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Top IT skills needed in 2016

IT skills are in high demand in the world of business. Technology is the future and forms the foundation for success in a company meeting its objectives and achieving its goals. For IT professionals this means lower risk of unemployment and the promise of higher salaries and greater job security.

The IT market is constantly evolving and talk of the Internet of Things, the cloud, big data and cybersecurity continue to dominate the business landscape. So as we begin 2016, what are the IT skills jobseekers should be focusing on? Here we take a look at six of the fastest-growing skills in the tech jobs market.

1. Cybersecurity

After a series of high profile hacks in 2015 it should be of no surprise that cybersecurity is a key priority for businesses. We are living in an increasingly connected world thanks to the Internet of Things, and this means ever more opportunities for would-be hackers. According to Gartner, 6.4 billion connected devices will be in use in 2016 – an increase of 30% from last year.

Security skills have been in short supply in the UK and companies are scrambling to secure security talent to help them identify vulnerabilities and improve their security posture. And the widely-held belief is that they will also have the budget to do so.

2. Data science

Interest and demand for talent in big data will continue to grow in 2016. Companies are clamouring to hire people with data science expertise. They want to make sense of the endless stream of data they receive on a daily basis and understand how to make big data best work for them.

Decision making based on ever-expanding sources of data – from user data and customer behaviour data to marketing data and sales leads – is set to drive businesses forward over the next 12 months. If you can process, analyse and interpret data you shouldn’t be short of job offers in 2016.

3. Cloud architecture

More and more of us are moving into the cloud – both as individuals and as businesses. IT professionals who are able to support cloud adoption, perform integration and ensure secure cloud deployments will be on every company’s wish list in 2016.

According to Gartner, investment in cloud computing will become the bulk of this year’s IT spend. And as private cloud starts to make way for hybrid cloud, those able to steer large-scale hybrid cloud deployments will be highly sought after – as will those individuals demonstrating more specific cloud skills.

4. Mobile app development

Every year we see the launch of new and improved smart phones and tablets. These hand-held devices are continually changing and revolutionising the way in which we do business. As a result, there is a constant demand for mobile developers to create new apps for both iOS and Android. Plus, Google’s ‘Mobilegeddon’ mobile search algorithm change last year made mobile web access even more of a key priority for businesses.

Alongside programming languages such as C++ and Java, we are now also seeing newer languages such as Apple Swift and Hybrid App Development that will prove invaluable for businesses looking to develop exciting and innovative apps.

5. Coding

It was in September 2014 that coding became part of the UK’s school curriculum – and until this next generation of computer coders reaches working age, the UK will continue to see a shortage in this field. As a result, coding is one of the most in-demand skills in today’s workplace.

From having an understanding of HTML to expertise in more complex, robust languages such as Java, JavaScript, PHP and Python, if you include these skills on your CV you will be ticking all the right boxes for IT recruiters. Every company wants the assurance that their website not only looks great, but that it also has robust, secure and stable back-end software to support it.

6. Networking and infrastructure

Networking forms the foundation of IT technology. Businesses are continually looking for more cost-effective and proficient ways in which to improve their network infrastructure technology. Network engineers have the skills needed to support and maintain the storage, proficiency and security of networks, which in turn boosts resourcefulness and overall performance. Businesses rely on these highly-skilled networking professionals across all verticals to guarantee stability, security and provide the performance required in the always-on world of business.

As technology plays an increasingly significant role in our everyday lives, companies will look to attract and retain top IT candidates with skills in these key sectors. Make sure you’re ahead of the game.

Read our related blog: How to set up your own recruitment desk
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