At the heart of the scramble to adapt to a tight IT job market, companies are doing whatever they can to attract and retain the top tech talent.  For some, that means getting ahead in filling this year’s most in-demand roles.  For others, this may mean making changes to their employment procedures and benefits packages to reflect the expectations of a more remote-centric workforce.

These are the top tech roles expected to be the hiring priorities over 2021.  We have also outlined just some of the many skills you may need should you wish to land one of the most sought-after tech jobs of the year.

This is quite a list, so we have decided to split it into 2 reads, with part two being released later this week.

Today we will look at the top 5.

1. Security professional (data, information, network, systems, cloud)

Businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on data for everyday business operations.  Data, information, systems, network, and cloud security professionals are a must for any hiring strategy.

These IT professionals ensure that enterprise IT initiatives remain safe from cyber threats both inside and outside the organisation.  They are also tasked with keeping on top of industry compliance regulations and future security trends. Cybersecurity professionals also must ensure the business’s hardware, software, and networks remain secure.

What skills and experience will a cyber security professional need?

To advance in any cybersecurity field, some technical expertise is required, but not necessarily a comprehensive understanding of programming or hacking.  However, t is important to have a familiarity with hardware, software, networks, and applications – as well as the risks associated with them.

A Certificate in Information Security Management Principles (CISMP) is widely regarded as the ‘qualification of choice’ for IT security professionals.  It is recognised across the UK as an essential first rung on the ladder to a successful career.  This is particularly relevant should the role be in the risk management and the legal aspects of cybersecurity.

It is particularly pertinent should the role be within the public sector. This qualification forms part of the government’s approved standard of competence for cybersecurity.

Many cybersecurity careers eventually lead towards a management position, which means that you might be leading a group of specialists in an area in which you’re not an expert.  This is normal for most industries. What is important is that you know enough about the work they do to manage them appropriately.

As such, anyone interested in becoming a manager should consider gaining appropriate qualifications as soon as possible.  Those with several years of experience in cybersecurity may also consider becoming a CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) or CISSP (Certified Information Security Systems Professional).

With regard to Cyber Security technical work, there are plenty of options. The easiest one to get into is ethical hacking. An organisation may hire an ethical hacker to find out where its weaknesses are and how they could be exploited. This involves identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities in an organisation’s systems using the same techniques as a criminal hacker – without the malicious actions!

The demand for ethical hackers has skyrocketed in the past few years, as businesses realise the need for a practical assessment of their systems.

2. Cloud Architect.

Cloud Architects oversee the company’s cloud computing strategy. They are responsible for deploying, managing and supporting cloud applications.  Typically, Cloud Architects have a strong understanding of multiple operating systems. They will also need networking, programming, and security skills.  When looking to hire these IT professionals, businesses should look for those who have a strong knowledge of cloud services such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.  Today, Multi and hybrid cloud strategies are a popular way for organizations to migrate their clouds, so it is a good idea to have at least a passing familiarity with all the major clouds.

What skills and experience will a Cloud Architect need?

The cloud architecture a company uses will dictate the specific skills one would need for that particular role.  However, there will always be a need for an aptitude to pick up new skills quickly.  As the Cloud continues to change, so too will the skillsets needed to work with it.  As such, those who work within this sector will need to be flexible, quick to learn and willing to adopt new technologies quickly.

Cloud architects tend to have previous experience as network administrators. The most typical background is someone who is familiar with system administration and who knows how to provision individual servers.  Professionals then tend to escalate these skills and begin thinking in terms of fleets of servers instead. Knowledge of deploying and operating different network types, as well as working with software-defined networks in general, is a must for a cloud architect CV.

A silhouette stands in front of a cloud shape representing cloud-native or cloud computing

Data storage and Infrastructure.

Cloud architects should also have a knowledge of data storage infrastructure and hardware (especially if candidates will be working with on-premises clouds).  A familiarity with storage buckets, provisioning and capacity planning, and data security is also essential for the 2021 Cloud architect.

Candidates should have knowledge of Containers; Kubernetes and Docker skills are in high demand.  Containers are becoming an essential part of cloud architecture and administration.  In fact, over the last few years, the share of Kubernetes jobs per million grew by 2141%, and according to Indeed, the share of Kubernetes job searches increased 2,125%.

Programming Languages

Some knowledge of programming languages is also critical for cloud architects. Specifics will depend on the cloud in question, but knowing the popular languages (Java, Perl, Python, and C#) will cover your bases for cloud infrastructure and cloud-native apps.


Security too is becoming more and more of an essential skill for cloud architects.  Despite the fact that often, organisations are employing a separate cloud security architect, having a background in security contributes to end-to-end cloud security. Identity and access management is also essential due to the fact that more employees are accessing the cloud directly.  You should also have knowledge of privacy laws and regulations.


