The Top In-Demand Software Skills for 2018


There’s no doubt that computers have become an integral part of our lives, both in and out of the workplace. There’s big demand for people with top-notch computer skills. This demand typically arises through one of two ways: either there are plenty of jobs requiring a particular program or skill set, or there is demand in very small, niche areas, where few people have the exact knowledge required for that specialized program in the ever-evolving technology industry.

1. SQL, Java and Javascript are the most advertised software skills

Overall the findings at Gooroo and Indeed were very similar: ranging from around 3,500 outstandings job postings for Perl at the bottom to 31,000 outstanding postings for SQL at the top. It has to be said that we noticed that in many cases SQL was demanded in combination with a host of other skills.

In total there are about 250,000 outstanding postings for these 17 skills at the moment. Half of which are for the top-5:

1. SQL
2. Java
3. Javascript
4. C
5. Python

The bottom three are NodeJS, Ruby and Perl which together account for around 11,000 outstanding job postings.

2. Hiring a Ruby, Python and C++ developer is most expensive

Whereas Ruby might not be among the most advertised skills, it is definitely among the relatively most scarce skills. When looking at the salaries offered for developers, Ruby tops the list:

1. Ruby
2. Python
3. C++
4. NodeJS
5. Android
6. iOS
7. Java
8. Javascript
9. Perl
10. AngularJS
11. ReactJS
12. C
13. .NET
14. C#
15. SQL
16. PHP
17. Go

Interestingly, Python is the only skill that is both high in absolute demand and high in relative demand (i.e. expensive). Of the other 4 highly advertised languages three (Java, Javascript and C) are somewhere in the middle salary range. SQL is the only one that is found at the bottom of the salary range.

3. Demand for .NET, C and C# developers has most momentum

It’s also interesting to look at which skills are becoming more or less expensive. This tells us something about whether the relative demand for those skills is increasing; in other words which skills are becoming more difficult to source.

Based on the Gooroo data we’ve made a ranking of the offered salary level per skill at this moment and compared it to that of 2 months ago. What stood out is that the momentum in ‘expensive’ skills such as Android, iOS and Python is rather weak (all three in the bottom 5). And that the top-3 is dominated by Microsoft related skills: .NET (Microsoft Framework), C (kernel of most operating systems is in C, including Windows) and C# (the core language of .NET). Further it is noticed that Javascript, including its relatively young frameworks ReactJS and NodeJS also made it to the top half in terms of price momentum (AngularJS not far behind on #11):

1. .NET
2. C
3. C#
4. ReactJS
5. Javascript
6. PHP
7. Ruby
8. SQL
9. NodeJS

4. Altogether Javascript, C and Java are the top 3 most in-demand programming skills

So what happens if we put all this together and make an equally-weighted ranking based on number of outstanding job postings, salary level and salary momentum? That should give us a robust impression of what programming skills will be strongest in-demand in the coming year. Ratatata…..and the winner is: Javascript!

1. Javascript
2. C
3. Java
4. Python
5. .NET
6. Ruby
7. C#
8. SQL
9. C++
10. ReactJS
11. NodeJS
12. AngularJS
13. Android
14. PHP
15. iOS
16. Perl
17. Go

Not surprising if you consider it’s used on almost every webpage on the internet and the increasing popularity of JS frameworks. Javascript should definitely be part of any coders arsenal of languages. But altogether developers should not be betting on one horse, as the popularity of software languages and skills is permanently subject to change.


Those with experience in SAP (an Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP program) will be pleased to know that their skills are not likely to become less desirable any time in the near future. In fact, many industries are in great need of SAP professionals, such as the aerospace, healthcare and defense industries. It has been suggested that demand for SAP professionals is quickly surpassing the supply; and similar to many other programs, there are various areas of specialty within SAP. Those with experience in SAP HANA in-memory databases are perhaps the most in demand, at the moment.

Adobe Programs

Adobe has released several new programs and software packages that make creating and analytics even simpler. Adobe Flex is an open-source program that allows for the easy development of mobile phone applications, which is a great addition to the resume of those who already have keen web-development skills. In fact, mobile web development is currently a very strong area of growth within the IT industry. There’s also ColdFusion, which may not be a new technology, though it is still in widespread use for those who build web applications. Similar to those who specialize in Flex, this is a great tool to have in addition to your other web-development skills.

Adobe Captivate allows users to make traditional PowerPoint presentations more interactive through the inclusion of videos, animations, quizzes and other personalized options. There’s also the Adobe Creative Suite, which is a grouping of several already-popular Adobe programs that helped to define the Adobe brand; within this group of programs, you’ll find InDesign, Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Illustrator. These are all tools that are in high demand within publishing, web development, marketing and beyond.


Sharepoint is a fairly commonly used program, so there is a definite need for those with keen skills in this area. In fact, “Sharepoint” and “Sharepoint Developer” have become some of the most commonly searched terms, according to However, it’s important to understand that within Sharepoint there are various areas that IT professionals can focus on. Those who go the development route will likely want to have skills in web technologies as well, such as .net, XML and HTML.

Microsoft Dynamics

CRM technologies continue to be popular areas within the IT world. Microsoft Dynamics is comprised of a variety of programs falling into the CRM category. Iva de Sousa of Harcourt Recruiting Specialists specializes in recruiting for the IT industry. She explains that, “Microsoft Dynamics is where a lot of small-to medium-sized organizations are going. For those looking to get into this field, going into programming and development is a good area.”


VMware is used to create cloud-based networks that are often more efficient than traditional land based networks. Iva de Sousa suggests that “network server and system administration is big and typically comes with bigger paychecks than a lot of development positions. Knowing VMware is key now.”

Professionals with virtualization skills are particularly in demand if they have experience in migrating from traditional to virtual networks.


If you’ve never heard of Alfresco, then you probably aren’t alone. Alfresco is an Enterprise Content Management System (CMS) program and falls into a small, niche area within the IT world. Iva de Sousa of Harcourt Recruiting Specialists explains that “only handfuls of people specialize in certain areas of IT. Alfresco is one of these areas.”

Because there isn’t an abundance of professionals who are skilled in Alfresco, this tends to be an area that’s in constant demand within the organizations that use the program.


The Bottom Line

Finding your perfect fit in the IT world should be based upon finding the right combination of your interests and your ability to find work. One of the challenges of the IT industry is that things are constantly changing and evolving. IT professionals must always stay on top of the game by learning new technologies as they’re introduced to the market. As with all industries, staying on top of the industry’s latest and greatest innovations is integral to success, but there are few industries that evolve as rapidly as the high-tech world of computers.