The 10 most in-demand tech skills in 2024 (with skill tests)
Here is a list of the top tech skills to have on your resume this year, as well as a list of skill tests you can use to gauge your current proficiency.
Jan 10, 2024 • 10 Minute Read
- Public Sector
- IT Ops
- Software Development
- Engineering Leadership
- Professional Development
- Team Development
- AI & Machine Learning
- Learning & Development
Upskilling is part and parcel with being in tech, but it can be tough to know where to spend your efforts. That's why we've done research into the top tech talents you want on your CV in 2024, how you can test your current aptitude in these areas, and what learning resources are available to help you increase your knowledge.
For a more detailed explanation for why these tech skills made our list, keep reading! Take our free Role and Skill IQ tests after each section to gauge your current proficiency level, and see how you match up to other industry professionals.
1. Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML)
Let’s be real: if you didn’t see this on the top of the list, you have lived under a rock since 2022 (Which, given the global housing crisis, I couldn’t blame you for. Finding an affordable rock is hard these days.) Demand for AI and Machine Learning Specialists is expected to grow by 40%, or 1 million jobs, in the next five years according to the World Economic Forum — that’s the fastest growing career across all professions, including the non-technical trades like mining or marketing.
Working in AI/ML also makes you an easy hire. According to Gartner, AI/ML had the second-highest hiring difficulty (nine out of ten) and one of the largest market salaries (USD $142,600 or greater).
Even if you’re not in a technical role, or don’t want to become an AI specialist because you’re working as something like a Cloud Architect or a programmer, knowing AI is becoming an essential skill in 2024 and beyond (For cloud specialists, it’s especially important, as these spaces are quickly intersecting with services like Amazon Q). AI is no longer a skill for a technical role, it affects everyone, with tools like ChatGPT, GitHub Copilot, Synk Code, and Mintlify changing how we go about work.
What skill tests can I take for AI and ML?
- Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence Developer on AWS
- Microsoft Azure AI Engineer
- Machine Learning Engineer (PyTorch)
- Machine Learning Engineer (TensorFlow)
- Machine Learning Engineer (Scikit-Learn)
What's the best way to learn about AI/ML?
Pluralsight offers a wide range of AI/ML courses catering to a wide range of needs and skill levels: courses on core AI skills, as well as dedicated paths on the intersection of AI and cloud, cybersecurity, IT ops, data science, and more. You can sign up to the platform for free and start upskilling yourself in AI today.
As of 2024, multicloud is now the norm. 65% of all organizations operate within multicloud environments, with 20% actively pursuing an additional cloud platform, according to Pluralsight’s State of Cloud report. The kicker? Most organizations don’t have people proficient in multiple cloud technologies to actually support this infrastructure. In fact, only 9% of technologists are multicloud proficient.
While that’s bad news for businesses, it’s good news for technologists looking to set themselves apart from the crowd by providing a unique and highly valuable skill set. AWS, Azure, and GCP are still the three most popular cloud providers, which means becoming proficient in these gives you the best cross section.
In terms of tech skills, employers in the U.S. ranked hiring people with cloud architecture and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) skills as considerably difficult, according to Gartner research. And — you guessed it — this translated into higher salaries for cloud-proficient hires.
What skill tests can I take for cloud proficiency?
- Cloud Architect (AWS)
- Developer on AWS
- Database Engineer on AWS
- DevOps Engineer on AWS
- Network Engineer on AWS
- Microsoft Azure Developer
- Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect
- Microsoft Azure Administrator
- Cloud Architect (Google Cloud)
What's the best way to become multicloud proficient?
Here are some courses you can take to build multicloud proficiency:
- Cloud Computing Foundations (16 lessons)
- AWS Essentials (88 lessons)
- Introduction to AWS (39 lessons)
- Azure Concepts (12 lessons)
- Google Cloud Concepts (11 lessons)
- Serverless Concepts (18 lessons)
Each of the major cloud providers offer a foundational-level certification designed to teach you the fundamentals of each platform, and give you a solid foundation in cloud computing. Even if you don’t take the exam itself, taking a cloud certification prep course will give you important baseline skills. You can then decide to take more advanced certification courses as needed, such as the associate-level certificates.
