The tech space is undergoing dramatic changes and young engineers must keep up. We list 10 Hot IT Skills in 2018 along with some of the most recommended learning resources, to help Software Engineers do just that and understand which technical skills and technologies they must master for upcoming years in this ever-changing landscape.
The $150 billion IT industry in India is undergoing a major paradigm shift. Most companies are transitioning to automation and clients are demanding workers with certain specialised skills. A McKinsey & Company report says, nearly half the workforce in IT services firms will become “irrelevant” over the next 3-4 years owing to significant shifts in technology. Founder & MD of Head Hunters India shares that there will be 1.75 to 2 lakh job cuts per year for the next three years as a direct result of “under-preparedness” in adapting to new technologies.
Thankfully, there is a huge surge in demand, but low supply for Software Engineers who have mastery in advanced digital technologies. For instance, McKinsey & Co. predicts that in USA alone, there will be a shortage of 190,000 Big Data Professionals by 2018. This could be the silver lining and treasure trove of opportunities for young engineers looking to find top jobs.
With the advent of e-learning and MOOCs, it is now possible, more than ever to learn the hottest technologies from none other than expedient faculty in the world’s best universities. Coursera, Udemy, Edx, MIT Open Courseware, Udacity, iTunes University etc offer an excellent opportunity to gain access to world-class learning from the comfort of your homes.
It is important now, more than ever for young engineers to develop the right skills, and for experienced professionals to constantly upskill in order to stay relevant.
We spoke to some top Mentors on our Mentor Platform, working in Google, McKinsey, Microsoft, Amazon etc. to collate a list of the hottest IT skills(along with the best resources to learn those skills) that are set to dominate the tech scene in 2018 and the years to come.
1. Big Data Jobs
With the Data Revolution, Big Data will continue to explode in growth over the next five years. Data Jobs for Big Data experts or Data Scientists are expected to rise 16% through 2024 according to Business Insider’s article on Hot IT skills. Data Scientists, Data Analysts, Statisticians, Data Engineers are all profiles that companies are actively looking to hire for.
With the increasing number of vacant positions, employers are struggling to find the right talent.
Talking about USA alone, 181,000 Deep Analytics roles will be available in 2018 and five times as many positions that require related skills in data management & interpretation.
Thus, this could be a huge opportunity for engineers passionate about making sense of complex data sets to cash in on the demand.
We’ve gone ahead and put together a list of the Best Data Science Courses for aspirants, after talking to real Data Scientists in leading companies.
Recommended Data Science Courses
- Data Science Specialization from John Hopkins University(Coursera)
- Python For Data Science and Machine Learning Bootcamp(Udemy)
- Big Data Specialization From University Of California San Diego(Coursera)
- Data Science A-Z With Real-Life Data Science Exercises(Udemy)
- R Programming A-Z: R For Data Science With Real Exercises(Udemy)
- The Ultimate Hands-On Hadoop – Tame your Big Data(Udemy)
- Algorithms Specialization From Stanford(Coursera)
- Specialization: Data Visualization With Tableau By UC Davis(Coursera)
- Statistics for Business Analytics A-Z(Udemy)
- Statistics With R Specialization By Duke University(Coursera)
Considering a career in Data Science? Talk to Data Scientists in Google, Amazon or Microsoft for guidance:Get Mentored By Data Scientists In Top Companies(Free)
2. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
Oxford University created panic by stating that 47% of all jobs will go away by 2025. “In the next 10 years, we don’t think there will not be a white-collar job that will not be touched by Artificial Intelligence. In our estimate, around 12% of the jobs will go away due to the bot and automation.“
Indeed’s trend data shows that in 2016 alone, the number of job postings for Machine Learning currently surpasses the number of searches for such jobs. Further, the top companies hiring for these positions are some of the best names in the industry: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook & Nvidia.
Young Engineers looking to optimise for hottest trends in the tech industry or what the real world will demand of technology need to focus on Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning. Artificial Intelligence is about competing with machines. It isn’t about how competitive the job market is but about how not to be pushed out of it by AI.
Recommended Machine Learning Courses
- The Most Recommended Stanford Machine Learning Course By Andrew Ng(Coursera)
- Machine Learning A-Z Hands-On Python & R In Data Science(Udemy)
- Deep Learning Specialization(Coursera)
- Artificial Intelligence A-Z: Learn How To Build An AI(Udemy)
- Deep Learning A-Z: Hands-On Artificial Neural Networks(Udemy)
- Machine Learning Fundamentals From University of Washington(Coursera)
3. Cloud computing
As the world’s dependence on Cloud Computing is growing by the day and more and more companies are implementing this technology, the demand for engineers with knowledge of Cloud Computing is set to rise exponentially.
The average salary for Engineers with Cloud Computing experience is $90,950. Presently, there are 18,239,258 Cloud Computing jobs worldwide, of which 40.8% are in China.
Companies are actively hiring for profiles like Cloud Engineer, Azure/AWS Consultant, DevOps Engineer, Cloud/Azure Architect. The largest number of Cloud Computing jobs are offered by Amazon, EMC & VMWare.
Recommended Cloud Computing Courses
- Cloud Computing and distributed and networked systems for clouds and big data from University of Illinois
- Becoming an AWS certified Developer
- Cloud Computing Development Essentials
- Cloud Computing With AWS
4. Object-Oriented Programming Languages
Contrary to what young engineers often believe, there isn’t a specific programming language that is a pre-requisite while interviewing for top companies. It is gaining complete mastery in any one is what is recommended.
It is advised that instead of making the mistake of trying to learn several programming languages at once, young engineers should dive in deep and understand the nitty-gritties of a single programming language so they can write fluent code in it.
