10 In-Demand IT Skills to Boost Your CV in 2024

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Skills you might consider getting to enhance your IT career include cloud computing, programming, understanding systems and networks, and more.

[Featured Image] Person looking up what IT skills are necessary to get a job in IT

Working in IT can mean anything from resolving an employee’s wifi issues to programming an organisation’s new cloud infrastructure. Because the work is so diverse, the skills you need to know to get a job in the IT field can vary widely depending on your role.

Boosting your CV with in-demand IT skills can help you stand out to employers, land your next promotion, or improve your performance in your role. You might consider developing or enhancing skills such as cloud computing, programming, artificial intelligence, understanding systems and networks, and project management to take your professional IT career to the next level. Read more to learn about highly desired IT skills. 

Essential IT skills

1. Cybersecurity

Security should be foundational to any IT team. As organisations and individuals store more sensitive data online, the importance of having a secure, reliable, and trustworthy data system rises. To build these skills, starting out in a help desk, networking, or system administration role can introduce you to concepts that are helpful to know for security purposes. The following skills can help you qualify for IT security positions—like information security analyst—at the entry-level and beyond.

  • Familiarity with physical, network, and software security 

  • Installing firewalls and routers

  • Data encryption

  • Risk mitigation strategy and threat analysis

  • Knowledge of compliance regulations and standards like PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and CCPA

  • Ethical hacking and penetration testing

2. Mobile Development

In 2020, over half of internet traffic came from mobile devices [1]. People now use mobile devices to access their data, input new personal information, play games, work professionally, and so much more. As the use of mobile devices for everyday activities continues to rise, the need for IT professionals who can develop secure mobile platforms or convert existing data systems to ones suitable for mobile use is high. Commonly used languages for mobile development include:

  • Java

  • JavaScript

  • C

  • C+

  • Python


3. Programming

Being able to programme will be a must for those who want to develop software, web applications, and websites. It’s also useful for IT workers who want to automate tasks. The type of programming language that is most beneficial for your career ambitions will depend on your specific position. However, the languages below are commonly requested of programmers and can be asked of IT professionals as well. 

  • Python

  • C++

  • JavaScript

  • Ruby

  • PowerShell

  • Java

  • Javascript

  • Go

  • R

  • Swift

  • PHP

4. Systems and networks

Making sure computer systems and networks are operating smoothly is central to the work of an IT team. Typical roles specialising in this skill set include system administrators and network administrators. System and network skills can also be useful for working in cloud administration or security as well. On a basic level, these skills include:

  • Administering diverse operating systems like Windows, Linux, or Mac

  • Installing and configuring computer hardware and software

  • Cloud administration and applications

  • Maintaining local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), storage area networks (SAN), and virtual private networks (VPNs)

  • Troubleshooting

  • Helping employees with technical issues

5. Data analysis

Being able to analyse data will be useful for various IT tasks. Monitoring performance data can help teams find security threats, or see where inefficiencies exist in their operations. This data can be used to recommend organisational changes, inform decision making, and ensure the company is operating at its best. Jobs that work with data in the IT realm include database administrators and data engineers.

  • SQL

  • Statistics

  • Python

6. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

AR/VR tech solutions are being applied in many industries already, and the prominence of these technologies is expected to continue to rise. In fact, in the UK, there is expected to be a 78.3% growth rate of money going towards AR and VR technology solutions [2]. Developing skills in this area can set you ahead of the competition and prepare you for upcoming roles as organisations decide to implement these technologies into their system. Common skills in this area include:

  • UI/UX

  • 3D modelling 

  • Animation

  • Web development

  • Machine learning

  • Graphics rendering

7. DevOps

DevOps—a combination of ‘development’ and ‘operations’—acts as a bridge between the software development and IT teams. Though a field unto itself, DevOps skills can help in both the IT and development aspects of running an organisation. Working in DevOps can mean becoming a DevOps engineer. You might need the following skills:

