Foundational technology skills named critical need for enterprise

01 May 2024

Pluralsight’s 2024 Technical Skills Report, which explores how organisations can leverage technology to drive business value in a world where budgets and headcount are decreasing and technology is evolving at a rapid pace, finds that foundational technology skills are the most critical need.

The results were unanimous across markets and career levels: cybersecurity, cloud, and software development, which are considered the most imperative tech skills to learn, are the top areas where skills gaps persist. Cybersecurity and cloud have been named the two largest skill gaps since 2021.

Thus, before prioritising skills for tech trends, an organisation needs solid foundational skills in security, cloud, and software development. 65% of respondents said cybersecurity skills were lacking most within their organisations, followed by cloud (52%) and software development (40%). Cybersecurity skills were cited as the most important to learn in the next year (63%), followed by cloud (47%), and software development (45%). Pluralsight’s report found that AI/ML skills gaps are the lowest priority to address, but demand is growing. Compared to last year, 11% more technologists are interested in building AI/ML skills.

“While we know AI/ML skills are increasingly critical, we’ve also found that organisations have other, more immediate upskilling priorities,” said Aaron Rosenmund, Pluralsight’s senior director of security & GenAI skills. “Considering that the average cost of a data breach is $4.45 million and that successful cyber-attacks are continuing to exponentially increase year-over-year, it becomes clear why cybersecurity skills are top of mind for organisations.”

When a skills gap is identified, organisations have two options: hire new talent or upskill current employees. Hiring is often regarded as a quick way to find top talent with the right skills, but the findings say otherwise. 66% of organisations say hiring takes longer or the same amount of time as upskilling existing talent.

“This year’s report highlights the financial benefits of upskilling current workforces and how continuous learning boosts the confidence of employees and empowers them to thrive in their roles as the technology landscape continues to shift,” said Will Clive, Pluralsight’s chief people officer. “It’s clear that investing in tailored learning paths to assess and address specific knowledge gaps can lead to significant business outcomes.”