We suggest taking the following cert courses by Pluralsight, which include hands-on labs that allow you to practically learn your skills in a risk-free, simulated cloud environment:
- AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C01)
- AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
- Google Cloud Digital Leader
If you’re considering more advanced certifications, check out these handy articles which cover what pathway might be best for you.
- Which AWS certification is right for me?
- What’s the best Microsoft Azure certification path for me?
- Which Google Cloud certification is best for me?
Bad actors now the ability to create cyberthreats with next to no effort using AI, using chatbots to make viruses or phishing letters, or training incredibly powerful malware using Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). While the motto of 2023 was “AI or Die”, the motto for 2024 will be “Cybersecurity or Die” as companies try to protect themselves from these suddenly supercharged threats.
This was already a gigantic skills gap in 2022 before AI became big, with tech leaders and technologists stating their number one skills gap was cybersecurity. According to Garner’s latest industry research, cybersecurity should be a top 2024 priority for any large enterprise, who will be most at risk from these threats in the years to come.
What skill tests can I take for cybersecurity?
What's the best way to learn cybersecurity?
Learning about cybersecurity can be a bit like drinking from a firehose — there’s a lot to take in, and you’re not going to absorb it all at once. We recommend reading this great article by Kat Seymour which explains what you should expect if you want to join the field. Pluralsight offers a wide range of information and cybersecurity courses which you can check out with a 10-day free trial, as well as dedicated courses on security fundamentals.
Some certifications that may be worth taking to help you brush up on cybersecurity are the Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate (CBROPS 200-201) or CompTIA Security+ (SY0-601).
Ah, Python, beloved by beginner programmers and seasoned AI specialists everywhere. If you somehow skipped learning this high-level language in your tech career, now is the time to double back and dive into it. According to Gartner, Python is the #1 digital skill critical for most companies, regardless of size or status. The reason? It’s got a wide range of use-cases, from AI, machine learning, data analytics, data visualization, and of course, software and web development.
Last year we ranked Python as our #1 Top Tech Skill to learn, but on this year’s list we’ve put it a bit lower. We’ve cross-referenced Gartner’s data from our own Pluralsight platform and other third-party reports, and found that while Python was a highly essential skill, this year it didn’t quite trump AI/ML, multicloud, and cybersecurity. Still, at a solid number four, you should add it to your upskilling tick list.
What skill tests can I take for Python?
What's the best way to learn Python?
Check out Pluralsight’s Core Python learning path for free, which provides 44 hours of on-demand Python learning across 25 courses, taking you from beginner to expert. If you’re already familiar with Python, you can easily jump ahead to your current level of knowledge.
More than just a fun word to say, Kubernetes (K8s) is a hot skill to know in 2024. K8s is another one of the “skills critical for most companies” this year according to Gartner, and our Pluralsight research backed that up. Anecdotally, I’ve known junior IT professionals who have upskilled in Kubernetes and waltzed directly into juicy cloud jobs paying well into the six figures. If you can get your head around K8s, there’ll be a demand for you out there. It also made Pluralsight’s top trending technology for 2024.
What skill tests can I take for cybersecurity?
Pluralsight offers several Skill IQ tests you can use to gauge your Kubernetes knowledge. Sign up to the Pluralsight platform here to test it out, then check out the following assessments:
- Kubernetes Administration
- Using Kubernetes as a Developer
- Managing and Orchestrating Containers with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
- Architecting with the Google Kubernetes Engine
- Implementing and Managing Amazon EKS (Elastic Kubernetes Service) [BETA]
What's the best way to learn Kubernetes?
Again, one of the best ways to learn Kubernetes is to take a foundational level certification course. I would recommend taking Pluralsight’s Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) learning path. The Containers Pathway is also worth checking out (16 courses, 127 hands-on labs, 1 practice exam).
Always the bridesmaid, and never the bride — for the second year in a row, Java was the second-most popular programming language after Python. This Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA) language is platform independent, has a thriving community of developers and open source projects, and offers great software security.
For enterprises, Java is valuable for powering large web applications with the Spring framework, big data pipelines with Kafka, and mobile applications running on Android. This is why Gartner has listed Java as a skill needed by in 2024 large enterprises that need to digitize their businesses at scale. Java was the second-most popular language on the Pluralsight platform, and one of our most frequently taken Skill IQs.
