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What skills do IT professionals need in 2017?

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Rapid developments in IT continue and are increasingly causing companies to experience wider skills gaps that they are struggling to fill. Our recent salary guide shows that, at 21%, IT and digital skills were cited as one of the top three skills most needed by organisations to achieve their business objectives this year.

By assessing your current skills and developing those which are most in demand, you could find yourself being ahead of the competition as employers compete to have you on board. Get the right skills and not only will you have the pick of the jobs, but you’ll be able to command far higher salaries too. But, what skills are top of an employers’ wish list?


With customers wanting constant, on-demand access to products and services, organisations across a number of sectors are investing heavily in digital transformation. Existing skills gaps have widened as a result, and companies are increasingly turning to consultants to assist with project implementation. IT professionals with experience successfully implementing change programmes will therefore find themselves sought-after by employers.


Increased data storage means greater reliance on cloud services. Infrastructure architects and engineers should therefore ensure they develop their virtualisation experience to stay ahead of the curve. Key technologies to focus on include Citrix, VMware, Azure and Amazon Web Services. By way of example, VMware architects can expect a typical salary of up to £85,000.

Data & Advanced Analytics

As companies seek to better harness and utilise the data they store, data analysts and BI developers are seeing increased demand and therefore increased salaries. Data science continues to grow in popularity and will be one of the most sought-after skillsets in 2017 with salaries to match; skilled data scientists educated to Masters or PhD level with SAS or R and technical experience in Python, Hadoop and NoSQL are being offered up to £100,000 by some organisations.

Cyber security

Cyber security is another area seeing high demand as organisations battle ever-increasing threats to their data. Being such a priority has resulted in many organisations boosting their cyber security teams, meaning that professionals at all levels with skills in the area will find themselves highly sought-after.


DevOps is increasing within companies as a means to improve costs and develop time-effective working practices. However, with DevOps professionals in such short supply, Linux systems administrators are often being recruited and trained instead, providing an opportunity for those in this area.


Organisations continue to invest in making their systems work more efficiently in a user-friendly way for both employees and customers. Experienced developers therefore remain in demand, and professionals should ensure they keep up-to-date with more frequently used programming languages such as Java, C# and Python. UX and UI candidates with expertise in PHP, HTML5, CSS and Javascript are required across all industries it is important for mobile and web developers to invest in their skills to stay ahead of the competition.

Find out how your salary compares and what you could be earning with the Hays salary checker or alternatively please contact your local consultant to discuss your recruitment needs within this field.

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