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14 Top Tech Skills in Demand in 2019

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Looking to change fields and get into tech, but don’t know what skills you need to launch your career? Maximize your marketability by pursuing tech skills in demand for the future!

Tech is a broad field, and there are a lot of interesting directions you can go in. In this article, we'll look at the various areas of tech, how much demand exists for each skill, and where to go to start your learning journey.

Without further ado, here are 14 tech skills in demand in 2019–plus where to get the online technical training you need to become a pro.

Disclosure: I’m a proud affiliate for some of the platforms mentioned in this post. If you buy a course through my links on this page, I may get a small commission for referring you. Thanks!

1. Machine Learning

Machine learning is one of the most innovative and exciting fields moving into the future, making it one of the most profitable skills you can learn. From Siri and Alexa to chatbots to predictive analysis to self-driving cars, there are a ton of uses for this futuristic tech.

Those who begin taking online courses in machine learning now will still be getting in relatively early, as demand is only increasing from here. “61% of organizations insist that Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence will be among their top data initiatives in 2018 and 2019,” reports Shilpa Kulkarni.

Machine learning can be applied to every industry, including healthcare, education, finance, etc. Translation? The possibilities are endless, and you can apply your machine learning skills to a role that suits your personality and interests.

Learn more about the difference between AI and machine learning and what to do if you want a career in machine learning in this interview with CTO Allan Leinwand.

Quick facts about machine learning as a career:

Where to learn it: Machine Learning on Coursera

Machine Learning Course

What the course covers: broad intro to entire machine learning workflow, including neural networks, statistical pattern recognition, deep learning, unsupervised learning, anomaly detection, recommender systems, and more.

Course facts:

  • Course Name: Machine Learning
  • Platform: Coursera
  • Course URL: https://www.coursera.org/learn/machine-learning
  • Instructed by: Andrew Ng (cofounder of Coursera)
  • Price: Free! (for the audit option, no graded items) or $79 (with certificate & graded assignments)
  • Skill level: Beginner/Intermediate (requires basic understanding of linear algebra)

Why this course? It has a 4.9-star rating (out of over 62,000 ratings), was created by Stanford University, touches on the theories behind machine learning as well as its practical applications, and is taught by the cofounder of Coursera!

2. Mobile Development

In 2018, it's estimated that there will be over 2.5 billion smartphone users in the world. This means that companies who want to stay relevant don't just need websites; they need apps. Having mobile development skills also comes with the perk that if you can build apps for others, you can build and sell your own as well–so it's an ideal career path for aspiring entrepreneurs.

One interesting direction that mobile apps are headed in is augmented reality. Apps like Pokémon Go and the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite game engage with the real world, blending technology and reality.

If you want to start learning mobile development without committing to the Team Treehouse tech degree spotlighted below, check out these 21 mobile app development courses.

Quick facts about mobile development as a career:

  • Average salary: $101K (with starting salaries as high as $75K)
  • At the time of writing there are 51,181 mobile developer jobs posted on Glassdoor.
  • The global app economy is predicted to be worth $6.3 trillion by 2021, up from $1.3 trillion in 2016.
  • The future of mobile development goes beyond phones: wearable technologies, the Internet of Things, beacon technology, increase in use of VR/AR, and more.

Where to learn it: iOS development Team Treehouse tech degree

Treehouse Techdegree - Become an iOS Developer

What the course covers: build 12 real-world projects to showcase to potential employers (including full Objective-C app, diary app, movie night app), learn Swift & Objective-C to build apps for iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Apple TV

Course facts:

Why this course? Collaborate with others in an exclusive Slack channel, build real-world apps, and receive expert project reviews and feedback.

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3. SEO/SEM Marketing

Employers are looking for people with digital marketing skills to improve their company’s web presence and visibility. This is one of the tech skills in demand for obvious reasons: more site visits mean more conversions, customers, and revenue.

If you’re data-minded, SEO/SEM may be a great fit, since the role involves constant testing, measuring, and experimenting to see what works and make changes based on observations/metrics/KPIs.

Digital marketing is another skill that can benefit you if you decide to start your own business in the future. You can leverage SEO skills to market yourself, find freelancing clients, start a tech/personal blog, and build a brand.

Quick facts about SEO/SEM as a career:

Where to learn it: SEO Training Course by Moz on Udemy

SEO Training Course by Moz

What the course covers: SEO strategy development, keyword research basics, on-page SEO fundamentals, link building.

Course facts:

Why this course? Moz.com specializes in SEO/SEM training, and it’s a comprehensive introduction to SEO giving everything you need to know to get started.

For even more information about SEO, check out SEO: The Movie.

4. Data Visualization

Data visualization is a way to help people understand the significance of data by placing it in a visual context (turn spreadsheets or reports into charts and graphs that can be easily understood).

