Work

The top 20 tech skills of 2019—and the easiest one to learn in 2020

Hero Images | Getty images

The tech industry offers some of the highest-paying opportunities in the country.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a worker in high-tech industries (sectors with high concentrations of workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics occupations) is about $70,230. The median annual wage for workers outside of tech is closer to $34,800.

One reason tech wages remain so high is the result of a skills gap, in which the lower supply of workers with tech skills does not meet the higher demand from employers.

So what tech skills are employers looking for the most?

To find out, a team from the job search engine Indeed analyzed millions of tech job postings between September 2014 and September 2019 to determine which skills were mentioned most frequently as a requirement to land the role.

Here are the most in-demand tech skills of 2019, according to Indeed:

20. Docker

Description: A tool to create, deploy and run applications.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 5.1%

19. SQL Server

Description: A database management system.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 6.5%

18. Unix

Description: A multi-user, multi-tasking operating system for servers, desktops and laptops.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 6.7%

17. Azure

Description: A cloud computing service for building, testing and managing applications through Microsoft-managed data centers.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 6.9%

16. Machine learning

Description: The scientific study of algorithms and statistical models. A branch of artificial intelligence.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 7.0%

Maskot | Getty Images

15. CSS

Description: A programming language web developers use to create uniform styles across web pages.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019:7.3%

14. GIT

Description: A system of tracking changes during software development that allows programmers to work together.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 7.8%

13. Scrum

Description: A framework for managing projects. Often used during software development.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 8.0%

12. HTML

Description: The standard language used for web design.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 8.1%

10. Oracle (tie)

Description: Software used to manage databases.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 8.4%

10. .NET (tie)

Description: A framework for developing software.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 8.4%

9. C#

Description: A programming language used for developing apps and is managed using the .NET framework.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 9.3%

8. C

Description: A programming language used for developing apps that does not require the .NET framework.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 10.3%

7. C++

Description: A programming language often used for game development.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 10.7%

6. Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Description: An on-demand cloud computing platform.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 14.2%

FG Trade | Getty Images

5. JavaScript

Description: A programming language primarily used for interactive web design.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 14.5%

4. Linux

Description: An open-source operating system.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 14.9%

3. Python

Description: A general-purpose programming language used for developing applications and websites.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 18.0%

2. Java

Description: A popular programming language and computing platform.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 20.8%

1. SQL

Description: A programming language used to manage databases.
Share of tech job postings requiring this skill in 2019: 21.9%

The most in-demand tech skill of 2019 was SQL, which stands for "Structured Query Language." The programming language, which allows users to manage databases, is commonly required for data science roles.

Andrew Flowers, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab who focuses on the U.S. labor market, says skills like SQL and Java are going to continue to be in high demand for the foreseeable future. But there is another skill he suggests all young people learn: Python.

"If people are with their young nephews and nieces at Thanksgiving next week, and there's a conversation about what skills they should learn, the word that rolls off my tongue instantly is Python," he tells CNBC Make It. "Not just because it's the No. 3 skill and growing really fast, but because it's so easy to learn."

Flowers says that Python is the ideal skill to learn in the new year because it is in high demand (about 18% of tech job postings asked candidates to understand Python in 2019) and also because it is designed to be easy to read and learn.

"That is the driving force, ultimately, behind Python's success," he explains. "It's very readable. It's not a sharp learning curve."

Python can also be used for a wide range of purposes, from back-end web development to data analysis and artificial intelligence.

If you are interested in studying Python, online education providers like EdX, Coursera and Khan Academy offer resources to help you learn for free.

Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!

Don't miss:

VIDEO4:1604:16
Michael Horn: How to tell if your degree is worth the money
make it

Stay in the loop

Sign Up

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

CNBC.COM