If you read the latest news and op-eds on technical hiring today, it may seem like the tech industry has been overtaken by the need for skills in one hot new area: AI engineering. Generative AI tops the list for in-demand technical skills published by McKinsey, Forbes, TechCrunch, and many others, many of whom predict that tools like ChatGPT will fundamentally change how developers build software.
But, do these predictions play out in the current job market? Where do AI skills rank among the skills that top tech companies are actually hiring for in 2024? We analyzed 1,000s of job postings from the “Big Five” tech companies—Alphabet (Google), Meta, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft—to find out.
Top tech skills Google is hiring for
Here are some of the top technical skills included in job descriptions for Google’s 1,499 open positions.
For technical jobs at Google, proficiency in popular programming languages like Python, Java, and C++ are the most in-demand, as are front-end skills like HTML.
AI Engineering is on the rise at Google, however, with 655 job postings listing this skill.
Top tech skills Meta is hiring for
Here are some of the top technical skills included in job descriptions for Meta’s 1,444 open positions.
AI Engineering skills are in high demand at Meta, with 1,288 job postings listing this skill. Demand for AI skills is surpassed only by that for skills in data science (in 1,299 job postings), and closely followed by cloud engineering skills (in 1,134 job postings).
Top tech skills Amazon is hiring for
Here are some of the top technical skills included in job descriptions for Amazon’s 4,130 open technical positions*.
Job postings at Amazon commonly ask for skills in popular programming languages like Python, C++, and Java. Demand for machine learning (ML) skills surpasses that for AI skills (with 702 and 356 mentions, respectively), with “AI engineer” featuring in only 23 job descriptions on Amazon’s jobs site.
Top tech skills Apple is hiring for
Here are some of the top technical skills included in job descriptions for Apple’s 4,587 open positions.
Job postings at Apple commonly ask for skills in popular programming languages like Python and C++, with less demand for skills in Java. Skills in machine learning (ML) are in greater demand at Apple than AI skills, mentioned in 648 and 215 job postings, respectively.
Top tech skills Microsoft is hiring for
Here are some of the top technical skills included in job descriptions for Microsoft’s 3,309 open positions.
Among open jobs at the Big Five tech companies, AI tops the list of desired skills only at Microsoft, where it beats out for demand for popular programming languages—including Microsoft’s own object-oriented language, C#. And compared to the other Big Five companies, Microsoft is hiring for relatively few roles requiring data analysis or data science skills (in 316 and 267 job descriptions, respectively).
Top skills across Big Five companies
Combining skill data for Google, Meta, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft, here are the most in-demand technical skills on their career sites today:
Across the Big Five tech companies, proficiency in popular coding languages—especially Python—remains the most in-demand skill. These language skills are followed by demand for data analysis and data science skills, and then by AI and ML skills.
Preparing to apply for a job at a top tech company
For recent computer science graduates and others looking to land a technical role at a top tech company, this analysis should provide some comfort: despite the media buzz around demand for AI engineering skills, core programming and data skills still dominate job postings at Big Five companies.
Demand for AI and ML skills is certainly on the rise, though. “AI engineer,” a term that only entered popular use in 2022, is now featured in nearly 2,000 job postings at Big Five tech companies. For job-seekers, this means that now is the time to start building your skills in AI or ML to keep up with the field of software engineering.
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Analysis of job postings for Big Five companies was conducted on January 15, 2024 using the companies’ public job listings. Categories are not mutually exclusive; job postings may be counted more than once if description includes multiple skill keywords.
* For Amazon job postings, we used the following job categories as a proxy for “open technical positions:” Data Science; Database Administration; Machine Learning Science; Operations, IT, & Support Engineering; Project/Program/Product Management–Technical; Software Development; Solutions Architect; Systems, Quality, & Security Engineering. Amazon does not publish the total number of open positions on its jobs site.