Main image of article TensorFlow, Smart Contracts, Ethereum Top Skills Spiking in Market Value

Which tech skills are spiking in value? The answer to that question can help you determine your educational choices over the next few months—and your earning prospects over the next few years. As you might expect, rising value for certain skills usually correlates with strong employer demand; mastery can often result in boosted compensation and opportunities.

Foote Partners, LLC, as part of its extensive analysis of the tech industry, has a breakdown of the noncertified skills that have enjoyed substantial gains in market value over the six months ending January 1, 2022. These skills earned technologists cash pay premiums significantly above the average of all 630 skills listed in Foote Partners’ IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index.  

As you can see from the list below, it’s a great time to master skills related to artificial intelligence (A.I.), machine learning, and the cloud. (Note: Whenever you see a dash in the below list, it's not because two skills are necessarily related; it's because they reached a tie in Foote Partners' calculations. For example, TensorFlow and smart contracts are both in the number-one spot.)

TensorFlow, an open-source A.I./machine learning library developed within Google, tops the list. “TensorFlow can be used in a wide variety of programming languages, most notably Python, as well as JavaScript, C++, and Java,” added Foote Partners’ report. “This flexibility lends itself to a range of applications in many different sectors. Its flexible architecture allows for the easy deployment of computation across a variety of platforms (CPUs, GPUs, TPUs) and from desktops to clusters of servers to mobile and edge devices.”

Although Foote Partners categorizes TensorFlow as a noncertified skill, Google offers a TensorFlow Developer Certificate that confirms a developer has mastered the platform’s basics. “This certificate in TensorFlow development is intended as a foundational certificate for students, developers, and data scientists who want to demonstrate practical machine learning skills through building and training of basic models using TensorFlow,” read a note on the TensorFlow Blog when the certificate first rolled out in 2020. “This level one certificate exam tests a developer’s foundational knowledge of integrating machine learning into tools and applications.”

Foote Partners has also seen a rise in value associated with smart contracts, which could play a major role in everything from insurance claims to financial derivatives. For those interested in learning more about how smart contracts work, it could pay to study the blockchain technology that provides their foundation. (Ethereum, which also made Foote Partners’ list, similarly depends on the blockchain.)

DevSecOps, prescriptive analytics, security architecture and models, and Scaled Agile Frameworks (SAFe) also made the lists. No matter what your technology-industry interest—A.I., cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, or something else—chances are good that at least some of the skills associated with it are rising in value. That’s great news for your career, provided you devote the time to learn and master these skills.