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Great Tech Skills For The 2021 Job Hunt

From blockchain to artificial intelligence, technology has revolutionized the way we live. Aside from playing a crucial part in today’s world, the immense role technology will play in the future is undeniable. 

As we build the future we envision, the demand for tech professionals has been on the rise year after year, for over three decades. This is 2021 and the demand for tech skills show no sign of slowing down. 

But as you would expect, all tech specializations are not created equal. Knowing the tech skills with the greatest opportunities can help guide your job-hunting process. That is why this post explores great tech skills to look out for this year. 

  • Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity involves the protection of internet-connected systems such as software, hardware, and data from cyber threats. 

No company is immune to cyber threats, and big companies like Sony and LinkedIn have famously been hacked in the past. Did you know that in the first quarter of 2020, there were 2,935 reported security breaches? This made last year the “worst year on record”. 

Hence, many companies must keep their network security up to par. PWC reported that 55% of enterprises increased their cybersecurity budget in 2021. It’s no surprise that the demand for cybersecurity professionals has gone up by 132% in just one year – making it one of the hottest jobs in the tech sphere at the moment. 

  • Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is an exciting tech innovation that frees companies from traditional server infrastructure, making it seamless to access computer services (including servers, databases, networking, and storage) over the internet. 

The greater flexibility and economies of scale of cloud computing have driven its rapid adoption by many. The market for global public cloud services is expected to grow 35% to 120 billion in 2021, according to Forrester Research.  

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is currently the world’s largest cloud platform offering over 175 services, creating demand for engineers, cloud architects, and system administrators. It’s worth saying that the average AWS specialist earns about $130,000 per year.

  • AI & Machine Learning

Ever since the idea of building digital systems that can perform tasks associated with intelligent beings started, there has been no turning back. Today, artificial intelligence is applied in multiple fields, ranging from speech recognition to image processing to computer vision and more. 

Even these breakthroughs are just the tip of the iceberg in what can be accomplished. Little wonder the demand for AI and ML professionals for existing and new frontiers is expected to grow 71% over the next five years. 

Some of the highly sought skills in AI and ML include TensorFlow, RStudio Natural Language Processing, Python, and more. Tech professionals that master these skills put themselves in a position to command high salaries. According to Indeed, the average machine learning salary is approximately $146,000 per year.

  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

AR adds digital elements to a live view often by a camera on a smartphone, while VR implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world. In short, AR and VR help tech companies create new experiences that are seamlessly integrated through the platforms where users spend their time. 

Extended Reality (XR) – the collective name of AR and VR – has found several applications in entertainment, engineering, design, business, and even arts. The 2019 State of Software Engineers report by Hired showed that the demand for AR and VR engineers soared by 1,400%. 

Reports project that the AR space will be worth $133 billion by 2022, while the VR space will be worth $45.09 billion by 2025. 

  • Blockchain

The blockchain was only invented in 2008 to serve as the public transaction ledger of the bitcoin cryptocurrency. With the ability to foster transparency and fairness while saving time and money, this exciting technology has impacted a variety of sectors, from how contracts are enforced to boosting the efficiency of government processes.

According to Gartner, the business value of blockchain is projected to be $3.1 billion by 2030. Some of the hottest blockchain skills in demand include cryptography computing, networking, database design, and a host of programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, Go, C++, Python, and Solidity. 

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a Blockchain Developer job in the United States is $154,550 per year – making it one of the most lucrative skills to learn. 

  • UI/UX Design

While UI and UX belong to the same family, they are different. User Interface (UI) is concerned with the interaction between the user and digital product. It considers the looks, feel, and interactivity of the product. User experience (UX) explores every element of the product and how it makes the user feel and the ease for a user to accomplish their desired tasks. 

With the exponential growth of digital products, UI/UX designers will be needed to ensure users get the best experience from these products. At Stafford Technology, we help deliver professionals with expert design and front-end development skills.

This career is well suited for those with a knack for design creativity and analysis – and the pay is rewarding. 

  • Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT is a system of interrelated computing devices, digital machines, objects that are provided with unique identifiers and with the ability to transfer data over a network without human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

IoT takes an innovative approach to quality of life, food production, agriculture, water distribution, energy supply, and more. In short, IoT is transforming every sector of our lives. Little wonder to why many companies are joining the train – and during the pandemic, about 79% of US businesses launched new IoT projects. 

IoT is poised to be the next tech job boom, and a report by McKinsey Global Institute predicts that by 2025, IoT will have a total economic impact of up to $11 trillion. This makes it the perfect time to ride the upward wave. 


Technology will play an ever-increasing role in our lives. That means mastering these tech skills will set you on the track for a fulfilling and lucrative career. If you believe you have what it takes to deliver tech solutions to prospective employers, Stafford Technology can help connect you with them.