A popular Chinese proverb says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

The same applies to acquiring new tech skills. No matter if you’re a junior developer or a seasoned software engineer, there is always something you can work on and improve.

But how do you choose this “something” that might help you advance your career in the IT industry? With plenty of online courses and new IT skill sets demanded by employers, you can easily get dizzy.

Don't worry – DevSkiller is coming to the rescue with data-backed insights based on the findings from the 2022 edition of our Top IT Skills Report. We’ve arrived at these insights by analyzing thousands of coding tests sent to candidates from 191 countries through our TalentScore tech screening solution by companies recruiting for IT-related positions.

Based on our proprietary data, we’ve compiled a set of useful tips on what to learn. This is based on what job you hope to get in the future.

Choose wisely and remember that the IT industry is waiting not only for seasoned developers but also for greenhorns. As the data from the DevSkiller platform show, around 40% of technical test invitations are for junior developer roles.

If you want to grow together with the market

You've likely heard that “data is the new oil”. But only a handful of the big tech companies have figured out how to extract this "oil" and process it in order to be able to fuel their businesses.

This has brought about the accelerating demand on the job market for data-related roles like data scientists, data analysts, or data engineers.

If the thought of organizing random numbers in a set of structured tables or charts positively tickles your mind, a data-related role might be the right fit for you.

Just keep in mind that the market of data-related positions is not as structured as the dashboards you might be expected to create. As the market develops and gets more mature, you might be expected to learn new skills which we can’t even imagine right now.

Having said that, the reward for this flexibility and eagerness to learn may be huge.

According to the insights from the latest edition of the DevSkiller report, data science tops the ranking of in-demand IT skills of the future. The popularity of recruitment tasks from this area grew in 2021 by 295% on a yearly basis.


If you want to enter the IT job market ASAP

Another big thing as far as in-demand IT skills of the future go is Python. But this demand isn't the only advantage when it comes to your choice of programming language to learn.

The data we compiled for our Top IT Skills Report show that Python – with a 54% ratio of test invites for junior roles – was the most sought-after technology among developers beginning their careers in the IT industry.

Given the fact that Python is relatively easy to learn in comparison to other programming languages, it might be a perfect choice to speed up your entrance to the IT job market. Just remember that the fastest way is not always the most satisfying one.


If you want to work in a big company

Trying to find your place on the job market may be compared to driving a car. Some people like to drive fast and reach their destination quickly, but others prefer to move forward slowly but securely.

If you’re in the latter group, you should consider learning one of the most mature and popular programming languages like Java or SQL. This can help you land a job in one of the large corporations. This may be not as exciting as working for a cool ever-pivoting startup, but it'll provide you with a certain level of stability and security you might find appealing.

As the data compiled from the DevSkiller TalentScore show us, both Java and SQL are in the top of the ranking of IT skills sought after by hiring companies. Each of those languages was seen in 19% of coding test invites sent by tech recruiters via our platform.


It's worth mentioning that there seems to be a shortage of those skills on the market. From the insights in our report, Java and SQL developers wait the longest to complete their coding tests in comparison to specialists with other tech skills.

One of the reasons behind this trend is that the recruitment pool is shallow and companies are competing for the same limited set of candidates.

In 2021, the average time to submit a Java coding test by a recruited candidate amounted to 4 days and 11 hours while in the case of SQL it was 3 days and 6 hours. The industry average for all languages in 2021 was 2 days and 16 hours.


If you want to unleash your creativity

Do you consider yourself to be a creative person who cares not only about how things work but also how they look? If that’s the case, you should consider pursuing a career as a front-end developer.

Maybe you won’t enjoy as much artistic freedom as a graphic designer, but rest assured that if you supplement your bias towards aesthetics with the practical coding skills, you’ll find a job you enjoy.

If that sounds appealing to you, remember that the front-end development is not just about HTML or any single language anymore. You’ll probably need to be able to surf across at least a couple of technologies during any given project.

Through the findings from our report, the 5 most commonly paired IT skills tested by recruiting companies nowadays are JavaScript and HTML, JavaScript and TypeScript, JavaScript and CSS, JavaScript and Angular, and CSS and HTML.


If you don’t want to code (or only a little bit)

Given the rising popularity of low-code/no-code platforms and tools, you no longer have to become a full blown software engineer in order to land a job in the IT.

Sure, in this industry, you will always be expected to possess a certain level of computer literacy and understand the key concepts of software development. But you no longer have to actually code in order to be an attractive candidate for employers.

The rising popularity of low-code/no-code is reflected in the dynamic growth of the number of tests checking the skills related to Salesforce available on DevSkiller TalentScore. Since 2020, it has grown by a whooping 1300% in response to the needs of our customers, that is hiring companies.

And keep in mind that Salesforce is just one of plenty low-code/no-code platforms used by your potential employers.

If you want to help others enter the IT industry

Last but not least, maybe after careful consideration of your skills and preferences, you’ll decide that you’re more of a people person, and solving technical problems on a daily basis is not for you. Or you might be burned out in your current role and would like to try something new.

Don’t worry, the IT industry is not only about 0s and 1s and there are a number of options available for you to land your dream job that don’t require learning coding skills.

One of them is related to helping others find a well-suited job – that is, becoming a tech recruiter.

If this sounds like a good fit, you can start developing in this direction by acquiring the industry-recognized DevSkiller Tech Recruitment Certification. Even though it may not look very difficult at first glance, our data show that only 61% of users pass our certification exam in the first attempt.

The digital skills gap is working to your advantage

As software has been eating the world for quite some time now, the IT industry has become one of the main drivers of job opportunity growth in the global economy.

In the European Union alone the gap between the supply and demand of IT specialist has been estimated at a minimum of 500,000 vacancies. And this doesn't include all of the IT-related roles like tech recruiters and other positions that require at least some level of digital skills.

So if you're hesitant whether your upskilling or reskilling efforts will pay you off, the answer is: yes. The probability that you'll get a raise or move to a better paid job is close to 100%. The worst-case scenario? You'll simply find joy in learning something new.

Coding is fun, after all.