Top 10 most demanded tech skills for 2016


As the demand of IT qualified professionals keeps increasing, salaries in the IT sector also keep increasing. According to Robert Half Technology, IT salaries are expected to increase by 5% in 2016. But what are the top ten tech skills that will be demanded the most in 2016? A survey by Computerworld's Forecast 2016 found out that IT architecture, programming/application development, and project management are going to be the top three most demanded tech skills in the coming months of 2016.

Here is their full list:

1. IT architecture

Surprisingly, the list this year started off with fundamental area IT architecture which usually does not appear in such lists. According to the survey, IT architecture was new this year and 42% of respondents said that in 2016 they are going to look for hiring people in this area.

“We still look for people with a firm grasp of enterprise architecture. We want those folks to look at industry standards and frameworks, and to set those up so we can have uniformity,’ said Michael J. Sylvester II, CIO for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services.

Tyler Mikkelson, the team leader of IT recruiting company Mondo said that many companies are seeking professionals coming from sysadmin, engineering, and senior engineering roles because they have a great background and the right mixture that can be very useful to any company that hires them. “They're gifted technically [and] they have strong business acumen, so they can speak to executives and C-suite individuals,” he said for Computerworld.

2. Programming/application development

The skill of programming or application development was ranked first in the same survey in 2015, while this year it came second. 40% of the survey respondents said they are going to hire programmers and developers in 2016.

During the last years, the demand for programmers and developers has been increasing, and it is expected to increase even more in the future. Many IT companies are also looking for hiring developers and programmers offshore and nearshore mainly in Eastern Europe in order to fill their vacant positions, as well as save money.

3. Project management

Last year, the project management skill came second and it seems like this skill will continue to be among the top 5 hottest tech skills, at least in the coming years.  

“It's not a new skill, but the difference now is the way we iterate. The execution is much faster. So it takes a bit more finesse in expectation management and bringing people together. I'm looking for people who have the comfort with that pace and that approach. It's as much fit as it is a particular skill set,” said IDEXX Laboratories CIO Ken Grady.

4. Big data

Even though it seems unfair that big data skill does not rank higher in the list, since big data has gained an enormous popularity recently, we should consider the fact that last year big data skill was ranked 10th, which clearly shows the increase of demand for people possessing this skill.

“Companies are typically looking for someone who can help them manage data and package that data. [They want] people who can interpret and then help bring that data to life visually — building dashboards and things of that nature, so the executive suite can push through techspeak and understand what the data is telling them,” said John Reed, Senior Executive Director of Robert Half Technology.

5. Business intelligence/analytics

Ranked seventh in 2015, business intelligence/ analytics went up 2 positions for 2016, ranking in the fifth place with 34% of the respondents who said that in 2016 they will be hiring people with this skill. “Jeff Remis, a manager at IT staffing and recruiting firm Addison Group, says demand for IT professionals with these skills is strong, particularly in healthcare, insurance, financial services and retail -- industries where the use of BI and analytics is more mature than it is in other sectors,” according to Computerworld.

6. Help desk/technical support

"My recruiting model is to find prospects, people recently graduated from college. I feel they have a well-rounded education, and it gives me confidence that they can communicate and have good customer service skills.We can educate them on the tech skills, but you can't teach personality,” according to HRHCare's IT team leader Eric Brosius. This skill has gone down by 3 positions compared to 2015 when it ranked in the third place.

7. Database administration

As mentioned above, the increased demand in big data, as well as in business intelligence/ analytics in the recent years has also increased the demand of database administration skill which ranks on the seventh place for 2016. “Recruiters say employers want people with extensive backgrounds in database administration and a deep understanding of data reporting tools and technologies such as Oracle, SQL, DB2 and Hadoop,” according to Computerworld.

8. Security/compliance/governance

According to the Forecast 2016 survey, 25% of respondents with hiring plans said they will be seeking people with this skill in the next 12 months. Even though the popularity of this skill has gone down by 4 positions, compared to 2015 when it ranked fourth, an article by Computerworld suggests that this skill is still very important and its demand in the coming months is expected to increase.

9. Cloud/SaaS

Compared to last year when it was ranked in the 12th position, this year the Cloud/SaaS skill has made it to the top ten hottest tech skills. According to an IDC forecast report, “research firm IDC predicts that more than half of enterprise IT infrastructure and software investments will be cloud-based by 2018. Specifically, spending on public cloud services will grow to more than $127 billion by 2018.”

10. Web development

The last place on the top ten most demanded tech skills is taken by Web development which has gone down 5 places compared to 2015. “One of the main categories where we're seeing double-digit growth is in Web development. Companies want [to ensure] they have a website that's mobile-friendly, that's easy to navigate, and that showcases other products and services so it drives incremental sales,” according to John Reed, Senior Executive Director of Robert Half Technology.


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