The big job web site Indeed has been studying the type of tech skills that are in demand for a while, and it has found in its latest report that three developments are shaking up the world when it comes to tech hiring.
In a previous report, Indeed looked at the popularity of over 500 tech skills in the U.S. since 2014. The report found that today’s leading tech skills — SQL, Java, and Python — top the list. In another post, Indeed focused on the skills with meteoric spikes and catastrophic drops in popularity. But it’s easy to get lost in the details of tech skill ups and downs. In reality, tech workers have suites of skills and groups of skills rise or fall based on bigger trends in the digital world.
Cloud computing and containerization
Docker, Kubertnetes, and other containerized tech tools allow software engineers to isolate the environment in which an application runs, permitting rapid scalability as user traffic grows. Employers increasingly demand these skills.
As noted in an earlier post, Docker was far and away the fastest-growing tech skill in the five years through September 2019, Indeed said. The rise of Kubernetes is more recent. Kubernetes was the most widely used tool in the list of skills that rose the fastest in the year ending September 2019, ranking ninth.
As with containerization tools, cloud computing products like Amazon Web Service (AWS) and Azure have also skyrocketed. AWS is now the sixth overall tech skill and Azure is 17th. In just a few years, cloud computing has moved from a cutting-edge skillset to a standard and widespread part of the workflow for many tech employees.
Data science goes big
There are a plethora of Big Data tech tools that allow data scientists and engineers to work with massive data sets. These tools typically provide either computational power spread across multiple computer clusters or the cloud, or a predictive modeling apparatus that uses machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, or various other statistical techniques, Indeed said.
Big Data processing tools like Redshift, Spark, and Google’s machine learning library Tensorflow have soared. Spark’s growth is particularly stunning, up more than 10-fold since 2014. As data science becomes a proportionally bigger part of the tech job landscape, programming languages tailored for this discipline, notably Python and the statistical programming language R, grow in popularity too. R more than doubled in the five years through September 2019, growing 6% in the past year alone. Python is up 123% over the five-year period and 12% in the past year.
The proprietary data analysis software Tableau has grown remarkably for a non-open source tool. Most other proprietary analytical tools, such as MATLAB and SAS are flat or declining. Stata is another proprietary statistical tool, but it’s up 40% over 5 years, albeit from an extremely low base. Python is not included in the figure because its scale is so much bigger — it’s the third-ranking tech skill overall — and is not strictly a data science tool.
But data science is not just about software tools. Data scientists must also master important statistical and mathematical methods to effectively perform such functions as creating predictive models of consumers, forecasting sales, and recommending movies to watch, items to purchase, or people to follow. Thus, data science disciplines, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, are among the fastest-growing tech skills appearing in Indeed job postings.
These three big-picture tech skill trends — rapid innovation in web development; surging demand for cloud computing and containerization skills; and data science software tools and disciplines designed to capitalize on the explosion of information — represent the leading edge of the always rapidly evolving tech sector. So then, what are the top skills needed for specific tech jobs? Indeed is working on that report next.
Indeed used a list of over 500 tech skill terms to query the job descriptions of postings on Indeed.com between September 2014 and September 2019. Only U.S. English language postings having one of these tech job titles were considered. One cautionary note: Multiple skills can appear in the same job description and some terms can appear in multiple distinct skills, like “SQL” and “SQL server.”