May 25, 2021

5 Of The Most High Paying Tech Jobs And Skills In 2021

As we are witnessing considerable economic challenges all around the globe, caused by the Covid-19 epidemic, the technology industry seems to be almost completely unaffected by all this turbulence. In fact, the opposite is true: some niches of the tech market rocketed over the last year, while the demand for high-qualified tech professionals has increased.

And it will keep growing in the coming years, causing considerable shortages on the job market. According to Statista, there are around 24 million software developers in the world today, and by 2024 this number will grow to 28.7 million. But even this won’t be enough to satisfy all the demand as analysts expect the number of tech-related jobs to grow by 37% in 2022 alone. This means that the demand for programmers and other software development experts will considerably outpace the supply. Which makes a great employee’s market.

For professional software developers, it's crucial to have a relevant skill set that will meet current requirements on the market. But the rapid growth and continuous transformation of the tech industry has its downsides. It can be quite difficult even for experienced software developers, let alone beginners, to navigate this ever-changing market with new technology stacks, trends and solutions constantly replacing each other.

This is why today we would like to talk about the programming skills that are most in-demand on the job market today, in 2021.

Most In-demand Positions In Tech

Of course, it isn’t always obvious when it comes to the software development industry what is meant by “the skills,” as there are multiple programming languages, specialisations, tech stacks and so on. We are going to look at the technologies and specialisations in programming that are the most demanded by employers today, as well as high-paying and experiencing a considerable workforce supply shortage at the same time.

But first, some interesting data! Our analysis, based on several reports done by reputable research companies, allows us to specify these ten tech positions as the ones in highest demand in today’s market:

  1. AI/ML specialists
  2. Data scientists
  3. Engineers
  4. Developers 
  5. Business intelligence analysts
  6. Cloud architects
  7. Cybersecurity and data privacy experts
  8. Data analytics and reporting professionals
  9. Help desk and user support professionals
  10. IT administrators (database, network, systems)

Most In-demand Expertise

And the following ten technologies are considered to be the most in-demand expertise: 

  • Agile and Scrum
  • Cloud (AWS, Azure, Google)
  • ITIL
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • ReactJS and React Native
  • SQL

Top 5 Most In-demand Programming Skills In 2021

Based on a number of analytical reports and studies, such as the one referenced above, we have concluded this list of five programming skills/specialisations that in our opinion are the most in-demand by companies across various industries today. 

1) Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine learning (ML)

As AI/ML technologies keep evolving and finding more and more applications in real life, the number of jobs in this niche and the demand for AI/ML-related skills is skyrocketing. In fact, according to a recent study by Burning Glass Technologies, IT Automation and AI/ML are the two highest paying jobs in tech in 2021. 

As the integration of AI and ML technologies can have a game-changing effect on businesses, companies in various industries are rushing to adopt it. But the highest demand for AI/ML specialists is observed in these industries: 

  • Technology
  • Financial services
  • Healthcare 
  • Security 

According to Salary.com, the average AI Engineer salary in the U.S. currently is $140,306, with the range typically falling between $134,466 and $150,491. In Singapore, the average AI Engineer salary is $6,602 per month.

The salary data for other Southeast Asian countries is mostly insufficient (this is why hereinafter we will specify only the Singapore data), but it's safe to say that the level of compensation for all positions in this list throughout the Southeast Asia remains consistently high, in line with general global demand for specialists of these profiles and universal applicability of these skills regardless of the world region.

And here are five of the most frequently required skills for AI/ML positions (based on our own analysis): 

  • Programming languages (R, Python and Java)
  • Neural network architectures
  • Proficiency in mathematics
  • Algorithms and Frameworks
  • Linear Algebra, Probability, and Statistics
2) Cybersecurity engineering

It should come as no surprise that along with rising popularity of online platforms and cloud solutions came increasing demand for cybersecurity solutions able to protect businesses and individual users from various threats, such as information leaks and hacker attacks. 

