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12/8/2020
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Cynthia Harvey
Cynthia Harvey
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10 Hot IT Job Skills for 2021

For the first time in decades, some IT titles are experiencing a salary decline -- so be sure you have these high-demand skills.
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Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay

The turmoil of 2020 has had a huge impact on the IT job market. As a result, many tech professionals are wondering if they have the right skills for the current environment.

The World Economic Forum suggests that they might be right to worry. The organization has predicted a massive shift in the labor force, with 50% of all workers needing new skills by 2025 if they want to remain competitive in the labor market.

At the same time, the competition for the available jobs is getting much tougher. In its 2021 Technology Salary Guide, staffing firm Robert Half Technology noted that the pandemic has increased the supply of IT job candidates for available positions. "Higher unemployment and upskilling in the workforce due to accelerated digital transformation are expanding the IT candidate pool," it said. "It is further enlarged by businesses' growing acceptance of remote work arrangements. This allows employers to recruit technology professionals from a broader geographic area, potentially from anywhere around the world."

As anyone with even the most basic understanding of economics might guess, this oversupply has had a negative impact on IT salaries. According to research firm Foote Partners, "41% of the salaried job titles in our IT Professional Salary Survey have declined in value in the last 12 months (using national average salary in our comparison)." This was the first time the researchers saw this kind of pay decrease in the 26 years they have been publishing the report, so it is clearly a result of the changing conditions brought on by the pandemic.

But not all the news is bad. Experts say that IT workers with the right skills will continue to see high demand and, potentially, pay increases. The following slideshow highlights 10 IT skills that employers will be looking for in 2021 and beyond.

Cynthia Harvey is a freelance writer and editor based in the Detroit area. She has been covering the technology industry for more than fifteen years. View Full Bio

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