DevOps, Python, C++ Still Dominate In-Demand Skills

Which skills do employers really, really want? (And yes, that was a Spice Girls reference, because… well, we’re not sure. Maybe it’s the excess coffee talking.) According to a new analysis of Burning Glass/NOVA data, when it comes to employers’ desires, it’s all about the “old school” skills such as DevOps, C++, Python, and software engineering.

Burning Glass’s Nova platform analyzes millions of active job postings, which gives it more insight into granular skills trends than, say, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Here’s the full breakdown of the tech skills most in demand by employers as of August 2019, along with the year-over-year change:

And yes, sing it with us: items on this list such as “Microsoft Office” and “Microsoft PowerPoint” aren’t really tech skills, at least in the same sense as DevOps or Python. We know. It’s clear that the Burning Glass/NOVA algorithms don’t differentiate between, say, DevOps and a piece of software that makes presentation slides.

By isolating the “pure” tech skills, what can we conclude? DevOps remains huge, which is no surprise: Companies always need tech professionals who can build, test, fix, release, and maintain apps and other parts of IT infrastructure. Even though the rise of automation has pared down the size of DevOps staff at many companies, DevOps specialists with lots of experience and diverse skill-sets are always in demand.

Earlier this year, Puppet’s DevOps Salary Report (registration required) suggested that an organization’s overall revenue correlates to the size of a DevOps paycheck. “Among our respondents who work for companies with more than $2 billion in annual revenue, 63 percent make more than $100,000,” the report read. “However, among those who work for companies with less than $50 million in annual revenue, only 29 percent [earn] more than $100,000.”

And yes, larger companies equaling higher salaries may seem kind of obvious—but this correlation isn’t just about massive corporate budgets and equally sizable salaries. Big firms often have fiendishly complex projects that demand DevOps specialists with considerable skill—hence the handsome salaries.

Meanwhile, older programming languages such as C++ and Python are going nowhere—companies continue to build applications using them, and that’s before you consider the mountains of legacy code out there. Tech professionals who specialize in these languages (and have a solid portfolio of projects utilizing them) can likely find a gig that suits them.