Top 6 Highest Paying IT Skills in 2020 You Should Develop

The present industry is transforming as we speak, thanks to emerging technologies like Big Data, Data Science, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, AI, Robotics, Natural Language Processing, to name a few. As these technologies penetrate deeper into all industrial sectors, companies need a robust, reliable, and efficient IT infrastructure and support system. In fact, IT skills have become a vital component in the workplace, irrespective of the industry domain. This is inevitably creating the demand for skilled and qualified IT professionals who are proficient in welding the new-age technologies.

As computer and IT skills are now top prerequisites for different job roles across the industry, it is essential to upskill if you wish to bag high paying job titles in established organizations. To help put things into perspective, we’ve compiled a list of the highest paying IT skills that can be a massive boost to your career. 

Top 6 Highest-Paying IT Skills

If you wish to scale up the corporate ladder within the same company or bag a senior-level job profile in a new firm, here are six highest paying job skills you should consider learning:

1. Cybersecurity

Owing to the alarming rise in security incidents and data breaches, organizations are becoming increasingly wary of their cybersecurity measures. Since companies of all shapes and sizes now deal with substantial volumes of business and customer data, they are readily investing in cybersecurity infrastructure as well as prioritizing cybersecurity skills. 

Given the present situation when the whole world is online, whether it be for business, or education, or entertainment purposes, cybersecurity measures must be robust and secure. Amid the ongoing pandemic, organizations are witnessing a rise in security threats. The digital world is a playground for cybercriminals who continually develop new tactics to collect sensitive data. Fake maps, corporate ransomware attacks, spear-phishing emails linked to COVID-19, lockdown, WFH professionals have increased dramatically.  

According to a recent report, by 2021, there will be 3.5 million unfulfilled cybersecurity jobs globally, a whopping increase from one million job positions in 2014. This statistic shows that while the demand for cybersecurity skills is skyrocketing, there is not enough talent to fill up emerging job vacancies in Cybersecurity. 

The global shortage of cybersecurity experts is a beautiful opportunity for aspirants who wish to rise to the challenge and take on cybersecurity job roles. upGrad’s PG Diploma in Software Development (specialization in Cybersecurity) is ideal for people looking to gain cybersecurity skills. 

Salary: 

The national average salary for cybersecurity skills in India is ₹732,476 LPA.

2. Cloud Computing

Cloud platforms like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud have changed the game as they allow companies to leverage the potential of modern technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT). Cloud technology also strongly influences other crucial business tools like Cybersecurity, data analytics, networking, and project management. In fact, cloud computing is one of the fastest-growing investment areas in IT. This is because cloud computing offers numerous advantages:

  • Easy accessibility – It allows you to access data and applications from any location and any device with an Internet connection.
  • Cost-efficient – It offers scalable computing resources to businesses, thereby eliminating resource acquisition and maintenance costs. Companies can use cloud computing services on a pay-as-you-go basis, which means they pay only for the resources/services they use. 
  • Optimum security – Cloud providers always strive to implement and deliver top-notch security standards and protocols to ensure maximum protection of client data.

According to Gartner, the market size and growth of the cloud services industry is projected to grow nearly three times the size of overall IT services by 2022, standing at US$ 331.2 billion. Naturally, as the global cloud market expands, the need for certified cloud professionals will be felt across the industry, particularly in IT/ITeS. Furthermore, as organizations shift their business operations to the cloud domain, there’ll be over one million cloud computing job roles in India by 2022. 

Salary:

The national average salary for cloud computing skills in India is ₹1,792,752 LPA.

3. Data Science and Data Analytics

The world continues to churn data as we speak. IDC estimates that by 2025, global data will grow to 175 zettabytes (ZB), at a CAGR of 61%. The unprecedented upsurge of data and the rapid adoption of Data Science technologies (AI, ML, etc.) is pushing the need for Data Science professionals and Data Analytics experts.

Data Scientists collect data and apply ML, deep learning, predictive analytics, and sentiment analysis on large datasets to extract meaningful insights from them. On the other hand, Data Analysts combine technical, business, and management expertise. They perform statistical analysis on complex datasets and apply data visualization techniques to make sense of the extracted insights and translate them into lucid business language. 

This is why Data Scientists and Data Analysts are hot commodities for organizations since together; they help companies make data-driven business decisions. Apart from the IT sector, Data Scientists and Data Analysts now find employment opportunities in healthcare, education, research and development (R&D), BFSI, transportation, and supply chain & logistics, to name a few. 

