IT skills employers are looking for in 2020

Posted: 26 Mar 2020

IT skills employers are looking for in 2020

What are companies looking for? What new skills might you need?

Just weeks into 2020, the Irish Times carried a story about a new antibiotic discovered using artificial intelligence while the Guardian reported on an artificial intelligence program that is better at spotting breast cancer in mammograms than expert radiologists. Stories like these are becoming increasingly common. And it’s not just researchers and policy makers who are are focusing on AI— businesses, too, are adopting new technologies to uncover opportunities, control costs, manage risk and enhance performance.

As jobs are transformed by new technologies, more than 1 billion people will need to reskill by 2030, according to the World Economic Forum. WEF says much job growth will come from seven professional areas: care, engineering and cloud computing, sales marketing and content, data and AI, green jobs, people and culture, and specialised project managers.

IT skills in demand

For IT workers, wider adoption of new technologies is already having an impact on the skills that employers are seeking.

As more businesses embrace the potential of technologies like APIs, robotic process automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, Eolas Recruitment expects demand for candidates with experience of emerging and advanced technologies to increase. Already, we are seeing roles coming on stream for candidates experienced in the practical applications and fundamentals of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

At a practical level, developers and candidates with causal and predictive analytics skills and knowledge of Big Data processing frameworks like Spark and Hadoop are amongst the most highly sought after.

In terms of the qualifications IT workers need, a degree or masters in electronic engineering, computer science or equivalent continues to be valuable. However, candidates’ commitment to continuous learning and professional development is also very important at a time when the rapid pace of innovation is disrupting many businesses.

Earlier this year, LinkedIn highlighted the top skills that companies are looking for at present. In terms of hard skills, blockchain, cloud, AI, UX and business analysis all appear on LinkedIn’s list.

However, the more that machines take over repetitive, routine tasks, the greater the value employers place on certain types of human ability. Organisations need people who can think creatively, adapt to change, explain new ideas to colleagues and encourage innovation and development. For now at least, humans have the edge on machines when it comes to creative and emotional competencies.

Soft skills

According to LinkedIn, soft skills in demand include creativity, collaboration, persuasion, and emotional intelligence. This mirrors our experience at Eolas Recruitment where we increasingly see that communication, presentation, collaboration and influencing skills feature in the job specs for many IT roles. Soft skills are particularly important in senior roles where candidates need to be able to communicate confidently with senior stakeholders.

So what do these trends mean for IT workers?

Udemy, the online learning platform’s 2020 Workplace Learning Trends Report predicts that 2020 is the year when artificial intelligence will go mainstream and says that companies will seek to ‘build’ rather than ‘buy’ talent in future. The report highlights the importance of upskilling and embracing automation.

Candidates can enhance their skills through formal and self-directed learning as well as through practical experience. Udemy, Google, LinkedIn and FutureLearn are among the companies offering online courses that IT workers can use to improve their soft and hard skills. Various third level colleges in Ireland also offer part-time and online courses in relevant areas.

Upskilling and finding roles

While roles and the skills needed to fill them are changing, there are more opportunities than ever for IT workers who can adapt to the emerging trends. If you are an IT worker seeking to enhance your skills or planning a career move in 2020, Eolas Recruitment can provide information and advice on opportunities and skills and help you limit your search to relevant companies. Contact our recruiters for more information on how we can help you advance your IT career.

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