Dice Q3 Tech Job Report: Top Tech Skills on the Rise

For the latest Dice Q3 Tech Job Report, we analyzed more than 1 million tech job postings between July and September 2021 to inform you about the tech hiring trends you need to know. And what dominates many technologists’ thinking, of course, is skills—what do they need to know in order to land their next job?

Job postings in the third quarter demonstrated that employers are looking for technologists who understand the core concepts of software development and project management, in addition to possessing technical skills such as SQLJavaPython and Linux. The reason for that is straightforward: Even as companies gear up to a normal pace of operations, they’re also facing an array of challenges, including a lack of skilled technologists — and until they can sort out those issues, they’ll have a heightened need for technologists who also possess management in addition to technical aptitude.  

As with previous quarters, SQL remains a dominant skill, and with good reason: As the programming language for managing and querying relational databases, it’s the foundation of many organizations’ data operations. Without technologists with extensive SQL knowledge, employers can’t wrangle the massive datasets they need for everything from HR to sales. Java and Python, two generalist programming languages also used in a number of highly specialized contexts (such as mobile-app building and artificial intelligence), are also likely to remain in extreme demand for quite some time. 

As with occupations, employer hunger for certain skills seems to have plateaued (and even declined slightly) on a quarter-over-quarter basis. This may reflect the stunning burst of hiring earlier in 2021. Based on data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the nonprofit trade association CompTIA pegged the tech unemployment rate at 1.5 percent in August, and employers have been very public about their issues with securing the right kind of talent to fill open roles; there’s clearly demand for technologists with particular skills, but perhaps not quite the same level as when businesses were first opening again.  

Many of the other fastest-growing skills (including DockerAzure, and Git) have an enormous impact on the web and cloud. The year-plus of the pandemic accelerated many organizations’ shift toward the cloud, and technologists who have mastered the skills related to it are always in demand. Fast-growing skills such as Tableau, data analysis, and change management are all used by the managers who are guiding projects to completion. 

Going forward, pay attention to machine learning, which is rapidly emerging from a niche technology into a mission-critical one for many organizations. Along with data science, machine learning is rapidly becoming a key way for organizations to take action with their enormous storehouses of data, by creating models that rapidly self-learn. Success in everything from customer service to supply-chain management could eventually hinge on effective application of machine learning and data science. 

For much more on the quarter’s tech trends, including breakdowns by location, employer, occupations, and skills, read the Dice Q3 Tech Job Report!