Main image of article Most In-Demand Tech Jobs and Skills, February 2020

As we plunge into 2020, one thing is clear: Business hunger for software developers and engineers seems insatiable. A new analysis of jobs data from Burning Glass, which collects millions of job postings from across the country, shows that the number of postings for software developers/engineers exceeds that of any other tech profession by a healthy margin.

In fact, employers really want developers and engineers for all types of functions: Java, applications, software QA, networking, .NET, and more. Check out the full list of most popular specialized occupations from the past 30 days, as determined by the aforementioned job postings:

Of course, there’s a big reason why “software developer/engineer” sparks so many open job postings: It’s a very big (and very nebulous) job title. Depending on the company and task, for example, a software developer could end up doing anything from building iOS apps to figuring out machine-learning algorithms to squishing the latest bugs (if a bug bounty hasn’t uncovered them, first).

In light of that, it’s always worth examining which skills employers are on the hunt for. Another analysis of Burning Glass data shows the most-requested skills over the past 30 days:

Just like in January skills/occupations breakdown, the top skills include SQL and Java. What can we conclude from that? Employers are very interested in technologists who can do backend and database work (hence the need for SQL), which makes sense—companies always have a need to collect, store, clean, and analyze data.

(For those totally unfamiliar with SQL, which stands for structured query language: It’s used for managing and querying relational databases, which—very simply put—organize data into rows and columns, and generally tend to follow the famous Codd’s Twelve Rules.) 

The other programming languages on this list—including not only Java, but also Python and JavaScript—are mature and ubiquitous, ensuring a steady stream of companies that not only want to build new apps and services with them, but also need to maintain big piles of legacy code. Thanks to that popularity, these languages are also used in very niche, sometimes cutting-edge contexts; for example, Python has an ever-growing presence among machine-learning and artificial intelligence (A.I.) projects