Alex Staff Agency

The most in-demand IT skills 2020

Research: IT and HR analytics

In the article we will take a look at the most popular requests at the market and the trends of the new year.

Digital trend

Digital technologies keep developing exponentially. It determined the IT market in 2019 and the tendency will only get stronger in 2020.

The most in-demand hard skills 2019/20:

  1. Cloud computing (AWS , that is used by many companies for its convenience and reliability is in priority) At the international website there are around 42 000 vacancies for Cloud Engineers (globally) – and every year this number will only keep increasing due to growing popularity of the cloud computing.
  2. AI (neural networks, computerized learning and everything, connected with artificial intelligence) – it has already changed the business in financial, computer and production area. Implementation of AI allows to create millions of working positions every year. In order to prevent computers replacing you, you have to be the one to program it. Special place is dedicated to the natural language processing technologies. If you can teach the machines to understand people then you can rule the world.
  3. UX (user experience analysis, scenario analysis, need anticipation) – it becomes more and more complicated to pack complex IT-technologies in user-friendly and applicable product due to the increasing complexity of the products themselves. There are open position for UX-designers in 25 000 companies all over the world according to Glassdoor.
  4. Mobile development (Android, iOS). We are moving to the smartphone world. Availability of the product at mobile platform means capability to reach the customer as fast as possible. It means that the amount of the mobile development will keep increasing. Currently there are more open vacancies for Android (53 000) than for iOS (22 000).
  5. Data Science (collection, processing, calculation and analytics for bid data) – every 2 years the information volume doubles. Large corporations and smaller companies chase data in order to analyze the people's needs and create the most in-demand product the first. As well as analytical skills, specialists need to have technical ones – in different projects it may be Python, or SMACK – stack (Spark, Mesos, Akka, Cassandra and Kafka).

Testing and support

Together with growth of complex products increases the demand for qualified testing and support. Moreover, the value of stable and safe team work grows as well.

Here we can find a stable demand for:

  1. QA engineers (more than 20 000 vacancies at Glassdoor). Based on our experience, testers need not only to be familiar with the tested technology, but also to know (at least basically) product stack. If you have Java project- then the candidate is expected to know more than a theory of this language. Tester is not just a part of a team, that finds the mistakes, but also that understands their technical inside and ways to fix it.
  2. System and network administrators. According to the international agency Robert Half the salary for those positions has increased by 3500 dollars annually over the last year. In order to work in international companies you will need to have certificates. If you plan to relocate to one of those positions, we strongly recommend you to get one. For system administrator it is Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), CompTIA A+, Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA). For network administrator Cisco (CCIE), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP).
  3. DevOps engineers. When they only occurred 10 years ago, many people didn't see the difference from system administrators. Now for IT companies all over the world positions of DevOps engineers have become quite popular. More than 34 000 companies are looking for one now.
  4. Cyber security specialists. Due to increased number of cyber-attacks companies pay more attention to the products' and customers' data safety. In the USA the head of security (CSO) are the second best paid specialists after IT-directors. Their average salary is around 180-190 K dollars per year (gross).


Programming is the base of the whole IT industry. There are stable leaders among the technologies, that keep staying ahead over the years and newcomers , demand for which keep increasing.

We have analyzed the report from the programmers' testing platform Devskiller, in order to find out which developers are the most in demand. Based on the results of 112 000 tests, provided by recruiters to the candidates. It means that each test equals to the test assignment to a vacancy.

So, which technologies were the most in demand in 2019?

  1. JavaScript. 70% of the companies in the last year looked for the developers, experienced with js. Both large and small companies use it while creating its products. And it is so widely spread currently, that the demand for it will stay stable in the nearest future.
  2. SQL. It is used both in front-end and back-end. Due to that it is highly in demand and is required in 57% of the cases.
  3. Java. 48% of the companies looked for the candidates , experienced in Java, but it is necessary to mention that it is more often used by large corporations, while startups and small companies often avoid it.
  4. HTML/CSS. 46% of positions and most of the vacancies in front-end development require to be familiar with it. According to the poll of the Stack Overflow developers, they are also included in the Top 5 in demand technologies.

According to our statistics, foreign companies usually look for developers, that combine several program languages. And it is not only for Full Stack developers, but for the industry in whole.

For instance, in 2019 we had 14 positions that required Java (Middle+ and higher). And only 5 of those didn't have a requirement for other language or technology. Two of them called for QA, other two for experience with mobile platforms (Android and/or iOS) and 2 were Java+Python and Java+js. One of the companies needed Groovy.

Based on the Devskiller test results we have found the most in demand combinations of skills, that foreign companies look for:

  1. Java+SQL (according to our experience, all Java vacancies have requirements for SQL experience) – 26, 27%
  2. JavaScript+CSS (this combination is valid for all front-end developers vacancies, that we have worked with) – 18,78%
  3. JavaScript+SQL – 15,82%
  4. .NET+SQL – 9,22%
  5. .NET+JavaScript — 8,03%
  6. PHP+SQL — 7,59%
  7. PHP+JavaScript — 7,44%
  8. Java+JavaScript — 6,85%

You can see JavaScript in 5 out of 8 combinations. We have already mentioned that it is widely spread currently and now you can see it for yourself. Together with HTML it forms a stable stack for frontend – development. For full stack developers JavaScript is a technology responsible for front-end, accompanied by Java, .NET or PHP. Popularity of the combination of JavaScript and SQL demonstrates the importance of technical skills with data bases.

Despite the language itself, the developer has to work in a certain environment. Looking deeper into the technological stack, we shall take a look at possible tests, implemented in various areas. It will help you to understand, what is required despite the certain programing language in 2020:

  1. Java: Selenium, Android, Spring/Spring Boot, JPA/Hibernate
  2. SQL: PostgreSQL, SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, HSQLDB
  3. JavaScript: JQuery, Node.JS, Redux, Ember, React, Angular
  4. Python: Django, Pandas, NumPy
  5. PHP: Symfony, Laravel, Slim, Doctrine, Codelgniter
  6. .NET: ASP.NET, C#, Entity Framework

All these technologies have been in place for a while, so their popularity is not surprising at all, there are so many codes, created using those, that there is a plenty of work for years to come.


The most rapidly developing areas in IT: Cloud, AI, UX, Mobile и Data Science.

The salaries and number of offers in testing are increasing. Moreover, usually the experience in languages or development technologies is required.

The number of vacancies for system and network administrators, as well as DevOps engineers is growing. The latter are one of the most highly paid specialists in IT, excluding developers.

Due to increasing threat of cyber-attacks the demand for cyber security specialists is increasing.

JavaScript programmers are in demand. Taking into account the growing demand for Full-Stack developers, mastering one or several technologies in addition to JavaScript will help to find the work anywhere.

While preparing this article we used materials from Devskiller, Hackerrank, Dice, Glassdoor, RobertHalf and Alex Staff Agency analytics.