2024 IT Landscape: Top In-Demand Skills & Free Courses

developer immersed in the IT landscape on her computer

TL;DR: This article delves into the importance of staying up to date with in-demand skills in the dynamic IT landscape. Looking ahead to 2024, it anticipates and outlines the most sought-after skills in the tech field. Additionally, it compiles a curated list of free courses that can help developers improve their abilities to fuel their growth. 

Looking ahead to the upcoming year? 2024 is just around the corner, and it’s already a good time to get a sneak peek at what’s coming and start shaping our expectations and professional goals for the future.  

To help you plan your strategy, we’ll focus on the in-demand skills that the 2024 IT landscape will bring with it. Besides outlining the most sought-after skills and tech roles, we’ll share a curated list of free courses to fuel your career growth. So, if you’re pursuing a new tech role or seeking to expand your horizons, this article is meant for you.  

Navigating 2024 IT Landscape 

Let’s have a glimpse into what we can expect in 2024. Despite the uncertainty that the business world is currently navigating, the future appears bright for tech professionals. Two key insights underscore this fact: 

  1. As the State of IT shows, tech adoption plans are moving forward: two-thirds of companies plan to increase technology investments next year. Businesses are poised to invest in emerging technologies, and it’s forecast that in the next two years, organizations will double their use of serverless computing and AI. 
  1. According to the report, tech companies are optimistic about hiring in 2024: 59% plan to increase the size of their overall staff, while only 8% plan to decrease. This tells us that the tech industry is gearing up for growth, which is great news for tech professionals and those considering a career in the field.  

The Most In-Demand IT Skills in 2024 

Next, let’s take a look at what the future holds. In 2024, we can anticipate increased interest in the following areas: 

# 1. DevOps and Automation 

Working towards efficient project management, companies are actively seeking professionals who can bridge the gap between development and IT operations, making DevOps a highly sought-after skill set.  

In 2024, DevOps significance will continue to rise, with a strong emphasis on automation. Being proficient in automation tools and scripting languages is a great way to maximize your potential, as this knowledge can be applied across various areas of software development and infrastructure management. 

If you want to boost your developer skills with DevOps, here are some courses to kickstart your journey:  

Related read: What DevOps Is and Why IT Decision-Makers Think It’s a Game-Changer  

# 2. Cloud Computing 

As more companies transition their operations to the cloud, the need to rely on tech professionals capable of creating, executing, and maintaining cloud-based systems will continue to rise. According to LinkedIn, cloud computing-related jobs are among the fastest-growing professions in the tech world, with a 30% annual growth rate, making cloud computing one of the most in-demand IT skills. 

Here are some certifications and programs you can pursue to familiarize yourself with cloud computing: 

developer using AI and Machine Learning

# 3. AI and Machine Learning 

AI is here to stay, and understanding the technological advancements it enables is now an in-demand tech skill. With the growing adoption of generative AI and machine learning technologies across various industries, it’s safe to say there will be an increased need for people who can develop and implement these solutions.  

To remain at the forefront of these advancements, you can consider the following options:  

  • The Google Generative AI Learning Path for Developers covers a wide range of immediately applicable content, ranging from using prompt tuning to maximize the potential of large language models to exploring the responsible usage of AI.  
  • Microsoft’s Transform Your Business with AI is also an excellent choice. This course is designed to help you become familiar with existing AI tools, understand basic AI terminology and practices, and use prebuilt AI to create intelligent applications. 
  • If you’re into generative AI tools, the ChatGPT Prompt Engineering for Developers course will teach you how to effectively use a large language model (LLM) to build new and robust applications. 

Related read: How Generative AI Is Transforming Software Engineering  

#4. Blockchain Development 

Blockchain programming also deserves its own chapter. As this decentralized technology continues to evolve and find new applications, the demand for skilled blockchain developers is likely to remain high. It’s a field with a promising future and diverse career opportunities in several industries, from tokenization to supply chain management.  

If you want to learn more about blockchain-based systems, you can start by checking out these courses: 

  • Udemy’s Blockchain Theory 101 outlines the fundamentals, applications, and implications of blockchain technology. 
  • Blockchain technology on edX covers vital topics in the blockchain domain, including distributed systems, alternative consensus mechanisms, and crypto economics. It also delves into the real-world applications of bitcoin and blockchain. 
  • Blockchain Scalability and its Foundations in Distributed Systems focuses on distributed computing and its role in secure block creation. This course is a great choice for gaining a deeper understanding of vulnerabilities and security measures. 

#5. Data Science  

As companies rely more and more on data for decision-making, the ability to analyze it and gain valuable insights from it will become increasingly important.  

This is where data scientists come into action. They identify essential questions and develop predictive models to answer them with data, often for theoretical and forecasting purposes. Due to their expertise in data analytics and machine learning, this role will be in high demand in a variety of industries, including healthcare and finance.  

To develop skills in this hugely popular field, you can consider the following options: 

  • Datacamp’s Understanding Data Science offers an introductory approach to this field without the need for coding. You’ll explore foundational topics such as A/B testing and machine learning and discover how data scientists extract knowledge from real-world data. 
  • For a deep dive into transforming data into actionable insights, Udemy’s Practical Data Science Projects: From Analysis to Insights offers a focused experience in creating impactful projects from start to finish. 
  • For hands-on data acquisition and presentation, consider the Data Processing Using Python course. It helps you master Python’s fundamentals, enabling you to write practical programs. 
Laptop showing Data Science graphs

A Promising Horizon for Tech Professionals 

Looking ahead to the upcoming year, we can expect an exciting future for both the IT landscape and its professionals. Whether you’re a seasoned developer looking for new opportunities or a tech beginner, we hope these guidelines help you set your goals and equip you with the necessary skills to achieve them.  

Remember that to stay ahead of the curve, continuous learning is crucial. Taking a proactive approach to developing new abilities and perfecting your expertise in trending areas will sharpen your problem-solving and critical thinking skills, ensuring you’re always prepared to tackle new challenges. 

To future-proof your skills, stay updated on the latest trends and developments by checking out our blog