Think of this career as a bridge between technical and non-technical roles. You're taking the data collected by analysts and transforming it into a form anyone can understand.

Quick facts about data visualization as a career:

  • Average salary: $98,264 per year for Data Visualization Engineers
  • It’s in demand because employers can make sense of large amounts of data to drive real business results. For example, predict sales volume, understand what factors influence human behavior, identify areas in the business that can be improved, identify trends, relationships, patterns, etc.
  • It’s a blend of science and art: raw information meeting visually appealing mediums.
  • Data visualization is the key to “bringing the power of Big Data to the mainstream.

Where to learn it: Data Visualization for All on edX

Data Visualization for All

What the course covers: learn how to design interactive charts and customized maps for your website using Google Sheets, Tableau, Highcharts, Carto, Leaflet, GitHub

Course facts:

Why this course? The course is taught by Trinity College faculty, and real-world examples are drawn from their students working with community organizations in Hartford, Connecticut.

5. Data Engineering

Data engineering is separate from data science, but the former is what enables the latter to exist. Data engineers build the infrastructure and tools that data scientists rely on to conduct their own work.

There's no better time for U.S. citizens to enter the field, due to changes in immigration laws. “Following recent government policy changes in the H1-B Visa application process, demand for US citizen data engineers has increased drastically and shows no signs of easing,” writes Sam Brown.

Quick facts about data engineering as a career:

Where to learn it: An Introduction to Google Cloud Platform for Data Engineers on Udemy

An Introduction to Google Cloud Platform for Data Engineers

What the course covers: All the core services you’ll need to know for the Google Cloud Data Engineer test, the basics of how to use Google Cloud Platform

Course facts:

Why this course? It’s the first course in a series geared at helping you get the Google Cloud Professional Data Engineer Certificate.

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6. UI/UX Design

While they're in the same family, UI and UX are different. UI (user interface) specialists design interfaces for websites and apps to be visually appealing, flow well, and be easy for users to navigate. UX (user experience) specialists do a lot of research and testing to consider every element of how the user will interact with the company and website, coordinating with developers and UI designers.

This type of career is perfect for those who want a creative-meets-analytical type of role (graphic design meets A/B testing and so on).

Ultimately, UI is better for those who want to focus on the visuals, layout, and general look and feel of a page or product. UX is better for those who want to use analysis and testing to help a business seamlessly meet their users' needs.

Quick facts about UI/UX as a career:

Where to learn it: User Experience Design Fundamentals on Udemy

User Experience Design Fundamentals

What the course covers: The critical elements of user experience–strategy, scope, structure, skeleton, and surface. Learn the basics (e.g. what UX design is and why it’s important), strategy/theory (e.g. use of color and typography), and implementation (e.g. how to create wireframes).

Course facts:

Why this course? It has a 4.3-star rating from 5,074 ratings, with 58,289 students enrolled. The instructor has been helping Fortune 100, Fortune 500, and various government organizations with UX design for nearly three decades.

BONUS – UI bootcamp option: Career Foundry, The UI Design Course That Gets You Hired.

If you're sure UI is what you want to do as a career, this Career Foundry bootcamp will get you there. The interactive program is taught by leading UI designers, takes you through every element of UI design, and comes with mentorship plus career services to help you refine your portfolio and personal brand. It boasts a 95% job placement rate, with some graduates ending up at companies like Google, Apple, and eBay. The program costs $4,000, so you should be really certain this is your goal!

🎉 Want more resources to reference? Check out this in-depth list of online course platforms that will teach you in-demand UX/UI skills.

7. Network and Information Security (Cybersecurity)

For any company that collects customer information or deals with sensitive data of their own, keeping networks secure is paramount.

When data breaches do happen, they can be big, newsworthy, and costly for the company to recover from. 2017 had its fair share of cybersecurity disasters, and companies famously hacked in the past include Sony, LinkedIn, Chipotle, and others.

These situations underscore just how critical it is for companies to keep their network security up to par, and make cybersecurity one of the most-needed jobs and one of the tech skills in demand in 2019. Unfortunately for those companies, right now there is a shortage of people trained in network security. Fortunately for you, that means there's a gap in the market you can fill.

If you’re curious about filling that gap, read my ultimate guide to starting a career in cybersecurity.

Quick facts about cybersecurity as a career:

Where to learn it: Essentials of Cybersecurity on edX

Essentials of Cybersecurity

What the course covers: the fundamentals of networks, systems administration, how to mitigate vulnerabilities, how to perform digital forensic analysis, risk assessment, etc.

Course facts:

Why this program?  It’s a professional certificate program made up of four courses. You’ll better understand the field of cybersecurity, what roles are available, and what cybersecurity career path is right for you.

