Top IT contractor skills for 2021
A very tough year for the tech industry in general is finishing on a positive note. We are seeing record job levels in our final quarter of the year, which has prompted people in the industry to think very differently about 2021 and where they see demand going, writes David Jennings, a director at SThree.
When speaking to a wide range of customers and contractors, it is fair to say there is a lot of differing opinion about the best technologies or ways of delivering on tech projects.
That said, one thing we think almost all professionals will agree on is that the coronavirus pandemic and changing of working practices has accelerated a lot of companies’ plans around their digitisation process, so they can meet the demands of the future ‘normal’.
Data Analytics & BI
As The Economist reported (back in 2017 but still applicable today on the cusp of 2021): “The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but Data.” The latter really is an area that keeps on growing, so we anticipate this to continue further.
Companies are looking to meet the demands of making data-driven decisions more than ever before. The skills we have seen most in-demand within this area are Python, Azure and Power BI. Underpinning this all, is a bigger need on using these tools to help with Advanced Analytics.
Moving to the Cloud
Covid-19 has highlighted where certain companies have been underinvesting in their IT, now compelling these companies which are behind to act now. We have seen an increased demand for Programme and Project Managers who have specific experience of transitioning Customers to the Cloud.
Part and parcel of this has been moves to Office 365 and modernisation of legacy IT infrastructure.
Cloud Infrastructure & Security
Following a similar theme to above, the need for hands-on Infrastructure and Security personnel continues to grow. In particular, AWS and Azure skills dominate the landscape and we will continue to see these grow in 2021.
Within Security specifically, we are yet to see a major move in the contract market but we do anticipate this to change, as Cyber Security becomes more prevalent for companies making the move online. More companies are now investing in Security Operation Centres (SOC) as a way to prevent, detect, analyse and respond to cyber security incidents.
Moving to Agile
There is nothing new to Agile. It’s been around a long time. What we are seeing though and anticipate will see more of in 2021 is more companies embracing Agile ways of working.
This has seen an increase in demand for Product Owners and Product Managers as well as Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Delivery Leads and Managers. This trend has been accelerated due to Covid-19, highlighting the need to move in ever-faster and more responsive ways.