Aside from the technical skills, cloud professionals should also have a solid set of soft skills listed on their CV.  Communication is essential as often cloud architects are now tasked with explaining their work to non-technical colleagues.  Teamwork and leadership are also must haves.  Cloud architects are often expected to lead a team, and so being able to manage multiple people, handle ideas diplomatically, delegate, and solve problems as a group is essential.

On top of this, experience with IT Service Management, I&O, governance, automation, and vendor management are desirable.

We weigh up working for startups vs working for corporations - a man stands at a board giving a presentation in a corporate office

3. Database Administrator.

A Database Administrator (DBA) is tasked with maintaining the software used to manage a database.  DBAs also ensure the data is easily accessible to those who need it when they need it. DBAs ensure that servers remain efficient and operational.  The role is multi-faceted; data security, implementation, replication, backup, storage, access, and partitions are also on the job description of a DBA. Data is king, and as more and more organisations are reliant upon large amounts of data, this particular IT profession is becoming increasingly essential.

Those organisations wishing to hire a DBA should be looking for someone able to monitor the servers, but who will also be able to optimise performance.  A DBA will also need to be on call in case of emergency.

What skills and experience will a Database Administrator need?

There are routes into this profession for both school leavers and graduates.  However, a qualification in a relevant subject such as computer science, software engineering, electronic engineering, mathematics or software engineering can be advantageous.  Should you be a graduate without relevant qualifications or experience, a postgraduate qualification in computing, IT or operational research is beneficial.

Part of the DBA role is to help with database design and development.  They also work with database software to find ways to store, organise and manage data.  A DBA should have a familiarity with computer operating systems and database technology, design, software and structure.

Due to the nature of the work, a database administrator should be able to demonstrate patience and a meticulous attention to detail.  The ability to logically prioritise tasks and processes is essential, as is good organisational, interpersonal, and communication skills.

4. Programmer Analyst.

Programmer Analysts are responsible for designing, coding, and testing new programs.  They are also tasked with providing detailed documentation of the process using flowcharts and diagrams.  These IT professionals design programs based on client requirements. A Programmer analyst will determine how much they will cost to build, while working closely with Project Managers.  Programmer analysts also handle debugging and troubleshooting information systems and application programs.

What skills and experience will a Programmer Analyst need?

An ideal candidate should have experience as a systems analyst and a computer programmer, because – as the name suggests – the role of a Programmer Analyst is a combination of the two.  As such, a candidate will require a history in programming, with a solid background in SQL Server, SSQS, ASP.NET and HTML.

A Programmer Analyst CV should include a formal qualification in IT or Computer programming.  On top of this, it is good practice to have an industry recognised qualification such as a CompTIA A+ Certification.  This is an entry-level computer certification for service technicians.  It is the preferred certification for technical support and IT operational roles.

A Programmer analyst should also possess excellent analytic skills and have a second to none attention to detail.  They should be proficient in solving system problems, have programming experience, and be able to demonstrate excellent time management.

5. Systems Analysts.

Systems analysts design techniques to help solve business problems by analysing IT systems within an organisation. They are responsible for investigating and resolving issues and problems as they arise in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Among the responsibilities of  Systems Analysts are to test programs and databases to make sure they’re working efficiently.  They are also required to run security audits and create and maintain documentation on systems within the organisation.

What skills and experience will a Systems Analyst need?

Commonly these IT professionals will hold a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, IT, engineering or Information Systems.  Qualifications in these disciplines will demonstrate a range of specialist skills in crucial areas such as hardware, software development and programming along with systems analysis, database systems and design, networking and operating systems.

Beyond the lecture theatre though, an experienced Systems Analyst CV should reflect some level of commercial knowledge and technical analysis as well as project management.

A solid Systems Analyst CV will demonstrate between 4-6 years of commercial experience. Within that time, these IT professionals should look for opportunities to gain experience installing, configuring, documenting, testing, training, and implementing new applications and systems.  As such, learning a variety of programming languages would also be necessary.

A Systems Analyst CV should demonstrate creative strategy management and the ability to problem solve.  Systems Analysts should be fast but logical and meticulous thinkers with the ability to manage both time and budget.

A Systems analyst will be tasked with the assessment of business needs, and then to translate them into relevant solutions.  In turn, they should also be able to communicate effectively with non-technical colleagues, using clear and concise language easy for lay-people to understand.


If you are looking to grow and move into one of these in-demand tech roles this year, why not head over to our job pages to browse our live vacancies.

We have roles that fall into every one of these categories.   Security analysts, cloud architects and DBAs are just a small cross-section of the tech jobs our progressive clients are looking to add to their teams. These are roles that will only grow in relevance and importance as our digital landscape shifts to adapt to current working and business practices in 2021.

We are looking forward to hearing from you.











About the author: As a founder of Ignite Digital Talent, I lead our brilliant team to ensure we deliver time and time again for our clients. I also stay closely networked with industry influencers to ensure we are well placed to understand the issues and challenges our clients face.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Scroll To Top