10 most in-demand internet of things skills

10 most in-demand internet of things skillsThe internet of things (IoT) is in the midst of an explosion, as more connected devices proliferate. But there's a problem: there's not enough talent with the right skills to manage and execute on IoT projects. In fact, insufficient staffing and lack of expertise is the most-cited barrier for organizations currently looking to implement and benefit from IoT, according to research from Gartner.

"Tech companies are definitely solidifying their IoT strategies, but what we're seeing is they don't have the processes and talent in-house to make these things happen. In fact, Gartner said that three-quarters of IoT projects will go on for twice as long as they should, because of insufficient talent in key areas," said Rich Pearson, senior vice president of marketing and categories for global freelance marketplace Upwork. By tracking data from Upwork's extensive database, Pearson and his team have identified the top ten skills companies need to drive a successful IoT strategy.

Data is sourced from the Upwork database and is based on annual job posting growth and skills demand, as measured by the number of job posts mentioning these skills posted on Upwork this year from January 1 to March 31.

Machine learning

Machine learning algorithms help create smarter appliances, applications and other products by using data sensors and other connected devices. Machine learning algorithms can be used to make predictions based on identifying data patterns from these devices, but that requires experts in big data management and machine learning.

“Machine learning, unsurprisingly, is up more than 200% YoY in terms of demand for this particular skill. Every company is trying to harvest more data from connected devices and sensors, and they need expertise not just in extracting the data, but in building algorithms to help wring out insights and analytics out of that data," said Pearson.


AutoCAD is the premier design software for engineering applications and has seen strong growth as the number and complexity of IoT devices continues to increase.

Smart, connected products often require a whole new set of design principles, such as designs that achieve hardware standardization or enable personalization, and AutoCAD allows these product development processes to make late-stage design changes quickly and efficiently, according to Pearson.


Node.js is an open-source environment for server-side web development used to manage connected devices such as the Arduino and Raspberry Pi, among others. With the availability of boards like Raspberry Pi, Node.js is becoming the platform of choice for developers looking to leverage their existing expertise in building applications for IoT, and over the last 12 months, the environment has matured even further.

"The majority of companies are using this as the foundation for their IoT initiatives, because there's low resource overhead, and it's become incredibly stable and accessible. That's really important in small form-factors like wearables, but we're also seeing it in large enterprises like Netflix, PayPal and Uber and we use it here at Upwork," said Pearson.

Security infrastructure

Information security and fears of increased exposure of data, not to mention device and physical security, are some of the top impediments to IoT development, according to research from TEKsystems, because of the added scale and complexity of IoT connectivity, communications, and the endpoints themselves.