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6 High Demand (and High Paying) IT Skills To Focus Your Development On In 2020

If you’ve suddenly got a bit more time on your hands, it could be the perfect time to upskill yourself in the world of work.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to tackle Webflow, practice basic coding, or take part in a data science bootcamp? Could be you’re looking for a promotion or a change in career?

Whatever your end goal, and whatever the incentive for getting there, these are the top IT skills you should be focusing on in 2020…

Must-have soft and hard skills for IT roles

From programming and database creation to providing general technical support, there are countless IT jobs that require specialist skills.

And while tech is a broad field, there are a set of basic skills that every aspiring IT guru should know:

  • Coding – having a basic understanding of code languages like CSS and JS

  • Communication – demonstrating leadership and teamwork qualities

  • Time Management – working to deadlines and multitasking

  • Analytical Thinking – being able to identify a problem and find a solution

  • Computing – having basic knowledge of systems like Microsoft Office

Nailing these technical and social skills is pretty much paramount to getting hired in an IT role. But in an increasingly overcrowded market, will those basic skills be enough?

6 high demand and high paying IT skills to develop for 2020

Call us pessimistic, but we think not.

Now, employers are looking for stand-out applicants with special skills — being an Excel whizz or knowing HTML like the back of your hand just won’t cut it anymore.

They want innovation, forward-thinking and someone with an expansive skill set different from the 1000s of resumes they’ve just spent hours reading through.

Here’s 6 of the most in-demand and high paying skills for 2020 you can develop to make sure yours isn’t bottom of the pile.

Artificial Intelligence

If you want to maximize your marketability, being AI-savvy is the way to do it.

While it’s been around for some time, the world of Artificial Intelligence is still as fascinating as when it emerged, and is continually changing the way humans interact with technology — from VAR to self-driving cars.

Knowing how AI systems work and their specific applications like natural language processing, speech recognition and machine vision are key skills that can be applied to many IT careers, and will impress employers no end.

Key facts about an AI career

Data Science

As that old saying goes, data is king — especially when it comes to making your resume stand out from the crowd.

Companies are in continuous pursuit of meaningful data and, as a result, there has been an increase in demand for data scientists too.

Unlike data analysis which is an entry-level skill, this type of work involves programming skills, machine learning, data intuition and critically analyzing statistics, invoking a more scientific approach to data.

Key facts about a Data Science career


With an increase in data breaches and privacy issues across the world, the need for businesses to have robust security has never been greater.

Damage from cyber crimes are anticipated to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, so if you want to make a difference, honing your security skills is a good place to start.

This involves intrusion detection, malware analysis and thinking like a hacker — it’ll take some training, but the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards of getting into cybersecurity can be great!

Key facts about a Cybersecurity career

Internet of Things

If you want to further your cybersecurity knowledge, this is a good place to start.

Dubbed ‘the next big thing’ in the tech world, The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected via the internet.

Smart toasters, fitness collars for dogs, thermometers and electric scooters, are just some of the everyday items being connected to the web as part of the IoT, where real-time data can be communicated without involving a human being.

At the other end of the spectrum, businesses are also deploying robotics solutions via IoT (in an emerging industry called IoRT — The Internet-of-Robotic-Things). This is about as innovative and cutting-edge as you can get!

But with new innovation comes increased risk of being hacked. Therefore, cybersecurity professionals with a specialty in IoT devices are like gold dust to employers.

Key facts about an IoT career

Cloud Computing

Did you know as an interconnected world, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day?

Companies are eager to make use of this information, fueling the demand for professionals with the skills to manage, store, and protect customer data.

The popularity of cloud computing has therefore rocketed sky high (pardon the pun), with many companies switching from classic servers to cloud solutions. Consider also the explosive trend for home working, and the future of cloud solutions looks very rosy indeed.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has the dominant market share of the industry with customers in over 190 countries, so knowing your way around the system will catch an employer’s attention.

Key facts about a Cloud Computing career

  • Average salary: $123,000 (the highest paying IT skill in our countdown)

  • The global public cloud computing market is set to exceed $330 billion by the end of 2020.

  • About a third of companies’ IT budget goes to cloud services.

Mobile App Development

While apps are hardly innovative technology, there’s still a lot of money to be made in the app development world.

204 billion apps were downloaded in 2019, but there’s both growing demand and hot competition. Having the skills required to design and deliver engaging applications will make you very attractive to an employer. You needn’t be a UX ‘unicorn’ — capable of all stages of app development — but exhibiting a keen understanding of, and interest in, the commercial value of mobile apps is a must for any IT specialist.

Key facts about an App Development career

Need more help?

Many of these skills can be learned on the job, or by signing up to online courses — but sometimes you need a little extra support, too.

With MentorCruise, you get a personal mentor to guide your professional development. Capitalize on your strengths, combat your weaknesses and identify which skills are most empowering for you and your choice of career.

Whether you’re one of the millions out of work, or you’re looking for a job change to fast-track your growth, MentorCruise’s qualified mentors are equipped with the insight and know-how you need to trail-blaze through any stage of your tech career.

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