Top 10 in-demand IT skills for 2023

The need for IT skills is growing. Which certifications can help close the gap?

The current labor shortage is affecting organizations all over the world, but there’s perhaps no greater need for skilled workers than in the information technology sector.

That means embarking on or switching to a career in IT could be a good move for almost anyone right now. But which IT specialties are the best bets for the future, and how can businesses and training centers be prepared to help meet the demand?

ITCareerFinder has done some great legwork to help job switchers and career planners decide in its new list, Top 10 IT Skills In-Demand for 2023.

Top 10 IT Skills for 2023: 1. Cloud Computing, 2. Artificial Intelligence, 3. Cybersecurity, 4. Data Science, 5. Data Analysis, 6. DevOps, 7. Machine Learning, 8. Product Management, 9. Software Development, 10. Systems and Networks

According to the list, ranked in reverse order, these will be some of the most in-demand IT skills for the year ahead, each of which we’ve followed with key certifications that can help learners and working professionals launch their careers or enhance their current positions:


10. Systems and Networks

With jobs projected to grow 4-5% in the next ten years, network professionals should have plenty of opportunities in the fields of network technology and computer systems.

Training and certifications from Pearson’s IT Specialist certification program, including IT Specialist Network Security, IT Specialist Networking, and IT Specialist Device Configuration and Management, can help prepare candidates for careers as network or system professionals. CompTIA Network+ or Security+ and Cisco Certified Network Associate are strong choices for intermediate candidates.


9. Software Development

Software is still the foundation of almost everything in IT, and that promises to continue with thousands of projected openings for developers, testers, and analysts in coming years.

IT Specialist Software Development, AWS Developer Associate, and specific software platforms such as Microsoft 365 and Azure Fundamentals, among many others, can all help advance or launch careers in software development.


8. Product Management

This broad and somewhat general career category covers a lot of ground, but the fact is, with so many new tech products being launched every year, skilled product managers are a valuable asset in almost any field. Product managers can make good salaries—add a technical background and their value rises swiftly.

The PMI Project Management Professional course is a good place to learn general organizational and management skills for this discipline.


7. Machine Learning

Anyone who has seen The Terminator movies appreciates the potential of this career field, but the technology itself is very much a growing part of the real world. At its essence, machine learning (ML) involves programming computers to get smarter without the need for further programming. As scary as that sounds, the applications are almost as endless—and exciting—as anyone can imagine.

What skills do students need to become ML professionals? Start with basic computer science and programming language knowledge, then add algorithms, statistics, and software engineering.

Java, Python, and JavaScript top the list of popular programming languages that could help build a career in machine learning.


6. DevOps

As much a philosophy or system of beliefs as it is a career field, DevOps is the set of practices and tools that unite an organization’s “Dev” or development teams with its “Ops” or operational teams—which in many organizations are often at loggerheads when it comes to developing, launching, and supporting software.

Successful DevOps engineers need to understand scripting languages such as Python (for Windows, macOS, and Linux); Java (a general purpose language for a variety of platforms); and JavaScript (a more complex, multi-paradigm language for creating web forms and interactive visual effects).


5. Data Analysis

Today, nearly every industry is awash in digital data from multiple sources. What’s lacking is people who know how to make sense of it. That’s where data analysis and data analytics come in: the tools and skills for mining all that data, cleaning it up, sorting it out, and processing it to help their organizations perform better.

Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals and IT Specialist Data Analytics can be good places to start, as well as learning programming languages like Java, JavaScript and Python.


4. Data Science

Similar to data analysis and data analytics, data science is about working with raw data and transforming it into something that can help people make more informed decisions.

Certifications that can help data scientists develop or level up their careers include programming languages like Python.


3. Cybersecurity

Talk about a career with an upside. Can anyone imagine a future in which cybersecurity professionals aren’t a top priority in almost every industry? Cybercrime Magazine has predicted there could be some 3.5 million job openings in the field by 2025.

The IT Specialist Cybersecurity certification by Pearson is a great way to break in, and CyberSec First Responder (CFR), CompTIA Security+, and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) can help intermediate candidates move up in this booming, highly compensated field.


2. Artificial Intelligence

“Alexa, play the new album by …” Once you’ve experienced that a few times, it’s hard to go back to anything less convenient.

And that’s just one example of how artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to transform our lives. In fact, IDC predicts worldwide spending on IA to top $500 billion by 2023. But it all starts with humans who have the skills and knowledge in domains, programming languages, and data analysis, among other skills.

IT Specialist Artificial Intelligence is a great way for students to start, and Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals and CertNexus Certified AI Practitioner (CAIP) are perfect for emerging professionals to further their knowledge and increase their earning power.


1. Cloud Computing

This should come as no surprise. With the pandemic providing a final impetus to the already growing, work-from-home trend, everything has moved to the cloud—and the data professionals who know how to facilitate it are in short supply. This, along with the normalization of remote work, is driving an explosion in the need for cloud computing skills.

Certification programs abound in this sphere, including IT Specialist Cloud Computing, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, and CompTIA Cloud Essentials.

For more information

No matter where learners and professionals decide to make their next IT education investment, there should be plenty of opportunities in these fields in the coming years. And skills development through high quality, industry-endorsed certifications will continue to provide the keys to help open doors.

Explore the full catalog of IT certification prep materials, including courseware, practice tests, certification exam vouchers and more.