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What Digital Employers Are Looking For in 2021

by Xcede

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Back in 2019, the digital market was evolving rapidly. Innovations in automation, big data and digital marketing transformed the skills requirements for many businesses, creating opportunities for professionals across a range of skill and experience levels. 

Fast-forward to 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated the pace of digitisation across all sectors and, in turn, the skills that employers require. 

The latest Xcede Salary Survey results provide key data and insights into the current market trends shaping jobs in 2021. Here, we examine some of the findings that will help professionals in data, digital, and technology make informed decisions to drive their career forward.

Career Focus: Digital

In 2020, it was reported that the UK’s digital technology sector is experiencing growth six times higher than any other industry. The pandemic did little to impact this growth, with a year-on-year increase in average salaries by 4%. 

What you need to know 

In 2021, digital functions within an organisation hold more value than ever before. With the pandemic seeing a rise in on-demand services, more businesses are set to remove themselves from large ecommerce platforms and establish their own to retain control of the customer experience. 

Candidates will be increasingly expected to possess the relevant B2C expertise necessary to lead and manage such projects.

Employers in 2021 are looking for skills in: 

  • Product management 
  • UX/UI
  • Performance Marketing

In particular, the following digital roles are the most in-demand: 

1. Product Manager

  • Xcede survey average salary = £67,000
  • Skills to stand out = Agile software development; Product development; Project Management; Business strategy 

2. UX Designer

  • Xcede survey average salary = £65,000
  • Skills to stand out = User interface design; User research; Interaction design; Web design

3. Performance Marketer

  • Xcede survey average salary = £62,000
  • Desirable skills = Marketing strategy; Analytics; SEM strategies; Omnichannel

High-growth industries 

While some sectors and industries have contracted in the last 12 months, others have grown at such a rate that organisations are scrambling to acquire the skills to help them take advantage of this high-growth period. Our survey highlighted the top five sectors as ones to watch for professionals looking to transfer skills to gain high rewards: 
 

  1. Omnichannel retail. The pandemic highlighted vulnerabilities in bricks-and-mortar retail, meaning retailers and other service providers lacking a robust online presence are investing heavily. Additionally, omnichannel capabilities have become cheaper and more accessible thanks to the rise of providers that offer software and supply chain as a service.
  2. Proptech. Businesses in the residential and commercial property sectors are moving online to deliver seamless experiences to customers. AI and ML primarily drive technological innovations in this field.
  3. Regtech. Continuing to disrupt the regulatory landscape with technologically advanced solutions, Regtech skills are needed more than ever to deal with the ever-increasing demands of compliance within the financial industry.
  4. Cyber Security. The pandemic emphasised the importance of cyber security due to the rapid shift to digital technologies, rising numbers of remote workers and the ever-increasing sophistication of cyber criminals. 
  5. Fintech. Even before the pandemic, Fintech skills were in high demand. This has risen even more due to prolific investment in the sector, an existing tech infrastructure that can support remote working and the increase in traditional banks moving to a fintech model.

Get in touch with our dedicated digital team today to discuss our huge range of open permanent and contract opportunities.