As a result, the demand for cybersecurity experts is quite steady across multiple industries, but here are four that are hunting programming specialists in this field most actively: 

  • Software publishing
  • Internet services
  • Banking and financial services  
  • Government

According to PayScale, the average salary for Information Systems Security Professionals in the U.S. is $115,978 per year, and it can go up as high as $173,000 per year. The average salary for a Cyber Security Engineer in Singapore is SGD 120,237 (around US$90,000) a year. When it comes to specific skills and expertise, here are five most frequently mentioned ones: 

  • Programming languages (C++, PHP, Python, Pearl)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification
  • CompTIA Security+ certification
  • Security tools and programs
  • Encryption techniques/tools
3) DevOps (Development Operations)

As the software development market is growing, the competition is rising and so are the requirements for the efficiency of the development cycles and product delivery speed. This is why there's a considerable demand for DevOps specialisation. According to a report by Research Dive, the global DevOps market will grow by 22.9% every year from 2020 to 2027. 

Of course, software development is the main industry hiring DevOps engineers, but the demand for specialists with this expertise is also high among businesses in other industries that develop software products to support their operations. Such industries would be: 

  • eCommerce
  • Manufacturing
  • Financial services
  • Internet services

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for DevOps Engineers in the U.S. is $102,378 per year. In Singapore, a senior DevOps Engineer can expect an average salary of $119,998 per year ($67,713 a year for entry-level positions). And five most frequently mentioned skills in DevOps job openings are: 

  • DevOps tools and technologies
  • Containerisation
  • Continuous testing
  • Continuous monitoring
  • Source code management
4) Big Data (Data Science and Analytics)

Big Data is another major technology trend that's being rapidly adopted by businesses in various industries. According to Statista, the global Big Data market is projected to grow from $5.3 billion in 2018 to $19.4 billion in 2026. When it comes to specific industries, same as with AI/ML, the adoption of Big Data is spreading quickly, but these four are the biggest employers for Big Data programming experts today: 

  • Banking and securities
  • Communications
  • Healthcare 
  • Manufacturing

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Big Data Engineer in the U.S. $102,465 per year, In Singapore, $6,378 per month is the average salary for Big Data Engineers. As for the specific skills required, the following five are mentioned by employers most frequently: 

  • Programming languages (Python, Java)
  • Machine Learning
  • Database skills and tools
  • Cloud computing
  • Apache Hadoop framework 
5) Mobile development (Android and iOS apps)

Mobile development is probably a more obvious trend, as today there are almost 4 billion smartphone users in the world, and businesses that want to stay relevant and competitive in this market need fully functional mobile applications. 

This keeps the demand for qualified mobile developers high and it will increase, with these industries as the most active employers: 

  • Internet services
  • eCommerce
  • Banking and financial services
  • Communications
  • Media and entertainment

According to Indeed, the average salary for a Mobile Developer in the U.S. is $117,462 per year. And an average Mobile Developer in Singapore would earns $5,787 per month.

When it comes to required skills, they can vary depending on the platform, as the majority of mobile applications are developed for two most mobile operating systems: Android and iOS. But these five skills are the most frequently mentioned as required in job openings: 

  • Programming languages (Java/Kotlin for Android, Swift for iOS)
  • REST APIs development and integration
  • Object-oriented programming concepts
  • Android SDKs
  • XCode or Android Studio IDEs

Get Yourself That Dream Job 

Evidently, today the jobs market for programmers and other software development experts is full of opportunities more than ever before. Are you ready to seize yours? 

GRIT is a platform that's designed to help exceptional employers and employees in digital and technology fields to find each other with maximum efficiency and minimum effort. So, what makes GRIT unique? 

  • Quick sign up: We’ve got rid of the industry’s lengthy sign up processes and you can get on board GRIT’s unique platform with our 60 second sign up in 6 simple steps. 
  • No bias: At GRIT, your profile is anonymous and it’s your experience that counts. Receive requests from companies to view your full profile.
  • Transparency: The companies that request to see your profile at GRIT give you the salary upfront before you even start the process.
  • Talent-first approach: GRIT flips the traditional hiring model and companies apply to you instead.  Try finding your dream job in digital and technology on GRIT today!

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