Empty asphalt road stretching into the distance with 2020 painted in white on the ground.
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Wondering what the top tech skills in 2020 will be?

5 Dec 2019

What will be the most in-demand tech skills in 2020, and what will learning and development look like over the next decade?

Hoping for some insights into how learning, development and in-demand skills may change next year? A new report from Udemy could help.

The online learning platform’s 2020 Workplace Learning Trends Report provides information on how AI is shaping the future of work, the top trending skills in the tech sector, and advice on how to reinvent learning and prepare workforces for these emerging trends.

Top skills

In the report, Udemy said that there is a “huge appetite for AI and data science skills” in the market, alongside “demand for web development frameworks, cloud computing and other IT certifications”.

It listed the top 10 tech skills for 2020 as:

  1. Python
  2. React (web)
  3. Angular
  4. Machine learning
  5. Docker
  6. Django
  7. CompTIA
  8. Amazon AWS
  9. Deep learning
  10. React Native (mobile)

The report also emphasised the large part that soft skills will play in learning and development in 2020 and beyond, explaining that putting the time and effort into building an organisational culture will be critical.

It said that “employees are leaning to their innately human skills and what robots can’t do”, which includes such attributes as critical thinking, storytelling and emotional intelligence.

But topping its list of the 10 most in-demand soft skills next year are having a growth mindset, creativity and focus. These are all, according to the report, crucial for continuous learning and openness to change.

AI and the future of work

The report noted that AI is “reshaping the world of work”. In the US, for example, it stated that investment funds managed by AI account for more than a third of the country’s current stock market. And yet, only a quarter of surveyed companies in Deloitte’s human capital study earlier this year said they were ready for the impact of AI.

To ensure preparedness, Udemy advised businesses to react to the disruptions that come with technology “in a transformational way”.

It claimed that “2020 is the year that AI goes mainstream”, meaning that almost all industries have begun to incorporate AI in one way or another. That’s certainly reflected in Udemy’s analysis of the tech skills that have come to the fore in the past three years, with TensorFlow, Chatbot and Microsoft Azure coming out on top.

Other 2020 trends

The other trends covered in the report include the importance of upskilling and embracing automation, and Udemy’s predictions for how learning will evolve in workplaces over the next decade.

It said that upskilling and retraining existing staff will trump taking on new hires, with companies seeking to ‘build’ rather than ‘buy’ talent. Its research in the area suggested that, of the surveyed learning and development leaders, almost 60pc reskilled between 10pc and 20pc of their staff last year, and almost two-thirds of respondent organisations have a reskilling programme in place.

As for how employees are feeling in the lead-up to 2020, the study found that respondents are “warming to automation”. Most of those surveyed expressed excitement for learning new skills, with just 12pc fearful of losing their jobs to robots.

Workplace learning predictions

Udemy concluded its report with five predictions for the changes to come in workplace learning:

  • Skills mapping will chart the future workforce, giving visual representations of skills needed to close gaps
  • Focused capability academies will replace ad-hoc training
  • Social learning communities of practice will help keep skills up to date, supporting learning on the job
  • The learning and development function will radically transform in the next decade
  • Organisations will build an internal talent marketplace, moving away from structuring workforces based on fixed roles
Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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