LinkedIn Dives Into Data, Finds Leading Tech Skills for 2016

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With over 400 million professionally-oriented users, ongoing business focused interaction — including job postings and recruiting activity galore, as well as careful attention to and analysis of what its community is up to — LinkedIn offers a unique and interesting view of what's up in today's job markets.


A recent posting there provides a list of the 25 hottest IT skills from 2015. Given that what was hot last year is likely to carry on into this year, this provides an excellent set of current targets for employers seeking talent, and talent seeking jobs or promotions. Check it out:


LinkedIn Top 25 of 2015

Source: LinkedIn


The graphic comes from Sohan Murthy's Jan. 12 post to the company's official blog entitled The 25 Skills That Can Get You Hired in 2016. In reading over that list of items, the number to the left provides the 2015 ranking for the skillset or job title that comes next. To the right of that text, an up arrow indicates that the item has risen since the 2014 ranking, while a down arrow reports that it has fallen in the same time frame.


A two-headed arrow indicates "no change." The numbers or symbols at the far right for each item indicates how many spots that item has risen in the rankings (positive number), fallen in the rankings (negative number), or entered the rankings for the first time (NR means "not ranked," which means the item did not appear in the 2014 rankings from LinkedIn).


The volatility of the job market's top skillsets is evident in the number of items that were not ranked in 2014: Of the 25 items included in this list, six (24 percent of the total) are appearing for the first time. Of the 25 items listed, 10 (40 percent) declined, 13 (52 percent) increased, and only two (8 percent) saw their rankings unchanged.


It's absolutely fascinating to me that "Cloud and Distributed Computing" made its debut at No. 1 for 2015. I'd have expected it to have been present for at least 2 or 3 years already, and making its way up the rankings steadily during that intervening time period. But hey, that's what makes something truly data-driven like the LinkedIn rankings so interesting and valuable.


Among the field of specialties or skillsets included, I'm also interested to observe that two of the Top 5 (Marketing Campaign Management and SEO/SEM Marketing) are solid marketing positions and not entirely technical, with another marketing position (Channel Marketing) climbing the rankings at position 16.


That Big Data is resident in the No. 2 slot comes as no surprise to me at all, but that it is dethroned from No. 1 by Cloud and Distributed Computing does come as something of a "Huh?!" experience. There are lots of deeply technical specialties represented here, including a wide range of developer roles and skillsets, plus straight-up IT/operations areas as well.


One thing's for sure: there's plenty of interesting and useful information in this list for IT pros to peruse and ponder. You can use it to get a sense of what your current skillset is worth, much like people use Zillow to take a rough-and-ready measure of the value of their houses. You can also use it to help guide your selection of new skillsets to learn and conquer, to help you grow your career. Enjoy!


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.