UK IT hiring trends to watch 2020

We round up some of the key trends shaping the UK's IT hiring market, including key skills, salary expectations and the ongoing impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the job market.

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As you start the new year assessing any skills gaps within your teams it can be useful to get a feel for what the hottest new skills or proficiencies are to stay one step ahead of the competition.

LinkedIn analysed its global network to find the top 15 most in-demand skills worth learning in 2020 in January, divided into soft and hard skills.

Somewhat surprisingly blockchain skills topped the list, with LinkedIn identifying that "the small supply of professionals who have this skill are in high demand." This could mark the height of a hype cycle for the distributed ledger technology, but also could signal a broadening interest beyond just cryptocurrencies.

Cloud computing skills were down one place from last year in second with analytics and AI skills coming in third and fourth places and UX design in fifth, in what was a very technology-heavy top five. Creativity, collaboration, persuasion, and emotional intelligence topped the list of soft skills.

Similar analysis by tech recruiter SHL in July found SQL, Java and Python were the most in-demand skills in the UK according to LinkedIn job advertisements for the first half of the year.

AI and data protection roles most in demand

Analysis by LinkedIn on all of its members with a public profile and a full-time position within the UK during the past five years showed that technology roles continue to prove the fastest-growing in the country.

Drilling down a bit, artificial intelligence expertise was the most in-demand job skill according to this report, as more and more organisations look to tap into advanced data analysis techniques.

This was followed by data protection officers as organisations look to protect themselves following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Next on the list was robotics engineers, site reliability engineers, and customer success specialists.

“It’s no surprise that artificial intelligence and data protection roles are growing throughout the UK," Mariano Mamertino, senior economist at LinkedIn, said at the time. "As technology continues to advance at a pace, artificial intelligence specialists will become even more crucial across multiple roles and sectors. Today, there is 18 times more talent employed in this role in the UK than in 2015.

“Similarly, as data privacy concerns have grown, so has demand for talent to fill roles such as Data Protection Officer and Cyber Security Specialist. As we move into the second year of the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation, we can only expect these roles to increase."

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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