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Digital & IT Skills Report: Blockchain Demand Increases 552%

Despite the "crypto winter" that roiled the cryptocurrency market late last year, demand for workers skilled in its underlying technology, blockchain, increased by 552 percent in 2022.

That's a key takeaway from a new report by DevSkiller, an "HR tech scale-up" specializing in talent assessment and management. The DevSkiller Digital & IT Skills Report 2023 is based on a year's worth of internal data mined from the company's cloud platform that helps organizations find, evaluate and grow talent, using tests and other techniques.

Note that for the report, the company separates "digital" and "IT" skills separately:

  • Digital skills: These include computer literacy, data entry, social media, web-based communications and research, word processing and secure information processing.
  • IT skills: These include programming, web and app development, digital business analysis, digital design and data visualization, digital product management, data science and user experience design.

"The tech talent job market is splitting up into two types of roles, each with a different type of desired skills," commented CEO and founder Jakub Kubryński. "On the one hand, we observe a growing demand for roles that require deep technical expertise and sophisticated IT skills like Cloud Native Java. On the other hand, companies expect a certain level of 'softer' digital skills proficiency even from traditionally non-technical employees."

As shown in the graphic below, blockchain was by far and away the fastest-growing tech on the company's platform, despite the aforementioned crypto winter.

Fastest-Growing Tech
[Click on image for larger view.] Fastest-Growing Tech (source: DevSkiller).

"Interest in blockchain is on the rise likely because of its enhanced security, greater transparency and instant traceability," the report said. "Companies are changing or adding blockchain to their pre-existing architecture so the demand for developers who can implement this technology is on the rise."

Digging down deeper into the blockchain space, the report also identifies the most in-demand specific skills, topped by Solidity, a statically typed curly-braces programming language designed for developing smart contracts that run on Ethereum, the blockchain for the Ether cryptocurrency.

Most In-Demand Blockchain Skills
[Click on image for larger view.] Most In-Demand Blockchain Skills (source: DevSkiller).

While blockchain accounted for the most growth last year (specifically Dec. 1, 2021, to Dec. 1, 2022), the most popular technology is JavaScript, which surmounted Java in this year's report.

Most Popular Tech
[Click on image for larger view.] Most Popular Tech (source: DevSkiller).

One interesting note from the report is that slightly more than half of skills assessment invitations in 2022 were for junior developers, while about 18 percent were for middle-level devs and about 31 percent were for senior developers and engineers.

"The skills threshold even for the mid-level positions hangs pretty high," Kubryński said. "As a result, many companies are adjusting their recruitment strategies to focus on acquiring high-potential juniors who can be later upskilled. On top of that, we see a growing demand for a seamless and efficient way of reskilling the current employees to limit layoffs."

Layoffs in fact weighed heavily in the report, coming amid widespread and growing fears of an economic recession.

Presenting a chart from the Layoffs Tracker site, the report said, "One-third of our surveyed customers stated that they believe a hiring freeze is most likely to occur in 2023. 'Deep-seated and long-term supply dynamics will continue to be a major force that creates a persistent gap between employer demand for new hires and the supply of candidates,' according to Indeed and Glassdoor's Workplace Trends 2023."

Layoffs Tracker
[Click on image for larger view.] Layoffs Tracker (source: Layoffs Tracker via DevSkiller report).

Tooting the company horn, the report said: "The best way your organization can prepare for potential hiring freezes is to look in-house for internal candidates. It's time to assess and map out individuals' skills. Once you have a clearer understanding, create training and programs to upskill and reskill your employees. You can use the skills-based approach to shift your employees' focus onto projects instead of their job roles."

The report's findings are based on 209,249 coding tests sent through the DevSkiller platform to candidates from 54 countries.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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