Employers are Demanding These Skills from Candidates

Which technology skills do employers really, really want? According to a new analysis of Burning Glass/NOVA data, tried-and-true technologies continue to top companies’ talent wish-lists: DevOps, C++, Python, and software engineering occupy some of the top slots, with other stalwarts placing just beneath.

Burning Glass’s Nova platform analyzes millions of active job postings. That gives it a bit 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 currently in demand by employers, along with the year-over-year change:

Of course, when it comes to these types of lists, there’s always a particular problem: A “skill” like Microsoft PowerPoint doesn’t really compare to something like Python, DevOps, or C++. But as long as these huge data platforms vacuum data from millions of job postings, then break down and analyze the skills and jobs in those postings, we’ll face this issue; an algorithm isn’t going to differentiate between a programming language or word-processing software. 

Casting a bit of an analytical eye on these latest rankings, we can definitely draw some conclusions. Let’s focus on the programming languages: While new, buzzy languages such as Kotlin and Swift usually command the lion’s share of blog and media attention, it’s clear that employers actually want aged “stalwarts” such as C++Python, and JavaScript.

And that’s not surprising at all. For starters, lots of companies have mountains of legacy code that must be handled and updated; a borderline-infinite number of tools and products are built in these older, ubiquitous languages. As a result, demand for these skills is only increasing.

Speaking of software, it’s clear that employers have a huge appetite for developers. Software engineering, Agile development, and software development were among the top ten skills (along with technical support). In a way, that’s good news for recruiters and hiring managers: not only do many experienced tech professionals have these skills, but they’re also taught to legions of students and new graduates.

In other words, even though tech-industry unemployment is really low, there are lots of professionals out there with these “basic” engineering and DevOps skills (companies have lots of infrastructure in need of looking-after, which is why DevOps is another one of those positions where demand is only increasing). It’s just a question of offering the right mix of salary and benefits that are going to bring these candidates into your organization.