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Project Management Still Employers’ Most In-Demand Tech Skill

Nick Kolakowski, Dice Insights

November 8, 2021

Throughout 2021, project management has topped the list of employers’ most requested skills—and with good reason. Given the complexity of most tech-related projects, companies need technologists who can execute on a deadline while staying within budget parameters. 

In addition to their technical skills, project managers who succeed in the role often display an enviable mix of “soft skills” such as empathy and communication; they must effectively deal with a variety of stakeholders, from team members all the way up to the most senior executives. 

What else do employers desire from technologists? According to Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, most-requested tech skills over the past 90 days included Java, SQL, PythonJavaScript, and more.

For technologists everywhere, there’s a clear lesson here: It’s one thing to learn specific programming languages, tools, and skills such as Java, SQL, and Python. But mastering the methodologies and skillsets that utilize these languages and tools to complete projects—such as project management, software development, budgeting, and scheduling—is just as important to potential employers. 

The median project manager salary is $80,280, according to Burning Glass, which rises with skills and experience, of course. Mastering project-management methods such as Agile, Scrum, Kanban, and even Waterfall is vital to a long-term project management career, especially if you aspire to eventually manage massive projects with hundreds (or even thousands) of stakeholders. 

Amongst the most in-demand technical skills, SQL continues to perform strongly. Companies everywhere need technologists adept in SQL to manage the relational databases that support pretty much every aspect of most businesses, from managing databases’ index structures to retrieving information and generating new tables. SQL developers earn a median salary of $92,504, with the profession projected to grow 11.5 percent over the next decade. Database administrators, who utilize SQL quite a bit, make nearly as much ($89,561).

Given the low tech unemployment rate at the moment, organizations everywhere are hungry for technologists with all sorts of skills. No matter what your interests, if you’ve mastered a particular skill-set, chances are good there’s an employer out there interested in what you have to offer. 

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