Demand for DevOps skills soars, says Akamai

The demand for DevOps skills has increased by more than two thirds (69%) in just two years, according to Akamai. According to the cloud service provider, this is down to organisations having to adapt their digital transformation journeys in order to meet the increasingly technical demands of their customers.

In the last 12 months, demand for DevOps skills grew by almost a third (31%) – significantly jumping up the ranks of the UK’s most popular IT skills.  Demand for DevOps Managers (43%), Senior DevOps Staff (26%) and DevOps Engineers (16%) have all grown over the last two years and are now needed to support many organisations’ expanding DevOps initiatives.

Ian Florey, Solutions Engineering Manager at Akamai, said: “DevOps skills are key to helping businesses become more agile and capable of adapting to customer demands.

“Customers now expect products and services to be delivered quickly and efficiently, so organisations must ensure they have the talent to facilitate this. However, the looming IT skills gap in the UK could impact the success of these projects. With DevOps being one of the top required IT skills, businesses must place more emphasis on training IT staff in this area, and educational institutions must ensure their courses incorporate this skillset.”

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Outpacing the competition

Organisations looking to recruit top talent now have to contend with higher salaries. According to Akamai, in the UK, salaries are on average about 24% above the median salaries of similar process and methodology skills (£62,500 vs £50,000), such as Agile Software Development, Scrum and Test Automation.

DevOps salaries are rising faster than these other skills; 4% compared to an average of 1% year-on-year. Businesses are also paying more for DevOps contractors – the median hourly rate is £55 (a 16% increase from 2017), 156% higher than the UK average of £21.50 – indicating the value DevOps skills bring to organisations.

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Not just a London trend

While Akamai found that London has the highest demand for DevOps talent, organisations across the UK are also being impacted. Between 2017 to 2018, roles citing DevOps around the rest of the UK grew by half (50%), while they increased by a fifth (20%) in London. The North of England saw the most significant uplift, at two thirds (64%) year-on-year, indicating that these skills are now a primary concern for organisations everywhere.

Florey added: “Ensuring that businesses have the right talent is key to the success of DevOps, and when hiring and retaining this talent, organisations need to ensure they have the best tools available. From cloud platforms which allow automated product updates, to real-time monitoring which helps understand customer habits, DevOps experts expect to have the essential tools to make the most of their skill set. In the face of the technology skills gap, these tools will also minimise the pressures of hiring new staff and help businesses deliver applications reliably, quickly, and securely, anywhere in the world, on any cloud platform.”

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Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future