Most In-Demand Skills: Java, Python, SQL Still Dominate

In these uncertain times, employers clearly have a hunger for technologists skilled in Java, SQL, and software development, according to a new analysis of data from Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes job postings from across the country. 

As you can see from the following chart, skills that popped up most often in job postings included popular, “old school” programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, and Python. This makes total sense, given how employers not only need to build new apps and platforms using these languages, but also maintain their mountains of legacy code:

SQL is also dominant, which is similarly unsurprising: This longtime language, designed for managing and querying relational databases, remains a vital part of many companies’ database infrastructure. Companies clearly need technologists who can build and modify data structures and figure out how to best store and retrieve information. 

It’s worth comparing this chart to the one we generated for mid-February to mid-March.

As you can see, there hasn’t been much change in the skills rankings, despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic immediately after this period. These lists emphasize yet again how, if you’re seeking employment as a software engineer or developer, older and much-used technologies remain in reliable demand. By analyzing Dice data, we’ve found that the top 31 technology job positions include application developer, systems engineer, systems analyst, and other, specialized developer and engineer roles, which re-confirms that we’re seeing via Burning Glass.

Of course, you can still benefit from learning new technologies and languages such as Kotlin, Swift, machine learning and A.I. (in fact, new technologies can often pay quite a handsome salary); but as the COVID-19 situation grinds on, it’s clear that companies are hyper-focused on technologists who can build, maintain, and protect their basic infrastructure. 

2 Responses to “Most In-Demand Skills: Java, Python, SQL Still Dominate”

  1. Robert Dickow

    Can we trust Burning Glass’s findings? And what are we readers supposed to do with this list? It may not be helpful for job seekers, who may think they need to go back to school to learn the top items. But COBOL didn’t show up here, but with the Covid outbreak I noticed a desperate call for COBOL programmers. ‘Old School’ … like “Python” ?? Folks, if I may recommend one thing…learn how a computer works, and use whatever tool you need at the moment.That’s advice from an old hand who learned LISP on the bus ride to work well enough to write a genetic mutation analysis program that same afternoon. Be adaptable, and stay away from fad platforms and languages if you can help it. This article pretty much has the same conclusion. I think.

    • Neil Stephens

      Well put! I have often had to write a new program (or even just a “fix” script) in a language or tool that was new to me. Being able to adapt as needed is something that never appears to be a requirement in a job description and yet it ought to be the most important skill and really should be above all others. Java, SQL, Python…child’s play!