What skill tests can I take for Java?
What's the best ways to learn Java?
Pluralsight offers a Java Language Fundamentals learning path (52 hours, 26 courses). It focuses on the fundamentals of the Java languages, giving you a solid foundation, and then takes you into more advanced techniques.
Linux continues to be an enduring skill for the modern tech professional, given it’s the core of many dev environments, and natively very powerful. According to W3Techs, it continues to be used by 40.1% of all websites, and it continues to be a popular learning subject year after year on the Pluralsight platform.
What skill tests can I take for Linux?
Pluralsight offers three Skill IQ tests you can use to gauge your Linux knowledge. Sign up to the Pluralsight platform here to test it out, then check out the following assessments:
What's the best way to learn Linux?
Pluralsight offers some courses on Linux, listed below:
There are also a number of dedicated learning paths you can take, depending on your Linux specialization:
- Linux Red Hat Engineering Pathway (18 courses, 206 hands-on labs, 3 practice exams)
- Linux Red Hat Architecture Pathway (17 courses, 183 hands-on labs, 3 practice exams)
- Linux Security Pathway (13 courses, 82 hands-on labs, 5 practice exams)
- Linux DevOps Pathway (15 courses, 139 hands-on labs, 1 practice exam)
- Linux Containers Pathway (16 courses, 127 hands-on labs, 1 practice exam)
Docker is the bee’s knees. You can package applications and their dependencies in a virtual container, then be sure this is going to run seamlessly in someone else’s environment. It’s simple, portable, and handy. Docker feeds right into DevOps and CI/CD pipelines to help make software development truly iterative, so it’s a worthy addition to this list. Our research suggests that knowing Docker is more than just useful: it’s becoming a must-have skill in 2024.
What skill tests can I take for Docker?
Pluralsight offers two Skill IQ tests you can use to gauge your Docker knowledge. Sign up to the Pluralsight platform here to test it out, then check out the following assessments:
What's the best way to learn Docker?
I’d recommend taking the Docker Certified Associate (DCA). Pluralsight offers a DCA certification prep course which you can check out. Another good learning resource is the Linux Containers Pathway (16 courses, 127 hands-on labs, 1 practice exam).
Powershell is an open-source, cross-platform task automation solution that, simply put, saves IT teams a ton of time. You can use it to configure systems and automate your administration tasks from the command line for Windows, MacOS, or Linux. Other appealing features are its scripting flexibility, object-oriented approach, extensibility, and robust community support. All of this makes Powershell a highly relevant skill to learn in modern IT environments, which is why we’re not surprised it made 2024’s top tech skill list.
What skill tests can I take for Powershell?
Pluralsight offers four Skill IQ tests you can use to gauge your Powershell knowledge. Sign up to the Pluralsight platform here to test it out, then check out the following assessments:
- PowerShell 7 Fundamentals
- Windows PowerShell
- Windows PowerShell: Essentials
- PowerShell for Cyber Defense [Beta]
What's the best way to learn Powershell?
Terraform continues to be a hot skill in the world of cloud infrastructure and operations. By allowing users to define and provision infrastructure using a high-level configuration language, it brings automation, consistency and efficiency, reducing the risk of human error. Terraform allows you to manage infrastructure across multiple cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and GCP — and given most companies are multicloud, this is a highly attractive feature.
What skill tests can I take for Terraform?
Pluralsight offers a Skill IQ test you can use to gauge your Terraform knowledge. Sign up to the Pluralsight platform here to test it out, then check out the following assessment:
What's the best way to learn Terraform?
One of the best ways to learn Terraform is to take the foundational level certification course: HashiCorp Certified: Terraform Associate.
Conclusion: Whatever you do, learn something new!
This may be a list of the top ten talents people are looking for, but learning something new is better than not learning anything at all. Not only does it show your dedication to continuous learning — a soft skill industry leaders are on the search for in 2024 — it helps you bring new solutions to the table, expands your job options, and stops you from getting into a rut.
It can be difficult to find the time to learn when you feel busy, even when you've got paid learning time. Carve out the time, keep it sacred, and make learning a new skill every quarter (no matter what it is) one of your resolutions!