Master one of these skillsets, and you can write your own ticket.The explosive proliferation of cloud-based offerings, wireless devices and mobile apps can make it a bit confusing to know exactly what the latest, or “hottest,” or most in-demand IT skills are. Thirty or 40 years ago, the most in-demand IT titles and skills were quite clear: COBOL/Mainframe programmer; Job Control Language Technician, Hardware Engineer, and so forth.

With the advent of the “Internet Era” of the late 1990s, the most sought after IT job titles picked up even more buzzwords: Internet Engineer, E-Commerce Analyst, Database Specialist, and the like. Now, with software and service apps, content marketing, and social media tools well-established in the marketplace (especially with small to medium size enterprises), there are even more IT skills and job titles: Mobile App Expert, SEO Specialist, Google Analytics Engineer, Keyword Researcher, Social Media Consultant, Word Press Manager, Digital Media Expert, ad nauseam.

This hodgepodge of new titles and skills can make it difficult for Indian freshers — and even experienced IT professionals in transition — to decide what they should learn next. Not to worry, however, because in this article, we look at the three hottest IT skillsets (those most in-demand) for the Indian market.

One thing to keep in mind, however: In spite of the professional jargon, all of these new and fancy titles are really just branches of the most traditional skillsets. For instance, in order to become a “Word Press Consultant,” what you really need to know are the constructs of basic web design and HTML programming. If you want to be a “Digital Media Expert,” then all that’s required is a strong talent in copy and technical writing.

Without further ado, here are the Top Three IT Skillsets in India:

Programming and Application Development

Programming and Application Development currently holds the coveted number one spot in India, and that is expected to continue. Recent surveys show that for almost half of Indian IT businesses, this is the most sought after job title in 2015, and will be in the coming years as well.

The reason for its popularity is really quite simple: The underlying theme behind all of those Cloud and Mobile apps is software code. Thus, the increasing demand for Indian IT professionals fluent in the various programming languages.

Presently, there are more openings for programmers and application developers that any other IT job in the Indian market. For instance, many CIOs are looking for programmers who not only know their code inside and out, but are also business savvy enough to help propel a business or organization into newer markets. Some of the hottest programing languages to add to your IT arsenal include:

  • Java: (Includes subsets of the language; Java Script, Angular Java Scripting, etc.)
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Objective C
  • Ruby on Rails
  • C, C++, and C#

Some of the best IT certifications to earn include the Ruby Association Certified Ruby Programmer, the JavaScript Developer Certificate, and the Oracle Certified Professional JAVA SE Programmer.

Project Management

Although language and app programmers/developers can certainly hold their own when creating the latest and greatest app for the iPhone or the Android, they still need guidance and accountability, especially if they are working in teams. This is where the coveted role of the Project Manager (PM) comes into play.

The PM not only helps to ensure cohesiveness and unity amongst a team of developers, but also ensures that the final software product is delivered on time, has gone through all of the necessary quality assurance testing, and meets the stringent requirements of the customer. This skillset is hot — almost 40 percent of Indian IT companies plan to hire PMs, from all sorts of backgrounds, this year.

A good PM will possess more than some rock solid business skills. They also need to have the various software development methodologies as well. These methodologies include both the Waterfall and Agile platforms. In this respect, the most sought-after skillset for a PM is knowledge in converting a Waterfall development shop into an Agile based one.

Be warned however, that being a PM isn’t all fun and games. The pressure of being responsible for all facets of development, including the budget and personnel allocation can be quite high. Not everyone is cut out to be a PM, thus the strong demand for them in India.

Although there are various project management certifications out there, the most comprehensive and impactful cert is the Project Management Professional (PMP) offered by the Project management Institute (PMI). The PMP is for experienced project managers, and certifies that you have the demonstrated competence to lead and direct project teams.

Four other top project management certs are:

  • PRINCE2 Practitioner offered by AXELOS
  • Certified Associate in Project Management, (CAPM) also offered by PMI
  • CompTIA Project+, offered by CompTIA and great for ne project managers
  • Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), offered by Scrum Alliance

Security and Compliance Governance

Master one of these skillsets, and you can write your own ticket.With the rapid proliferation of smartphones and Mobile Commerce, security is a prime concern for businesses and organizations. Some of the most prominent recent security breaches include the Sony Corporation, and the credit card fiascos of Target and Home Depot.

Every day there are a multitude of types of security breaches attempted and successfully executed. Being aware of these cyberattacks and defending against them is a never ending task. The ability to defend against and repair these security breaches requires a very valuable skillset — cybersecurity!

While there are many security domains to specialize in, the most in demand IT professionals possess a strong background in either network or information security. Demand for these individuals remains strong with almost 30 percent of Indian IT companies planning to recruit these types of security professionals this year.

The field of IT security is wide and diverse, and of course there are many certifications available. The most comprehensive and impactful ones right now are:

  • CompTIA Security+
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Certified Information Security Systems Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)

While the above three IT skillsets are increasingly in demand and valuable in India today, the smart IT professional realizes the constant need to keep their skills sharp and up-to-date. Additional useful IT skillsets that can help you in your career include:

  • Web Programming and Development
  • Database Administration
  • Big Data Intelligence and Analysis
  • Tech Support/IT Help Desk Roles