  • Understanding of continuous delivery theory

  • Container technologies like Docker or Kubernetes

  • Scripting languages like Python, Ruby, and C 

  • Familiarity with cloud operations

8. Cloud computing

Cloud computing skills are in demand, including anything from building cloud infrastructure to maintaining them. Working with cloud technology can open doors to positions like cloud developer, cloud administrator, and cloud architect. Knowledge of the following cloud platforms can be useful:

  • AWS

  • Google Cloud

  • Microsoft Azure

  • Oracle

9. Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the landscape of technology. Machines are being programmed to complete typically human-dependent tasks. This can greatly reduce redundancy of human job tasks and allow for focus on forward development of technology and more complex or creative tasks. Machine learning, a subset of artificial intelligence, has become one of the most prominent skills to learn in the technology sphere. Specific skills associated with machine learning can include:

  • Parametric and nonparametric algorithms

  • C++, Java, C#

  • UX/UI 

  • Kernels

  • Clustering

  • Deep learning techniques

10. Business Analytics

Building skills in business analytics can greatly complement traditional IT skills by providing insight on how to translate IT information into focused business recommendations and insights. Companies who are interested in growth within their sector or competing with other businesses can ensure they are growing in a positive direction through analysing relevant data. Skills you may be interested in developing include:

  • Understanding the business objective and how it relates to IT data

  • Analytics and critical thinking skills

  • Clear communication of large volumes of complex data

What does IT refer to, exactly?

IT jobs generally refer to work done in an organisation’s IT department—typically jobs that help keep the organisation’s computers running smoothly, like help desk technicians, network engineers, or system administrators. The term “IT” however is used by some as a catch-all phrase to refer to any work that includes using or developing computers and computer programs. This latter category might include software engineers or web developers. This guide includes skills that are generally applicable to both.


How to gain IT skills

There are several avenues to build your IT skills in different areas. Depending on your background and professional goals, choosing the right method to allow you to dive into your subject of interest can help ensure you have the environment and time needed to efficiently grow your IT skills. Here are a few ways to learn the skills that can contribute to a successful career in IT:

  • Teach yourself: Many programming languages, data analysis techniques, and certain IT skills can be self-taught through online courses or home projects. You can find several courses on Coursera, including introductory classes to Python or cybersecurity.

  • Certifications: Certifications can be a solid way to ensure your abilities meet professional standards. Most of these certificates are internationally recognised and allow for many types of IT work. To obtain these, you’ll generally have to study for and pass an exam. 

  • Bootcamps: Generally lasting several weeks or months, bootcamps are intensive courses that are designed to bring you specific skills in that time period. Though coding bootcamps are popular, bootcamps exist for topics like cybersecurity as well.

  • Degrees: Though perhaps more time-consuming than the other options, getting a degree in computer science or a related field can be a structured way to gain the technical skills needed to enter the computer world. Many Universities in the UK offer degrees specifically related to information technology. 

Putting your skills into action: CV and interview

When applying for a new position, having a CV that stands out and highlights your relevant skills can increase your chances of being noticed by the hiring manager. While you may have exceptional skills relevant to the role, hiring managers often have no way of knowing this outside of what is included in your CV. Taking the time to read the job posting and tailoring your CV to show why you are the best candidate for the position can set you up for success.

Getting started

Embarking on a new career path–or looking for ways to grow in your current one–is an exciting time. If you’re looking for a place to start learning the broad basics of IT, consider the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. You’ll learn in-demand skills such as debugging, encryption algorithms, binary code, customer support, and more to help you land your first entry-level IT position. Upon completion, gain exclusive access to career resources like resume review, interview prep, and career support. 

Article sources


Statista. “Mobile commerce in the United Kingdom, https://www.statista.com/topics/5888/mobile-commerce-in-the-uk/#topicHeader__wrapper.” Accessed July 11, 2023.

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