3 top tech hiring predictions for 2018

The skills that'll be in demand and the hiring needs of the next year.

With an eye on the tech hiring horizon for 2018, Mondo is wrapping up our exclusive 2017 tech placement data analysis to identify the most valuable hiring insights and in-demand salary ranges. Based on those insights, these are the three tech hiring predictions for 2018 you need to know to elevate your tech departments and continue to drive innovation in your industry.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science skills on the rise

In 2017, we learned that we’re just beginning to understand the impact and potential of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and data science across a variety of industries. Moving into 2018, it’s these skills that will dramatically rise in demand from companies looking to integrate innovative solutions, software, and products into their annual goals.

While the qualified, high-end talent available with these skills was limited in 2017, expect to see more emerging talent skilled in AI, machine learning, and data science available in 2018 – as educational programs have expanded to help professionals develop and build on these newer skills. Although data science is a more established specialization area, machine learning has introduced new, niche areas of expertise for the skill set. Current data science experts will look to make themselves more valuable in 2018 and beyond by taking additional coursework and certifications to add machine learning algorithm expertise to their increasingly in-demand skills.

Cybersecurity skills top hiring need as threats continue to evolve

2017 was the year of major cybersecurity breaches. From the global WannaCry ransomware cyber attack to the massive Equifax data breach, the past year saw major Tech heavyweights fall victim to more elaborate and enhanced cyber attacks. These attacks resulted in the theft of consumer data numbering in the hundreds of millions and the loss of trust from consumers in how effective tech companies are at protecting their private consumer data. Not to mention the financial and PR impact the cyberattacks had on the companies targeted.

We expect cybersecurity will be elevated from a top hiring need in tech, to the most important hiring need for 2018. This will be especially true for the IoT industry that continues to suffer from increasing risks of cybersecurity breaches. Nearly half of all security budgets for IoT will go to product recalls, incident response, and cybersecurity failures through 2022, according to the 2018 predictions from the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2017. Tech companies looking to fully protect and prevent cybersecurity attacks to their consumer data, internal networks, IoT devices, and other at-risk points of entry will make cybersecurity talent their top 2018 hiring need.

Devops and cloud automation skills will net highest salaries

As tech companies look to expand their devops and cloud-based teams, automation expertise will net some of the highest salaries in tech. In 2017, tech companies identified the critical importance of fully staffed devops and cloud-based teams as the need for complex deployment automation, infrastructure automation, site reliability, and cloud migration became core innovation drivers.

As such, the devops engineer role continues to be one of the hardest roles to fill in tech since companies are looking for experts equipped with high-end, niche automation skills often only found in passive candidates given the increased demand and limited talent pool. If you’re looking for high-end devops talent with niche automation expertise, expect to pay the higher end of the salary ranges for devops engineers and cloud engineers, which are $115,000 to $250,000 and $120,000 to $195,000, respectively.

2018 will continue to drive demand for professionals with skills in AI, machine learning, data science, cybersecurity and devops/cloud automation. Companies looking to be on the forefront of innovation will prioritize hiring contract and full-time talent with AI, machine learning, data science and devops/cloud automation expertise, while those looking to ensure their valuable data, networks and devices are protected against hackers will invest heavily in expanding cybersecurity talent or outsourcing to contractors.

Regardless of which in-demand tech skill set your business looks to onboard in 2018, expect to pay a premium for niche talent as demand continues to outpace the supply of qualified tech talent.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?

NEW! Download the Fall 2018 digital issue of CIO