8. Cloud Computing/AWS

Cloud computing jobs are on the rise because more and more companies are switching from the classical server infrastructure to cloud solutions. According to Gartner, the market for public cloud services is projected to grow by 17.3 3% in 2019.

Amazon Web Services is one of these cloud platforms, featuring content delivery, database storage, networking, and more–over 50 services in total. Since it is currently the biggest platform, we’ll highlight some specific facts about AWS in this section (and give an extra course recommendation for it!).

AWS specialists are usually engineers, cloud architects, or system administrators. IT professionals who are AWS-certified earn more than their non-certified counterparts. It's one of the most profitable skills an IT employee can learn to level up their tech career, as AWS specialists earn an average of $113,000 (the highest of all certifications in the United States and Canada)

Quick facts about cloud computing as a career:

Where to learn it: Cloud Computing Specialization on Coursera

Cloud Computing Specialization

What the course covers: Clouds, Distributed Systems, Networking. Learn about and build distributed and networked systems for clouds and big data.

Course facts:

  • Course Name: Cloud Computing Specialization
  • Platform: Coursera
  • Course URL: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/cloud-computing
  • Instructed by: Reza Farivar, Ankit Singla, Indranil Gupta, P. Brighten Godfrey and Roy H. Campbell
  • Price: $49 per month with Coursera subscription
  • Skill level: Intermediate

Why this course? Hands-on activities, taught by computer science professors

Where to learn Amazon Web Services: Amazon Web Services (AWS) Fundamentals for System Administrators on Pluralsight

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Fundamentals for System Administrators

What the course covers: core AWS skills and concepts needed to begin working with AWS and to achieve AWS certification.

Course facts:

  • Course Name: Amazon Web Services (AWS) Fundamentals for System Administrators
  • Platform: Pluralsight
  • Course URL: https://www.pluralsight.com/courses/aws-system-admin-fundamentals
  • Instructed by: Elias Khnaser
  • Price: Free
  • Skill level: Intermediate (requires working knowledge of virtualization, networking essentials, and general systems administration)

Why this course? You’ll have a solid understanding of how various AWS services are architected and how you can use them.

9. Blockchain

Originally devised for the digital currency Bitcoin, blockchain has evolved. The tech community is now finding other potential uses for the technology, such as peer-to-peer payments, crowdfunding, file storage, identity management, digital voting, etc. Learn more about blockchain/cryptocurrency jobs in this article.

“With platforms like Ethereum taking the lead, more and more companies need developers who understand the blockchain, smart contracts, and can build decentralized applications,” writes Anna Belaya.

Some of the blockchain skills you should know include networking, cryptography computing, database design, and programming languages ranging from Java, JavaScript, and C++ to Go, Solidity, and Python.

Quick facts about blockchain as a career:

Where to learn it: Blockchain Specialization on Coursera

Blockchain Specialization on Coursera

What the course covers: broad intro into what blockchain is, including how to design and program smart contracts and decentralized applications

Course facts:

  • Course Name: Blockchain Specialization
  • Platform: Coursera
  • Course URL: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/blockchain
  • Instructed by: Bina Ramamurthy
  • Price: $49 per month with Coursera subscription
  • Skill level: Beginner/Intermediate (requires knowledge of at least one modern, high-level programming language)

Why this course?  Includes hands-on activities and is taught by a computer science professor at University at Buffalo.

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10. IoT

In the broadest sense, the term IoT encompasses everything connected to the internet, but it is increasingly being used to define objects that “talk” to each other.

“Simply, the Internet of Things is made up of devices—from simple sensors to smartphones and wearables—connected together,” says Matthew Evans, the IoT program head at techUK.
Everything that's connected to the internet can be hacked, which is why security is one top concern with these devices. A report from Samsung says the need to secure every connected device by 2020 is “critical” and that more than 7.3 billion devices will need to be made secure by their manufacturers before 2020. Cybersecurity professionals who specialize in IoT will likely be highly sought after for this reason.

Quick facts about IoT as a career:

Where to learn it: Internet of Things (IoT) on edX

Internet of Things (IoT) on edX

What the course covers: Design IoT solutions and networks, identify components required, understand how data management fits in, analyze security risks, and ultimately produce an fleshed-out idea that’s ready to prototype

Course facts:

Why this course?  The MicroMasters program—taught by a range of professors, specialists and lecturers from Curtin University—includes 6 self-paced IoT courses, live discussions, remote access to real laboratory equipment for practical sessions. The program is credit-eligible for Curtin University Master’s degrees.

11. Data Science & Analytics

Rounding off our collection of data careers are two more mainstays of Big Data: science and analytics. Revenue from Big Data applications and analytics is projected to grow from $5.3B in 2018 to $19.4B in 2026.

84% of enterprises have launched advanced analytics and Big Data initiatives to accelerate their decision-making and bring greater accuracy.