As Data Science and Data Analytics find applications in the diverse industries domains, the demand for skilled Data Scientists and Data Analysts will only increase. This makes it the right time to capitalize on the growing industry need and start mastering Data Science and Analytics. upGrad has several courses designed for Data Science aspirants – PG Diploma in Data ScienceMaster of Science in Data ScienceBusiness Analytics Certification Program, and PG Certification in Data Science

Salary: 

The average salary of a Data Scientist in India is ₹812,528 LPA, whereas that of a Data Analyst is ₹419,465 LPA.

4. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

As more and more organizations are leveraging Big Data tools and technologies, it is simultaneously encouraging the growth and adoption of AI and ML technologies. As a result, AI and ML skills are high in demand in the job market right now. Gartner maintains 2020 is a crucial year in AI-related job creation and employment, stating that AI will create 2.3 million jobs by the end of 2020. By 2025, AI-related jobs will cross the two million mark. 

The need for AI and ML is exceptionally high since these technologies use intelligent process automation to identify and automate labour-intensive menial and routine functions in an organization. This helps save both time and money. With AI and ML tools handling monotonous tasks, a company can put its human resources to more critical tasks that require human cognition and expertise. Furthermore, Gartner predicts that by 2021, AI augmentation will create a business value of US$ 2.9 trillion. 

While AI and ML solutions can certainly automate mundane tasks, these innovations still require human expertise to run efficiently. In other words, companies require qualified professionals who know the nitty-gritty of AI and ML technologies and can use them appropriately. 

Interested aspirants can check out upGrad’s AI and ML certification courses PG Diploma in Machine Learning and AIMaster of Science in Machine Learning and AIAdvanced Certification in Machine Learning and CloudPG Certification in Machine Learning and Deep Learning, and PG Certification in Machine Learning and NLP.

Salary: 

The national average salary for Artificial Intelligence skills in India is ₹1,500,641 LPA. Machine Learning skills can get you an average annual salary of ₹958,675 LPA.

5. Software Development

In India, software development has long been one of the fastest-growing IT domains. India’s software development sectors’ exponential growth is due to the country’s large population and percentage of youth (over 50% of India’s youth below 25 years of age). In a 2019 report, Evans Data Corporation stated that software development professionals’ global population would grow from 23.9 million (as of 2019) to 28.7 million in 2024.

The study further shows that both the Asia Pacific region and Latin America will record a higher growth rate than North America or the EMEA region, with India overtaking the US as the world’s biggest data population center. 

The demand for skilled software developers and programmers is being fuelled by the fast-paced growth of mobile and web apps. Now we have an app for everything – be it for online shopping and online streaming or record your sleep patterns, there’s an app for almost all use cases. As companies churn out innovative applications, they will continue to recruit trained software development experts from across the country. 

Since software development is here to stay, candidates wishing to enter the IT/ITeS sector can opt for software development certifications like PG Diploma in Software Development (specialization in DevOps), PG Diploma in Software Development (specialization in Full-Stack Development), and PG Diploma in Software Development (specialization in Big Data)

Salary: 

The average annual salary for Software Development skills in India is ₹695,620 LPA. 

6. Project Management

Over the years, project management has become an integral part of the IT industry. Generally, IT companies handle multiple projects of varying scopes for several clients simultaneously. With several processes going on together (development, testing, debugging, deployment, etc.), it becomes challenging to manage the deliverables without a proper project management strategy. Project Managers plan, organize, supervise, and manage the completion and delivery of different projects. They ensure that all the projects remain within the right budget and scope and are delivered to clients on time.

Some of the most coveted project management skills include leadership, business acumen & strategic planning, communication and interpersonal skills, team building & problem-solving skills, and time-management & organizational skills.

According to a PMI report, the project management-oriented labor force is expected to grow by 33% across seven project-oriented sectors by 2027, meaning there’ll be around 22 million new project management jobs. India and China will account for more than 75% of employment opportunities in project management. 

Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is undoubtedly one of the best professional certification courses in this field. When coupled with other industry-relevant skills, the PMP certification can be a significant boost to your professional valuation. Apart from the PMP certification, aspirants can also try out upGrad’s PG Program in Management

Salary: 

The average annual salary for Project Management skills in India is ₹977,184 LPA. 

Wrapping up

These six skills are invaluable to the modern IT sector. Candidates with a combination of these IT skills can draw a handsome annual paycheck and, most importantly, become a valuable asset for any IT company. After all, upskilling not only helps to expand your knowledge base and enhance your skillset, it also gets you closer to your professional goals. 

So, which of these highest paying IT skills will you choose to pursue?

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