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Demand for DevOps skills soars as organisations’ spending on digital transformation projects increase, discovers Akamai

Professionals with DevOps skills can earn on average 24% more than those with similar expertise

With budget for digital transformation projects growing[1], Akamai, the intelligent edge platform for securing and delivering digital experiences, can today reveal that there has been an increase in demand for DevOps skills. Analysing the IT jobs market[2] in the UK, Akamai found that permanent and contract roles requiring the skills used to help businesses become more agile have increased by two-thirds (69%) over the last two years. In the last 12 months alone, demand for these talents grew by almost a third (31%) – significantly jumping up the ranks of the UK’s most popular IT skills.

The DevOps skills that help deliver digital transformation projects are highly sought after. In fact, 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.

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

Outpacing the competition

With DevOps skills now needed for almost a tenth (8%) of all technology jobs listed in the UK, the findings reveal that DevOps salaries are increasing to meet the demand for digital transformation projects and attract the best talent possible. In fact, salaries are an average of 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.

What’s more, 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.

Not just a London phenomenon

While London has the highest demand for DevOps talent, businesses across the UK are beginning to catch up with the agile development happening in the capital. When comparing the same period from 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. In fact, the North of England saw the largest uplift, at two thirds (64%) year-on-year, indicating that these skills are now a significant priority for organisations everywhere.

Florey continues, “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.”