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The most in-demand tech skills: How to stand out in today’s talent market

Joel Torres, Suneel Mudaliar | November 15, 2023| 1 min. read
migrating flock of geese in v formation

At the beginning of this year, the tech talent landscape was relatively doom and gloom. Tech layoffs dominated the news cycle, the threat of a recession lingered, and hiring continued to slow. Now that we are more than three-quarters of the way through the year, we are starting to see hiring rebound. Across Insight Partners’ portfolio of software startup and ScaleUp companies, we have seen the number of open roles increase from Q1 by ~33%. Specifically, we are seeing a demand for engineering and product roles accounting for approximately 41% of all open roles across the portfolio.

This is great news for technical talent. The uptick in hiring offers technical candidates a wider array of opportunities to explore. (Join Insight’s talent network to explore opportunities from our portfolio companies.)

What are the most in-demand technical skills in this market?

Our portfolio jobs data indicates that the most sought-after technical skills across the software sector are:

  1. Python (~30% of open technical roles)
  2. AWS (~30%)
  3. SQL (~28%)
  4. Docker (~27%)
  5. Kubernetes (~20%)
  6. Java (~18%)

At a glance, these skills indicate that companies are emphasizing a need for:

  • Cloud Services: Since SaaS is inherently reliant on cloud computing, AWS’s high ranking reflects the industry’s need for expertise in cloud-based technologies. This includes managing, deploying, and scaling applications in the cloud.
  • Data & Infrastructure Management: The above skills indicate a focus on managing and manipulating large sets of data, as well as the necessity to have robust and reliable data infrastructure in place.
  • Scalability and Efficiency: Docker and Kubernetes, which are tools for containerization and orchestration, reflect an emphasis on creating scalable and efficient systems.
  • Adaptability: The wide array of skills suggests that software companies are looking for professionals who can adapt to the rapidly evolving technology landscape. Staying competitive in the SaaS market likely requires continuous innovation and the ability to leverage various technologies.

But what about AI?

When you take a step back and examine these skills holistically, they also indicate that companies are looking for candidates who can help prepare their organizations for the potential impact of AI. AI is only as good as the data that feeds into it, so organizations need to ensure they have a strong data foundation and infrastructure in place to drive any future AI implementations.

Skills like SQL and Python are indispensable for data management and AI algorithm development, and Docker and Kubernetes are crucial for deploying AI solutions in real-world scenarios. Additionally, the shift from Java—which has historically been the “go-to” software development language—to Python further indicates that companies are looking to ready their organizations for AI. While both languages are widely used in the field of AI, Python is generally considered better suited for AI and machine learning tasks.

Looking ahead to 2024

While Q4 is traditionally a slower time for hiring, technical talent should feel optimistic about the market heading into 2024. While we can’t predict the future, the current hiring data is trending in the right direction. If candidates are looking to make a move in the year ahead, they should continue to focus on strengthening these sought-after skills as they explore new opportunities.

Note: Insight Partners is invested in Docker.