COVID-19 disruption has led to a greater reliance on technology, which is fuelling a sharp increase in demand for several roles across the technology sector, according to specialist recruitment firm Hays.
James Milligan, global head of technology at Hays, says organisations have been forced to reprioritise their technology objectives and strategies in response to the disruption caused by COVID-19.
“The pandemic has led to a greater reliance on technology and this continues to fuel a sharp increase in demand for several roles across the technology sector, says,” he says.
According to Hays, change hasn’t been limited to how and where employees work.
“In the space of just a few short months there have also been huge changes in the ways customers browse for and purchase products and services, and their attitudes towards brands,” says Milligan.
“This change in consumer behaviour has resulted in companies having to completely rethink their entire propositions and approach. This, in turn, has led them to use technology, data and analytics in new and expanded ways.”
James shared six of the most in-demand tech sectors and jobs over the course of the next year.
Due to a rapid rise in cybercrime, there has been a sharp increase in cybersecurity spending as it has become a top priority among business leaders. Many security issues have also arisen from hybrid working, with many professionals having to work remotely for extended periods.
“It’s going to be a challenge to fill all of the new vacancies, as an estimated 3.1 million professionals will be required in the next 12 months to bridge the global cybersecurity talent gap,” says Milligan.
“Therefore, cybersecurity will account for many of the fastest-growing jobs for tech professionals in 2021, including Security Operations; Governance, Risk and Compliance; Identity and Privileged Access Management; Cloud Security and Architecture. As teams expand, other jobs in demand will include leadership roles such as Chief or Manager of Information Security.”
2. Cloud solutions
Organisations across all industries have been widely migrating to cloud solutions this year to allow for hybrid working. Initial migrations at the beginning of the pandemic were carried out very quickly to ensure all employees were online as soon as possible, this has meant organisations are now having to ensure their systems are robust and as optimised as they could and should be.
“We can expect Cloud Engineers and Cloud Architects to be among the top tech jobs in 2021,” Milligan says.
“Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are the two primary skills here, with about 80 per cent of the market using these. I predict that demand in this area will be acute and supply will be limited, so it’s certainly a hot area to be working in.”
3. Data science
The important role data science plays within businesses has increased dramatically in recent years, as analysing and interpreting complex data helps organisations make informed and timely decisions. In order to achieve this, Data Scientists draw upon skills and knowledge such as a strong understanding of machine learning algorithms, the creation of data models, and the ability to pick out business issues and suggest suitable solutions.
“Data Analysts and Data Scientists will be high on the list of the hottest tech jobs over the coming 12 months. In fact, the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020 listed Data Analysts and Scientists as the top job roles that are increasing in demand across all industries,” Milligan says.
“After all, a core element of any platform is the insights it can provide, and organisations need data people for that.”
DevOps play an essential role in helping organisations to deliver applications and services at high speed. DevOps Engineers often work with software production, monitoring code releases to identify areas of inefficiency in the software. The role can include not just monitoring and troubleshooting software, but also editing or reconfiguring it.
Milligan says the importance of DevOps certainly won’t change in 2021.
“Many more organisations now have a DevOps team than was the case just a few years ago, so there will continue to be jobs in demand in this field, such as Platform, Build, and Reliability Engineers,” he says.
“In fact, there’s been a 40 to 45 per cent growth in the market over the last five years, with DevOps Zone predicting this will rise even higher.”
5. Software development
Developers are essential to creating new products, tools and services to help organisations successfully transition and adapt to radically shifting markets. Demand will include not only Back-end Developers who can build the heavier tech, but also the Front-end Developers – including UX – who make sure any product that’s built is easy to use and navigate from both a design and build perspective.
“Those Developers working for tech organisations – organisations which provide essential products, services or tools which consumers will always need in this new world – will be particularly high in demand,” says Milligan.
“In today’s world, it’s tech that powers organisations, so software developers will always be high in demand. It’s important to note, too, that these software development roles will also be absolutely crucial in enabling organisations to innovate to solve the many new problems that have emerged as a result of the pandemic.”
6. Change management
Many organisations have had to adopt new technology. As the pandemic has accelerated many technological trends, it is critical this change is managed successfully. Whether organisations are building their own solutions, buying them in, or a blend of both – people with agile methodology are going to be essential.
“Change Facilitators and Change Managers are the people who are making all this possible; they’re the ones moving everything from analogue to digital right now,” says Milligan.
“Or in some cases, they’re working with third parties to bring their products and services into organisations.”
The past year has seen a huge shift in dynamics across not only the tech world, but the working world as a whole. According to Hays, in order for organisations to thrive in the new era of work, it is essential that they are equipped in these six areas.
“What’s equally clear is that this shift will continue into 2021 and beyond, with both employers and jobseekers needing to be prepared,” says Milligan.
“The skills and jobs that have become imperative this year are here to stay and will only accelerate in demand in the months and years ahead.”