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Which skills in IT are most in demand?

Richard Hunt
The IT job market is continuing to experience increased growth and in order to be in with a chance of landing a top IT role, it’s important to ensure you have the skills that are most in-demand. 

With competition for roles high and the technology sector booming according to Tech City UK, it’s imperative for job-seekers to understand what skills employers are looking for so that they can get ahead.

To help you get your foot in the door, here are five of the most in-demand IT skills in the UK this year:

1. Programming and Application Development

The development of software for both web and mobile usage is providing popular with many large organisations who believe it holds the key to future expansion and growth in the business sector. 
As the economy improves and more opportunities present themselves, these organisations are keen to have the personnel in place that can capitalise on the latest technological advancements. It means individuals with development skills are highly sought-after. An InfoQ report from September 2015 revealed faster mobile app development to be one of the main development trends, with pressure placed on developers to cut the time between the creation of ideas and the launch of a product.

2. Project Management

Project management skills continue to be in high demand, simply because of the growing landscape of the IT sector. As a result, many employers need individuals who can oversee large projects that have a huge impact on the business as a whole. At the same time, workers are increasingly expected to handle their own workloads effectively to ensure that productivity levels do not drop, placing an emphasis on basic management skills for the majority of individuals in the IT sector.

3. Help Desk and Technical Support
Help Desk and Technical Support is one of the traditional points of entry into the IT sector, simply because nearly every sector from accounting to car manufacturers, is in need of professionals with these skills. Demand for support services has grown in line with increased technological usage, essentially because there are now more parts of the puzzle that can go wrong. Support services are expected to be available quickly too, with Business2Community suggesting a top tier IT support offering will have a response time of 15 minutes or less – this does of course mean that staff need to be available in order to meet these timeframes.

4. Security and Compliance Governance
The increased need for IT security professionals is perhaps of very little surprise due to the number of large-scale security breaches that have made front page news over the past couple of years. Many enterprises are willing to pay even more for an individual with these skills and the majority of roles are constantly in demand given technological advancements mean work is continually required to ensure everyone stays protected. Data from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation for September 2015 lists cyber security as a key skill and suggests demand will remain high for the foreseeable future.

5. Web Development
Web development is one of the hardest skills to find in an experienced IT professional, which means firms are often prepared to pay premium wages to secure the individuals they want. This is has seen many Brits turning to online learning courses in order to brush up their skills – a study by Udemy, the global marketplace for online learning, found that by September 2015, 660,000 people had enrolled into technical courses, such as app design, coding and web development.

For candidates considering a career in IT, there are plenty of different roles to consider. All require a certain set of basic skills that are then supplemented with more specialised ones. When considering opportunities it is important to bear in mind the necessary skill set that is required for it, as a sound knowledge of a particular area should boost the likelihood of success.

Read our related blog: Top tips to securing an IT promotion
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