coronavirus pandemic, Indeed found.

SKILL CONCEPT

SKILL CONCEPT

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The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a sharp increase in eLearning tools, revealing that employees are looking to reskill or upskill during the unexpected remote work era. Amid this trend, Indeed analyzed the most common skills in tech job postings during the month of May to determine the most in-demand tech skills. 

SEE: The new normal: What work will look like post-pandemic (TechRepublic Premium)

COVID-19's impact on both the enterprise and economy has made upskilling and reskilling more important than ever, said AnnElizabeth Konkel, economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab.

"It is a really tough labor market out there right now. It's basically reversed overnight from one of the hottest labor markets in US history to being one of the worst," Konkel said. "Having a variety of skills right now helps job seekers put themselves back in the driver's seat."  

Gaining new skills takes time, Konkel noted, so it's up to the individual to use their time wisely. 
 
"Some people that are working from home have a lot of time on their hands; some don't," Konkel said. "But even if it's not a skill that they are going to maybe use in the job that they are currently in...It's always good to have more skills, especially if you're planning to make a switch in the future or if you're planning to maybe jump into the tech industry when things turn around."

15 most in-demand tech skills 

To help employees determine which tech skills are worth focusing on, Indeed identified the following 15 employers are looking for, in no particular order:  

  • Communication Skills
  • Java
  • Python 
  • SQL 
  • JavaScript 
  • Linux 
  • AWS
  • Agile
  • C/C++
  • Software Development
  • APIs
  • Analysis Skills 
  • HTML5
  • Microsoft Office
  • REST

Despite the coronavirus pandemic throwing the enterprise for a loop, the most in-demand tech skills haven't changed much, Konkel said. 

Indeed's Top 20 tech skills in 2019 report named SQL, Java, Python, and Linux as the most in-demand skills, which still hold true now. 

Konkel said the reason for the consistency can be attributed to how important data is in business now.

"[The skills] hone in on a lot of that data processing and data analysis. Whether that's SQL or Python, the languages that somebody is going to write in, or AWS, where your database is or your cloud is, as well as analysis skills, it's really pointing [out] that there's a lot of data out there and companies want it to be analyzed," Konkel said. "They want to be able to make smart business decisions that are data driven, and that is really what is driving the demand here."

"Despite coronavirus turning the world upside down, businesses still want to make smart decisions, and they want to be backed by data and know that they're making the right decision," Konkel continued. "Even though we are in the midst of a pandemic and a terrible health crisis, businesses are still motivated to make those decisions, and these skills help do that."

One element of this most recent list that varies from previous data is the inclusion of soft skills, which could be attributed to the fact that remote work demands clear communication and transparency. However, strong communication is critical no matter where an employee works  from, Konkel noted.

"You can do all the data analysis, but if you are not able to explain it to business leaders who are making those decisions, it really doesn't go anywhere," Konkel said. "Businesses want to be data driven,  this means [you need to] be able have the right technical skills to be able to do the [task], but then also know what you're looking at to be able to do that analysis, and then lastly communicate it."

The list covers a wide scope of technical skills, so for professionals who may not know where to begin, Konkel suggested first turning to Python, 

"I would definitely highlight Python, just because of its versatility," Konkel said. "It can be used in the most advanced cloud engineering things, as well as just basic coding. The fact that it is so versatile, I would encourage a job seeker who is looking to enhance their skills or their resume to consider that." 

However, Konkel emphasized that just having Python as a skill on its own won't ultimately be helpful.

"Python is definitely a strong technical skill to have, but it needs to be married with those analysis skills, as well as communication to explain the whole process," Konkel said. 

For more, check out The best eLearning platforms for online courses on TechRepublic.

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