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According to a new survey of 1,400 executives and IT professionals, the largest technical skills gaps are in cybersecurity, cloud and software development – creating job opportunities for those willing to upskill.

Specifically, 65% of respondents said cybersecurity skills were lacking most within their organisation, followed by cloud (52%) and software development (40%).

These have been identified by technology workforce development company, Pluralsight, in its 2024 Technical Skills Report, though it really is nothing new: cybersecurity and cloud have been named the two areas with the largest skills gaps since 2021.

3 software roles that are currently hiring

This focus on cybersecurity and cloud jobs is largely due to compliance and, consequently, costs.

As Aaron Rosenmund, senior director of security and genAI skills at Pluralsight, said in a statement, “Considering that the average cost of a data breach is $4.45m and that successful cyberattacks are continuing to exponentially increase year-over-year, it becomes clear why cybersecurity skills are top of mind for organisations.”

The survey also found that, in spite of the hype surrounding artificial intelligence and machine learning, filling these gaps are among the lowest priorities of companies, though demand is growing.

Among technologists, interest in developing AI/ML skills increased by 11% from the previous year.

Cybersecurity jobs upgrade

Online educator Udemy directly saw an increased demand for learning AI and ML. Globally, it reported an 80% increase in ML Ops tech, and a 109% increase in interest in LangChain in late 2023. There was also a 56% increase in Chatbox, which is the second-highest global emergent professional skill, after business idea generation.

By the close of 2023, over 1,700 generative AI courses were enrolled by 3.2 million students on the Udemy platform, while ChatGPT had the fastest growth rate, increasing by 4,419%.

Interest in cloud upskilling is also reflected in the Udemy report with a 170% interest spike in Dynatrace. Meanwhile, the UK had the highest topic surges in AW certified SysOps admin (44%), certified Kubernetes app dev (38%), and Microsoft Playwright (33%).

Soft skills are in focus too, as an increased number of people enrolled in courses on active listening and customer service techniques. This is no surprise to readers of the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs 2023 report, which emphasised that cognitive skills like critical and analytical thinking are some of the most in-demand skills.

As AI is expected to take over many people’s technical and repetitive tasks, employers will value individuals who can navigate complex interpersonal dynamics, and contribute to a positive work environment more than ever.

AI upskilling on the up

Companies are catching up with AI upskilling. According to a new Microsoft report, which surveyed 31,000 people across 31 countries, 25% of companies are planning to offer generative AI training to staff this year. So before you splash your hard-earned cash, check what’s in the pipeline in your current organisation first.

The Microsoft report also details how 79% of leaders agree that AI adoption is critical to remain competitive, but 59% worry about quantifying the productivity gains of AI, and 60% are concerned their company lacks a vision and plan to implement it.

However, change is unavoidable, whether leaders are ready or not. As tech companies continue to pivot and business needs evolve, so too must tech workers’ skills.

For those looking for a new job in cybersecurity or AI, strategic upskilling is a surefire way to open up new opportunities in the short and long term.

Looking for a new tech job? Find a role that’s your perfect fit on the UKTN Job Board today

This article is part of a paid partnership with careers marketplace Jobbio to share the most exciting UK tech jobs with UKTN readers.

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