Project Management Remains Top In-Demand Tech Skill

In March, the tech unemployment rate hit 2.4 percent, far below the 6 percent nationally for all occupations. It’s clear that companies everywhere need technologists for a variety of tasks, from building new services and apps to securing infrastructure. With that in mind, which tech skills are most in-demand as we head into summer?

For an answer, we turn to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country. Here’s the breakdown of the most in-demand skills over the past 60 days:

We run this analysis on a regular basis, and project management has claimed the top spot before. It’s easy to see why: without an effective project manager, things simply don’t get done (at least not on time, and certainly not under-budget). Given the complexity of many tech projects, project managers must deploy a vast array of skills, from budgeting and scheduling to change management and procurement. 

If you’re interested in a project-management position, it’s important to master project-management methods such as Agile, Scrum, Kanban, and even Waterfall (yes, many organizations—particularly ones that are huge, and/or build hardware—still stick to Waterfall). Soft skills such as communication and empathy are also key, as project managers must frequently secure buy-in for initiatives from stakeholders throughout an organization. Last but certainly not least, many companies also want project managers who possess certain certifications, including Project Management Professional (PMP).

That SQL (structured query language) would place near the top of the list isn’t a shocker, either. Companies everywhere need technologists adept in SQL to manage the relational databases that support pretty much every aspect of most businesses. For those unfamiliar with SQL, it allows you to manage those databases’ index structures, retrieve information, and generate new tables. 

For those interested in learning it, SQL can translate into high pay. According to Burning Glass, SQL developers earn a median salary of $92,504, with the profession projected to grow 11.5 percent over the next decade. Database administrators, who utilize SQL quite a bit, make nearly as much ($89,561).

What the latest Burning Glass data makes clear, overall, is that companies are on the lookout for a wide range of technology skills, from Java and Python to Agile development. That’s good news for technologists out there who are interested in landing a new job—provided they’ve mastered the necessary skills.