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Increasing Demand For Soft Skills

While the debate has focused on “more tech jobs” and “fewer computer science graduates,” it’s missed a key variable; the skills required for success in an industry that’s constantly in flux. According to ZipRecruiter data, the skills tech employers look for in candidates have made a significant shift toward soft skills in the past two years.

Soft skills seem to have gained priority over essential programming skills. JavaScript, still the most widely used programming language, has not appeared in certain top tech skills rankings since October 2017.

HTML has been absent from the top tech skills rankings since October 2016. The only specific hard skill that has appeared in certain monthly aggregations of tech skills in 2018 is SQL, a programing language designed to access and analyze databases.

Behind the shift

Most tech employers obviously still value great coding skills. In jobs posted to ZipRecruiter from January 2016 to date, SQL, JavaScript and Java were still among the 10 most in-demand skills. But the trend is shifting.

 Employers may take Java skills for granted. Java and JavaScript are now considered “legacy languages.” If you’re applying for a programmer job you ought to at least know the basics of these.

•  SQL, developed in the 1970s to access database information, has skyrocketed in significance given the rise of big data.
•  Collaboration has taken on new significance in the industry. Connectivity, from social media to IOT, is essential today. A top job in tech now is filled by someone who knows the basic programming languages, can access big data and has the skills to collaborate with a diverse team of hardware developers, marketers and salespeople.

According to ZipRecruiter data, the skills tech employers look for have significantly shifted towards soft skills in the past two years.

 2016 

  1. Troubleshooting
  2. Communication skills
  3. SQL
  4. Computer science
  5. JavaScript
  6. Hardware
  7. Java
  8. Detail-oriented
  9. HTML
  10. Written communication

 2017

  1. Technical skills
  2. Communication skills
  3. Troubleshooting
  4. Project management
  5. Documentation skills
  6. Customer service
  7. Collaboration
  8. SQL
  9. Database management
  10. Computer science