Empowering the Freelance Economy

Most in-demand tech skills to land a job in 2020 (and some free courses to attain them)

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Demand for web designers and developers skyrocketed by 15.5%, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)’s June figures.

“We’ve seen two years of digital transformation happening in the space of two weeks,” TechUK’s deputy chief executive Antony Walker told the BBC in a news report.

“A lot of business leaders we’ve been talking to, and survey data, shows that digital will be more important to their business, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” according to Walker.

British firms, regardless of size, require digital skills, and those skills are now deemed crucial to all parts of a business – including setting up e-commerce websites to sell goods online, improving international marketing efforts, and optimising production processes.

According to job site, Indeed, the IT skills hiring firms and recruiters are seeking the most include (not in any particular order):

  • Java
  • Python 
  • SQL 
  • JavaScript 
  • Linux 
  • AWS
  • Agile
  • C/C++
  • Software Development
  • APIs
  • Analysis Skills 
  • HTML5
  • Microsoft Office
  • REST

Free Courses

When things are tight financially (when are they not, right?) it is worth looking out for skills that are not only in demand in your target industry and within hiring companies but to also see if you can learn those skills in your own time and for free. Yes FREE!


The National Careers Service in the UK, for example, has posted free courses available. There is one called ‘Thriving in the Digital Workplace’, link here. If you successfully complete this program, you will receive a certificate of completion from the University of Leeds and the Institute of Coding.

There is also a collection of free digital training courses selected by the Department for Education for The Skills Toolkit. More information can be found here.

If the free courses mentioned above do not meet your requirements, there is the option to pay for an online course. However, the calibre of teaching varies. Some that are taught by accredited universities and/or professors include Coursera, edX, OEDb, and MIT to name a few. Other sites, such as Udemy do not have as stringent guidelines for instructor credentials. However, if you have a skill or a hobby that others are always asking you about, then perhaps you could become an instructor as a sideline business.

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