Critical skill: Database management

SQL is most in-demand tech skill, Burning Glass Technologies reports

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock / SergioVas

According to Burning Glass Technologies and Dice, companies are currently looking for developers with experience using older, more established technologies such as SQL. See what other tech skills are currently deemed critical and why SQL ranks above other skills.

Dice took data provided by Burning Glass Technologies to chart the most-in demand hiring trends for software developers. Using millions of job postings, they ranked the most searched for terms and skills for March, 2020.

Of course, March hiring trends must be taken with caution. Due to COVID-19 and the faltering economy, this is not the best time to search for a new position unless absolutely necessary. Regardless, we will keep our eyes open on current hiring trends for developers.

However, this current crisis has shown that the ability to work remotely is an important skill for programmers to have. Knowledge of tools and software that make remote work possible will undoubtedly become more and more important, so use this time to brush up on remote working strategies.

SEE ALSO: NoSQL and automated databases – “DBAs can be the thought leaders”

Older skills secure jobs

According to Burning Glass Technologies, companies are currently looking for developers with experience using older, more established technologies such as SQL.

From the Dice report:

Although new technologies always attract quite a bit of buzz, it’s often the decades-old, near-ubiquitous languages that will actually get you a job. That being said, specializing in up-and-coming languages such as Kotlin and Swift (as well as specialty skills such as machine learning and A.I.) can also demonstrate that you’re staying aware of emerging technologies—which is also vital if you want to make a good impression on employers.

Top 5 in-demand programming languages from Feb 18 – March 18, 2020

  1. SQL
  2. Java
  3. JavaScript
  4. Python
  5. C#

Java and JavaScript are also languages that prove time and time again to be safe bets when looking for a programming job. According to RedMonk, JavaScript is the number one programming language and an estimated 11 million developers worldwide use JS.

Why is SQL number one, even above Java and JavaScript? This may mean that companies are focusing on database architecture and data management above all other hiring criteria, making it a tech-critical skill.

From a blog post by Burning Glass Technologies:

The popularity of SQL is not really surprising given the amount of data which is collected and churned out by thousands of businesses every single day. That said, it’s only possible to make sense of big data if you have the right skillset. Data scientists rely heavily on SQL skills which is why SQL as a skill is in such high demand. Interestingly, in the 2019 edition of the Global Technical Hiring and Skills Report, SQL was the #1 IT most developers got tested regardless of their focus.

Necessary SQL skills

Burning Glass Technologies breaks down the critical skills that SQL developers need to know. The following are deemed essential:

  • Microsoft C#
  • Relational databases
  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Oracle
  • Software development
  • Data Analysis
  • Data Transformation
  • .NET
  • Tableau
  • Scrum
  • Java
  • Information Systems
  • Visual Studio
  • Python

SEE ALSO: How to group by “nothing” in SQL

On the decline

Meanwhile, the TIOBE Index updated their charts for March 2020. While this list does not include hiring trends, it does utilize data taken from search engines and shows overall language trends.

According to the TIOBE Index, the latest casualty is Delphi, which is projected to fall out of the top 20. Delphi is an event-driven language based on Object Pascal and an IDE. Its history has some rocky roadblocks and in 2020 is generally considered to be out of date. The IDE suffers from lag and bugs.

With a small ecosystem and no big language update since 2018, it’s no big surprise to see it slipping down the list into relative obscurity.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Delphi doesn’t have its potential uses, especially in legacy codebases and is even finding international support. In January 2020, the Turkish ministry of education secured free Delphi access for one million students.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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