Data analysis is the more entry-level skill, whereas data science gets more advanced, but the careers are still cousins.

Quick facts about data analysis as a career:

Where to learn it: Big Data Specialization on Coursera

Big Data Specialization on Coursera

What the course covers: Drive better business decisions with an overview of how big data is organized, analyzed, and interpreted. Apply your insights to real-world problems and questions.

Course facts:

  • Course Name: Big Data Specialization
  • Platform: Coursera
  • Course URL: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/big-data
  • Instructed by: Ilkay Altintas, Amarnath Gupta and Mai Nguyen
  • Price: $49 per month with Coursera subscription
  • Skill level: Beginner

Why this course?  Taught by San Diego Supercomputer Center experts, involves hands-on activities, and you’ll get a comprehensive knowledge of the entire Big Data industry so you can go on to choose a specialization in data analytics, science, engineering, etc.

12. Artificial Intelligence

AI is rapidly changing the landscape of work, making it an exciting time for programmers looking for something new.

There is crossover with machine learning here, but the key difference is that AI is a broader concept pertaining to machines designed to act intelligently like humans, whereas machine learning relies on devices making sense of a specific set of data.

In 2018, 31% of businesses said implementing AI was on their agenda for the next 12 months. Their top use cases are incorporating AI in data analysis and user experience.

Quick facts about artificial intelligence as a career:

Where to learn it: Microsoft Professional Program for Artificial Intelligence

Microsoft Professional Program for Artificial Intelligence

What the course covers: A basic introduction of AI to mastery of the skills needed to build deep learning models for AI solutions that exhibit human-like behavior and intelligence.

Course facts:

  • Course Name: Microsoft Professional Program for Artificial Intelligence
  • Platform: Microsoft Academy
  • Course URL: https://academy.microsoft.com/en-us/professional-program/tracks/artificial-intelligence/
  • Instructed by: Microsoft
  • Price: Free, but if you want proof of course completion, you must purchase Verified Certificates from edX (typically $99)
  • Skill level: Beginner/Intermediate

Why this course?  10 online courses on demand from introduction to mastery of skills, hands-on labs, Assessments that require more than just memorization ensure you have a deep understanding of these new skills. Microsoft Professional Program Certificate in Artificial Intelligence

13. Extended Reality (VR and AR)

Virtual reality and augmented reality—the collective term is extended reality, or XR—are trending to be useful for more than just entertainment in the future. Marketing, advertising, health care, and manufacturing are some industries that have already begun adopting XR technology.

For the near future, AR is looking to outpace VR for growth and profitability. By 2022, reports predict that the VR industry will be worth more than $25 billion, while AR will be worth a stunning $133 billion.

Quick facts about XR as a career:

Where to learn it: Complete Virtual & Augmented Reality Course: Unity 2018.2

Complete Virtual & Augmented Reality Course: Unity 2018.2

What the course covers:Learn how to make VR and AR apps with 3D game development and C# programming.

Course facts:

Why this course?  No prior experience of Unity or coding required. Learn how to strategically move into a career in the VR/AR field.

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14. Quantum Computing

If you’re okay with a little uncertainty in your career (and you enjoy science fiction), quantum computing is a field to consider. “The industry has a ways to go,” writes Sophia Chen. “They have a timeline, sort of, give or take a few decades. And at the moment, their roadmap has at least one glaring pothole: a lack of trained people.”

However, this provides an opportunity for you to help move the needle forward. Jeremy O’Brien, physicist and professorial research fellow at the University of Bristol, says that quantum computers could outperform everyday computers in less than 10 years.

Quick facts about quantum computing as a career:

  • Average salary: $73,980
  • Current quantum computing roles include software engineers, researchers, experimental scientists, and programmers.
  • You can contribute to Qiskit Terra and Qiskit Aqua code and algorithms to start getting involved with quantum computing and get noticed by hiring managers.

Where to learn it: The Introduction to Quantum Computing on Coursera

The Introduction to Quantum Computing on Coursera

What the course covers: Mathematical models of quantum computing, quantum algorithms, and more.

Course facts:

  • Course Name: The Introduction to Quantum Computing
  • Platform: Coursera
  • Course URL: https://www.coursera.org/learn/quantum-computing-algorithms
  • Instructed by: Сысоев Сергей Сергеевич
  • Price: $49 per month with Coursera subscription
  • Skill level: Intermediate (requires knowledge of complex numbers and linear algebra)

Why this course?  “We will build a simple working quantum computer with our bare hands, and we will consider some algorithms designed for bigger quantum computers which are not yet developed.”


Any of these profitable technical skills will set you well on your way to a successful new tech career in 2019 and beyond. Now it just comes down to which is best suited for your personality and interests–and that one's up to you :)

What technical skills are you most excited to learn in 201? Leave a comment below and let me know!


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