Further, what is really required is your grasp on Algorithms and Data Structures, as elucidated next(#5).
Google’s Technical Development Guide, which outlines tips, links & resources for young engineers seeking a role at Google, recommends aspirants to learn to code in at least one object-oriented programming language; C++, Java or Python. The other programming languages it mentions are:
- CSS & HTML
- Shell script
Recommended Courses For Learning Programming Languages:
- Complete Python Bootcamp(Udemy)
- Complete Java Masterclass(Udemy)
- Python Specialization From University of Michigan(Coursera)
- Java programming and software development in 5 online courses from Duke University(Coursera)
- The Complete Ruby On Rails Developer Course
- Learning and Understanding NodeJS(Udemy)
- AngularJS The Complete Guide
5. Algorithms And Data Structures
Every top company, be it Google, Facebook, Twitter or Microsoft requires candidates to be masters in Data Structures & Algorithms. Proficiency in it allows Software Developers to find an elegant solution to a programming problem within hours when another developer might take several days to figure it out.
Anurag Kapur, Software Architect Architect, BCG in his exclusive account on How to become a Software Engineer & land a top job says, “Learning programming is important, but new programming languages come and go. The things that stick, are the basics. The fundamentals that you learn in Data Structures and Algorithms apply to all fields and all work done by all programmers, working in all sorts of programming languages.”
As stated in its Technical development Guide, Google wants you to learn about fundamental data types like stacks, queues, and bags, as well as grasp sorting algorithms like quicksort, mergesort, and heapsort, data structures (binary search trees, red-black trees, hash tables), and Big O.
Recommended Courses For Mastering Data Structures And Algorithms:
- Specialization: Data Structures and Algorithms By University of California San Diego(Coursera)
- Algorithms Specialization By Stanford(Coursera)
- The Coding Interview Bootcamp: Algorithms & Data Structures(Udemy)
The art of Problem-solving is one of the most critical skills to have as a Sofware Engineer. Since it cannot be acquired overnight and has to be built gradually, it is crucial that engineers aspiring to make it to top companies work on their problem-solving abilities consistently.
Software development is about solving real-world problems every day. In the real world with complex problems, anyone can solve a problem in a particular way. But what matters is who can solve it most efficiently.
In this era where new technologies come and go every few years, the most important skill a young engineer can teach himself is great problem-solving ability. It doesn’t matter which programming language or technology one is proficient in if you can’t solve a problem efficiently.
Continuously challenging yourselves on competitive programming websites, CodeJams & Hackathons can be a brilliant way to up your skills, improve your problem-solving ability as well as get hired by some of the best recruiters who actively hire top rankers from online platforms.
7. Information Security
Jobs for Information Security are expected to rise 18% through 2024. Robert Half’s 2016 Salary Guide places the starting salary for Information Security professionals in the six-figure range, increasing about 7% from 2015 and signifying one of the largest year-over-year salary bumps.
As cyber attacks continue to upsurge, IoT & Cloud Computing create additional security loopholes for malicious cyber criminals to exploit, Information Security & related skills will continue to be in demand.
Recommended Cyber Security Courses
- Cybersecurity Fundamentals in 5 online courses from the University of Maryland on Coursera
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate 2017
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate 2017
8. Discrete Mathematics
Discrete Maths lays the foundation for future courses in functional programming, Algorithms & Data Structures, Compilers & Automata etc.
With the understanding of Set Theory, Boolean Algebra, Probability & Combinations, programmers can effectively analyse algorithms; identify their parameters & limitations as well as realise how complex a problem or solution is.
The Guide to technical development by Google directs aspirants to develop logical reasoning and knowledge of Discrete Maths. It enlists the following online resources:
9. Operating Systems
Knowing and understanding how Operating Systems work is critical to anyone who is hoping to be a competent Software Developer, as it can be crucial to how well your program runs, as well its structure & flow.
Many top companies quiz candidates on OS theory and Linux commands. You must know OS topics that affect code performance; memory management, processes threads, synchronisation, paging & multithreading.
When companies hire developers to develop for a particular platform or technology, they expect developers to be familiar with the platform itself in addition to what development tools, idiomatic patterns, and common frameworks are used.
Google Technical Development Guide also recommends engineers to develop a strong knowledge of operating systems and lists the following free online resource:
Computer Science 162, UC Berkeley, YouTube
10. Mobile App Development
Eric Schmidt(Executive Chairman, Google) says Mobile Application Development is the future of Software Development.
Mobile app developer jobs are poised to witness some of the largest salary gains. An 8.2% projected increase in salary was stated in InformationWeek. Inc featured App Development as #2 on their “10 Hottest Jobs in 2016” list and reported that 83,649 more App Developer jobs were posted than people hired.
The startup boom has also contributed to the surge in demand for mobile application developers with many startups offering to pay extremely competent salaries to skilled app developers.
Currently, the demand for mobile app developers far exceeds the supply according to several IT recruiters. By 2020, as many as 300,000 new mobile app developer roles will be created, of which the major will involve work on iOS and Android apps.
Recommended App Development Courses
- Android App Development from Vanderbilt University(Coursera)
- The Complete iOS App Development Bootcamp(Udemy)
- The Complete Android 7 Developer Course: Building Real Apps Including Uber, Whatsapp & Instagram(Udemy)
Other Hot IT Skills That Are In High Demand
Some other emerging technologies or complementary skills that are in high demand are as follows:
- Embedded Systems & IoT
- Wearable Technology
- Augmented Reality
- UX Design
- Web Development
- Database Administration
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If you enjoyed learning about Hot IT Skills, then you’ll find this useful too. Check out our exclusive video account by a Software Pro from Oxford University on becoming a successful Software Engineer and landing a top job: