Gone are the days when job aspirants can sustain their career for a good 30-40 years by learning one skill in their 20s and capitalizing on it throughout their career.
The current times demand professionals to be agile and flexible with their skillset.
By Ravi Kaklasaria and Mrinal Bagaria
As we look towards 2021, we have several reasons to be hopeful. There are several vaccines against COVID-19 on the horizon, the global economy seems to be faring better from its state of depression and most of all, we are all ready to leave the debris of 2020 behind. What a year it has been!
However, overshadowing all this is the concern of unemployment that is threatening our return to the normal. The layoffs and hiring freeze brought about by the pandemic has stolen the means of likelihood from far too many. Before we welcome 2021, it is important that we understand how this issue can be resolved best and also consider the domains that can supply jobs to stabilize our economy.
IT Skills As A Possible Solution to Unemployment
A recent Gartner report highlighted that globally 70% of the workforce lag behind in skills needed to perform their current roles successfully. Several large organizations that agreed with this report also acknowledged that their tech skills gap is the most alarming.
Keeping this in mind, and also considering our increasing rate of tech adoption today, we can safely estimate that technology upskilling is one way to address the problem of employability in our country. Also, as companies are poised to continue their functions with cross-functional teams, it is important that even non-tech professionals move to future proof their job by gaining an in-demand tech skill. From programming languages to data interpretation, there is a wide array of tech skills that can compliment any job role.
Following are some of the top domains that job aspirants should seriously consider in the lucrative IT domain in 2021 and beyond.
Top 4 In-Demand IT Skills 2021
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
There was a brief lull in hiring after March 15 of this year to until recently as companies downsized to cut costs in the uncertainty of the pandemic hit economy. But, as shown by a recent LinkedIn report, this hiring pause did not extend to the domain of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning; infact, the jobs in AI & ML grew by 8.3% in the same period.
AI & ML talents have retained relevance owing to their direct impact on business bottomline. From automation to real-time data interpretation, AI has proved as an invaluable tool in enabling companies to continue functioning efficiently with limited staff and in a disrupted economy. There is no doubt that these technologies will stay at the forefront of leading the world in 2021.
Aspirants in this domain can differentiate themselves by specializations in sub domains like NLP, Robotics & Deep Learning. This is apart from gaining rudimentary skills in the field such as proficiency in TensorFlow, Python, Java & Statistics
The pandemic had forced the hand of businesses who were hesitating with their cloud migration. Amidst the government imposed shutdown and social distancing measures, organizations accelerated their migration to cloud to ensure their business continuity. By choosing cloud as an ally, organizations were able to facilitate remote work, enable collaboration, scale their infrastructure and allow their workforce to remotely access critical resources and applications. To be precise, Cloud Computing has played a bigger role than any other technology in keeping the World functioning during the crisis.
This reliance on cloud computing will dominate in the upcoming year as the post-pandemic world will be inclined to continue the practices of today which they have adopted as a crisis mode response. Moreover, the speed with which cloud migration happened today implies that there will be some critical issues to contend with in the enterprise cloud once this pandemic rush is over, which means that enterprise cloud journey is far from over. Considering all this, we can safely predict that talents in this field can land lucrative jobs without much effort.
Professionals skilled in the leading cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, GCP will continue to be at the top of recruiter’s list. Also, proficiency in Docker, Kubernetes, Software development, and DevOps will add value to cloud aspirants.
We all know how much more digitized we have become since the pandemic. From online learning to leveraging tele-health, our interactions with digital has become even more pronounced during lockdown and social distancing. Our increasing use of cloud services are also an example of this. Though going digital sure has manifold benefits, it has one major downside – that is the increasing rate of cybercrimes. Recent statistics show that cybercriminals have taken advantage of the chaos of COVID-19, which has resulted in a 273% increase in data breaches in the first quarter of 2020 as compared to the same time last year.
As cybercrimes continue to threaten privacy and security online, a significant barrier to digitization, the demand for cybersecurity professionals will continue to rise. Aspirants in the domain can gain from certificants in cybersecurity, vulnerability assessment, network security and related fields.
Data driven decision making will be a significant trend in 2021. From Human Resources, Finance, Sales to Marketing, Data Science will be incorporated into the job role of every business function. As companies will be functioning with limited teams, the workforce will be expected to gain data literacy and support their existing job responsibilities with data insights.
Some of the in demand skills in this domain are Data visualization,Knowledge of programming languages, data wrangling, and data intuition.
Gone are the days when job aspirants can sustain their career for a good 30-40 years by learning one skill in their 20s and capitalizing on it throughout their career. The current times demand professionals to be agile and flexible with their skillset. While tech professionals need to widen their horizons with soft skills like communication, there is also a need for non-tech professionals to learn to speak the tongue of digital. Domains like AI, ML, Data Science, and Cloud Computing are powering every sector today, and professionals in every domain should fast make acquaintance with them.
(Mr. Ravi Kaklasaria is the CEO of Springpeople and Mr. Mrinal Bagaria is the COO of Springpeople. Views expressed are personal.)