CareerFinder Report: The skills on the rise (and in decline) in the tech industry

Just as technology evolves, the skills required to work in tech evolve, too.  

While it can be difficult to keep up with what employers are looking for, TECHNATION’s CareerFinder Job Title Heatmap lists emerging, declining and required tech skills. The tool also provides a heatmap indicating where tech job openings are across Canada. This resource is useful for people entering the tech industry and for those looking to upskill to better meet the demands of the industry. 

Randy Purse, Senior Cybersecurity Advisor for Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst, says he sees a significant increase in automation, virtualization, and digitization across almost all sectors, shaping which tech skills are in demand and which ones are on the decline. He understands some people are worried about losing their jobs during this ever-evolving tech transformation, but he’s confident that work will be available. 

“We have an opportunity here where we can give people ways to find meaningful and enduring work, and if we start now, then it won’t be a crisis in 10 to 20 years when automation and virtualization have basically subsumed a lot of the existing work,” Purse says.  

“It doesn’t have to be an ‘OK, we are nearing the cliff’ situation. We can slowly walk up the hill and enjoy the view from the top when we get there because everyone’s been able to come along with the technological transformation in Canada.” 

Tech Skills on the Rise 

There are thousands of job openings in Canada’s tech industry, as shown on the Job Title Heatmap. Here are the top skills that will help you get a job in the tech industry: 

  1. Cloud computing

The tech world is seeing cybersecurity, IT architecture, and virtualization come together in cloud operations. 

“The cloud is the new normal for data storage and processing,” Purse says. 

Tech professionals need to understand the architecture and dataflow requirements, as well as how the cloud service provider operates, so they can best help their organization migrate onto—and use—the cloud. 

  1. Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Anything automated is increasingly leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), Purse says, and companies are hoping candidates have knowledge in these areas when they look to hire tech professionals. 

“Given the increasing quantity and frequency of cyber attacks, we’re seeing greater use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to help identify and contain potential threats to systems and data of importance within an organization, simply because people in and of themselves can’t keep up—the volume and quantity is just too much.” 

  1. Operational technology

Operational technology is the use of hardware and software to detect or cause a change in physical processes, infrastructure, and devices. 

“We’re seeing the integration of this technology in both physical processes and systems,” Purse says. “This means cybersecurity professionals need to understand what the interoperability of these systems is.” 

  1. Remote operations

Because of the growing trend toward automation and remote operation, companies are increasingly relying on remote communications between IT systems and other types of systems: automotive, mechanical, and aerospace systems, to name a few. Like with operational technology, an understanding of interoperability across systems is important. 

  1. Data science

Tech professionals are now using automated tools to filter data to identify, detect and mitigate cyber threats to an organization. This means an understanding of data analytics and data science can help you to perform your work more effectively and efficiently.   

Tech Skills in Decline 

Though some tech skills are in decline, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily going away for good, Purse says. 

“Everybody is going through their own digital transformation, moving toward a new digital economy in different ways and at different paces,” he says. “Some of these more leading-edge technologies are going to be predominant in certain industries, and other industries are going to take a long time to get there.” 

Here are a few tech skills that have seen decreased demand:  

  1. Hardware maintenance

With wireless technologies and plug-and-play software, you don’t need as many people as before to maintain the hardware of computers and devices. 

  1. Data entry and database maintenance

There’s a plethora of software available that can process data for far cheaper and more reliably than humans can, meaning data entry and maintenance skills are not as in demand as before. 

  1. Coding

A lot of code exists in the world, and people can even do copy-and-paste programming, so Purse expects the requirement for coding skills to decline over time. He also says a lot of coding will be more AI and ML enabled—the computer will generate the code. 

 If you have a specific job in mind, you can see which skills are in demand or are declining by going to CareerFinder’s Job Title Heatmap. For even more information about the positions you’re interested in, use the Job Description Tool, a database of more than 65 jobs.