The Hottest Skills in Tech Job Searches
Among the top skills are Kubernetes, Magento, and Verilog, while some programming languages like Golang, C, and PHP also made the list.
Having the right skills is key to landing a job in technology. Tech job seekers have lots of incentive to acquire cutting-edge skills and put them at the center of their job search. Whether it’s cloud computing, artificial intelligence, or the latest in web development, the skills that tech job seekers find exciting or valuable are continually evolving. New Indeed research looks at the fastest-growing skills in tech job searches — the programming languages and tools that job seekers hope land them a new and exciting role in tech.
Indeed analyzed the fastest-growing terms used by job seekers when searching for tech jobs, as we did last year. Specifically, we considered searches that led to a click on a posting with one of 381 technology job titles. (See methodology for details.) For this analysis, we looked at the growth of searches in the three months that ended November 1 from the year before. Among the top skills are Kubernetes, Magento, and Verilog, while some programming languages like Golang, C, and PHP also made the list.
Cloud computing, ecommerce tech skill searches growing fast
Kubernetes, the open source cloud computing tool, had the fastest growth in job searches, rising 173% from a year before. Software developers familiar with Kubernetes can help organizations scale their cloud computing systems alongside other containerization tools like Docker. Azure, another cloud computing tool, also rose rapidly — up 53%. Amazon Web Services, or AWS, was a fast-growing cloud computing skill last year, but job seeker searches for it rose just 7.4% over the past year.
Magento, an open source ecommerce platform written in PHP, was the second-fastest-growing skill in tech job searches, up 116%. Developed by Magento Inc., this software helps ecommerce businesses run smoothly, and ecommerce jobs are continuing to grow robustly. Laravel, another PHP software tool, was seventh in the skill ranking, up 66%. PHP, the base language that Magento and Laravel are built on, saw strong 45% year-over-year growth.
Like PHP, several widely used software tools or programming languages are increasingly the basis for tech job searches. Job searches using Google’s Go programming language, called Golang, went up 81%. Facebook’s React framework, which was the fastest-growing tech skill last year, rose 61% this year.
Of course, some skills fade or stagnate in tech jobs searches. Spark, which was a top 10 skill last year, fell 47% this year. Hadoop was down 64%, Ruby 23%, Tableau 15%, and R 8%.
However, a skill with a slowing growth rate in tech job searches, or even a slight absolute decline, isn’t necessarily losing its appeal. It could simply be that the skill has matured. It can still have a large overall share of searches. For instance, searches for “IT” are growing slowly, but it is still one of the most common search terms for tech job seekers. Hadoop, AWS, R, Spark, and Tableau are all widely used tools and will likely continue to be so for some time. But in 2018 they are no longer among the “hot” skills for tech job seekers.
Software might be eating the world, in the words of Silicon Valley guru Marc Andreessen, but the hottest skills in tech aren’t all in software. Hardware engineering, foreign language, and IT certifications also showed strong growth. Verilog and FPGA (field-programmable gate array), in 21st place, grew strongly. These skills involve modeling electronic systems or working with hardware such as computer circuits. And, in their searches, tech job seekers increasingly cite the ability to speak a language other than English as a skill. Spanish, Chinese, Korean (25th), Mandarin (27th), and French (36th) are terms that grew among tech job seekers. Finally, a slew of IT certifications — including CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate), Security+ (22nd) or Network+ (24th) — made the list of fast-growing tech skill terms.
Tech job seekers’ fastest-growing companies
Tech job seekers often search for specific companies rather than skills or roles. These job seekers overwhelmingly love Amazon, which saw searches more than double even though it dwarfs every other company in absolute number of searches.
The company growing fastest in searches by tech job seekers was Asurion. Based in Nashville, Asurion provides insurance for smartphones and other consumer electronics. Searches for the company went up over 10 times this year compared with the same period in 2017. Foxconn, a Chinese electronics manufacturer that employs around 1 million people worldwide, was second, with searches more than quadrupling this year.
While Asurion had enormous growth this year, it did so from a small base of searches last year. Foxconn’s strong search increase may be linked to the 13,000 jobs promised at a factory being built in Wisconsin.
With those caveats in mind, it’s all the more remarkable that Amazon and Apple continue to draw such strong interest from job seekers. Both Amazon and Apple are mega tech companies, worth hundreds of billions dollars, with hundreds of thousands of employees spread across the world. And yet tech job seekers are increasingly searching to work for them, with searches for Amazon up 115% and Apple up 87% from a year ago.
In fact, Amazon is in a class by itself. Searches for Amazon doubled from a year ago and its total searches are nearly five times higher than those for Apple, the next closest company. One factor likely to add even more momentum to Amazon job searches is that it just announced two locations, New York and Northern Virginia, for its new headquarters, adding tens of thousands of jobs in those areas.
Not all the hot companies for tech job seekers are typically thought of as being in the technology sector. CACI is an IT company primarily serving the government. Boeing is an aerospace manufacturer. Walmart is a retailer. The top 20 companies also include the likes of Michaels, Citi, Raytheon, and even the Food and Drug Administration.
The big picture for tech job searches is that the hottest skills and most-desired companies might just have something in common — Amazon. Tech job seekers are increasingly looking for jobs demanding cloud computing and ecommerce skills. As for companies, tech job seekers overwhelmingly love Amazon. It’s likely that the growth in cloud computing and ecommerce searches and in Amazon searches are related. Amazon is a tech behemoth in both ecommerce and cloud computing. And, as those industries expand, many tech job seekers are honing in on useful skills, hoping to be targeted in the resulting hiring spree.
The periods used to measure year-over-year search growth were two three-month periods: August 1, 2017 to November 1, 2017, and August 1, 2018 to November 1, 2018. We isolated tech job searches by focusing on job seekers who clicked on jobs that fall within our definition of tech job titles and pulled the top search terms used to get the job seeker to a tech posting. In total, 381 tech job titles were used to categorize tech job postings. We removed low-volume queries from the second time period, those with fewer than 3,000 total searches, and then calculated year-over-year growth. The year-over-year growth calculation was based on the share of all tech job searches. The list of search terms with the highest growth was then curated for those terms we believe represent actual skills and companies, as opposed to occupations, industries, or other job characteristics.
Andrew Flowers is an Economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, focusing on the US labor market. Previously he was the quantitative editor and economics writer at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver’s data-driven news site; and before that, he was an economic analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. As a freelance journalist, he has written for The Economist. He has a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago.