Whether you’re actively looking for work or just keeping your options open, it’s always good to know which skills employers need the most.

Recruitment firm Hays recently released its report of the skills that are most in demand in Australia for the first six months of this year.

The top five digital technology skills picked by Hays are:

  1. Full Stack Software Engineers
  2. Cloud Engineers
  3. Data Engineers
  4. Data Scientists
  5. React.js/React Native Engineers

Full stack engineers have often been cited as one of the most demanded and well-paid IT roles, which is still shown by the Hays list.

And experts in data science and analytics are frequently touted as being needed by organisations who are trying desperately to leverage massive amounts of data in a competitive way.

The inclusion of React.js and React Native could show a preference for mobile developers to work with a specific toolset.

React Native is a Facebook-created app development framework that builds native iOS and Android apps using JavaScript.

The platform has been used in the development of some of the world’s biggest apps like Facebook and Instagram.

Hays recognises React’s growing popularity, saying that “organisations are considering upskilling current employees” to keep up with demand for this skillset.

A second list of skills

More broadly, Hays also picked its top five IT skills that are currently in demand:

  1. Cloud Engineers and Cloud Architects
  2. Project Managers
  3. Network Engineers
  4. Security GRC Specialists
  5. End User Support

Surprisingly, despite a market mismatch in supply and demand last year, general cyber security skills did not make the cut. Hays instead identified a rising need for experts in cyber governance, risk, and compliance.

“Data breaches and cyber threats are more common across the globe and are considered a high-level risk by C-suite executives,” the report found.

“As a result, security experts with experience across IT risk, compliance, disaster recovery and business continuity are in high demand.”

Both of Hays’ lists prominently feature cloud engineers which is reflective of a growing trend toward cloud migration.

A Thales report from last year found that nearly half of all corporate data is stored in cloud services – a rise from only 35 per cent three years prior.

There is also an ongoing battle between Microsoft, Amazon and Google to get Australian businesses to use their cloud services, which can make it tough for IT professionals to know the environment in which they ought to hone their skills.

Hays notes that supply in this area is improving with more people recognise the necessity of cloud skills, but there is a particular “shortage of those with proven commercial experience”.

Advice for job seekers

Relevant industry experience is becoming more important for employers, according to the Hays report. A developer who has worked in the banking sector, for example, would be more desirable than one who hasn’t because of their ability to navigate the enterprise and broader operational space.

Contributing to open source projects is also flagged by Hays as a way to make your CV stand out. Github is a natural first-call, but Hays also mentions DevOps tools like Docker, Ansible, and Elasticsearch as ways to improve your abilities in a public way.

Finally, be mindful of your soft skills.

“Your ability to relate to others is important to prospective employers,” the Hays report says.

“In an interview, share examples from your previous experience that show you are relatable, a team player, a strong communicator, easy to get along with and someone who thrives under pressure.”