If only you could wave a magic wand and have all the skills and knowledge you need to attain your dream tech job. Professional development is often a long game, and the focus may shift over time as you get pulled towards new areas of interest, or distracted with shiny new tools (hello, ChatGPT). So where do you begin with upskilling in tech? In this article, we’ll showcase 6 of the best tech skills you can develop in today’s world – and where to go to get them.

Why women in tech need to upskill

Not so sure you need new skills? Here are a few good reasons to consider professional development.

Everyone needs to upskill – You’ll become more valuable over time as you experience new things and learn new skills in your career. Resisting professional development is like saying ‘no thanks’ to higher pay, more interesting work, and greater entitlements at work. And trust us – work only becomes more enjoyable the more you grow.

Certain fields need more women – Take, for example, Machine Learning. Only 13.5% of the workforce is female, and the stats aren’t great for other minorities either. This could have dire consequences in future, as it means our tech may be biased from development stages. We simply need more women to step up and gain skills across all areas of tech.

Women have more to prove – We hate to say it, but research shows that men are often promoted or hired for their potential, whereas women are promoted or hired based on what they’ve achieved. We’re often passed over for opportunities or miss out due to gender bias, or the motherhood penalty. But actively growing your skills gives you leverage and proof of your ability.

Skill building is a key way to get what you want – A promotion, a pay rise etc. The more evidence you have of your development, the better position you’re in to conduct successful workplace negotiations.

Upskilling can help you find a specialization – As you get older you may find it wise to hone in on one specific skill and to set yourself up as a specialist in that area. This can help you become an asset and protect you against ageism in tech.

Deciding what skills to pursue

So what do you start with? Building your knowledge of coding languages? Getting versed in the Metaverse? Deep-diving into Machine Learning?

This all depends on what your career goals are. A lot of technical skills can serve you along any career path you choose, but specific ambitions can be fast-tracked through the development of certain skills.

The ‘most valuable’ tech skills

Focus on building these skills if you’re specifically interested in landing a high-paying tech job and being an asset in your team or industry. It’s not to say that other specializations aren’t valuable, but these are the tech skills that are in high demand right now, and that employers are willing to pay top dollar for.


Cybersecurity professionals understand different types of cyber threats, know about the tools used to fend them off, and may find ways to organize and protect data to ensure business continuity. There’s a huge range of roles available to people with skills in cybersecurity.

Some of the top paid positions include:

  • Chief Information Security Officer (earning over $170,000/year)
  • Security Architect (earning over $130,000/year)
  • Cybersecurity Engineer (earning over $99,000/year)You could become an ‘ethical hacker’, or Penetration Tester, who works to uncover ways hackers can break into systems and networks. Or you could even pair your cyber skills with an interest in forensics to work as a Cybercrime Investigator. Lots of options!

How to get the skills:

You can certainly do some self-education to kick-off your learning in the field, but most jobs will require you to have some sort of formal education in cybersecurity.

Start by attending an online webinar or short course (Girls in Tech recently ran a great panel event on cybersecurity!) to learn more about the basics and see if you like it.
If you’re brand new to cybersecurity, see what your nearest university offers in the way of formal degrees in the field.
If you have some knowledge of cybersecurity already, look for online short courses on platforms like Coursera or Udemy to build on your knowledge or flesh out your CV with certain accreditations.

Digital Marketing

Tech roles involving marketing are incredibly high-value to organizations. Tech advisor and guru Bernard Marr perhaps explains it best in a Forbes article:

“Digital marketing involves harnessing the cumulative power of any number of technological solutions designed to get the attention of customers… From paid social media advertising to influencer-led campaigns, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing funnels, and cutting-edge channels like metaverse and augmented reality (AR), digital marketing involves a diverse set of digital skills ranging from technical to creative.”

Building your digital marketing skills could look like developing your ability to collect, manipulate and present data and metrics insights, probably by utilizing advanced AI tools. Skills in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will help flesh out your skills as a digital marketer in the 2020s, as will strong knowledge of Web3 and the Metaverse.

How to get the skills:

Start by finding digital marketing blogs and leaders to follow. Perhaps find some influential people on LinkedIn to follow, or message someone you admire to ask if they’ll mentor you.
If you’re a marketing professional already, consider bolstering your skillset with a degree in data science, or by finding online courses in AR/VR.
If you’re a technologist already, you can gain a good understanding of digital marketing basics through online research or attending webinars or events.

The most current tech skills

Focus on building these skills if you want to land a tech job right now.

Cloud Computing

With most companies now storing their data and software applications on the cloud, there’s a strong need for people with skills in cloud computing. This can include jobs such as:

  • Cloud Engineers
  • Cloud Architects
  • System Administrators

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the biggest cloud platform available, and with an AWS certification you could earn an average of $161,409.

How to get the skills:

Start by searching for generalist cloud computing foundations courses on sites like Udemy or Coursera.
Keep an eye on the Girls in Tech Events page, as we often run webinars and events in partnership with AWS to give you insight into the industry.
Add some serious flair to your CV by completing an AWS certified course online.

User Experience (UX)

Bernard Marr highlights out the value of UX skills in 2023. UX design helps ensure that tech products can be used and understood by everyone, regardless of whether they work in tech.

Jobs in UX and the closely related UI (user interface) field can span from design roles, to business roles, to highly technical roles that aim to improve user experience.

How to get the skills:

Start by learning some UX fundamentals through the Girls in Tech UX Lunch and Learn Series. This will whet your appetite and get you in the right mindset for further study.
Search for online UX courses on learning platforms like Udemy or Coursera, starting with UX fundamentals and progressing into content that covers more advanced concepts and tools.
Consider in-person learning at places like General Assembly.

New and emerging tech skills

It’s expected that 85% of the jobs college leavers of 2030 will step into haven’t even been invented yet. That goes to show how quickly jobs are evolving – and this is exciting! Focus on the following skills if you want to remain open and curious in your career, explore new avenues, and be at the cutting edge of tech.

Data Storytelling

By 2025, 70% of jobs are expected to involve the use of data. This means that companies are going to need specialists on hand to interpret and make sense of data, communicating it in accessible ways. Data Storytelling is an emerging role that will involve the use of design, communication, and tech tools to convey information.

How to get the skills:

Start by learning the basics of Data Science. You can do this by earning a degree in the field, however online courses should suffice as a foundation.
Develop your communication skills, learning creative ways to tell stories and convey information. A communications degree or even a basic creative writing course could help you gain the skills you need for this.
Brush up on the use of data visualization tools like PowerBI, Qlik and Tableau to help you round out your skillset and be prepared to tell stories about data in engaging ways.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI skills are fast becoming applicable to all jobs and all industries. Now is an excellent time to upskill in AI and ride the wave of opportunity. AI specialists might be involved in programming software, training machines, automating business processes, or analyzing faults with algorithms. The options truly are endless as the industry gains form and shape.

How to get the skills:

If you’re starting out and looking to build your career around the AI profession, consider studying a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science, data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence or a related field.
Consider building programming experience with Python, C++, Java or similar languages, and gaining experience with SQL.
Enter hackathons and competitions to get practical experience in working with AI. (Check out our Events page for upcoming hackathons!)

Where to start with establishing new tech skills

Review your career ambitions and work backwards – If you’re interested in a particular type of role, consider what skills you need to get that job. If you want to make an impact, think about ways you could make a genuine difference, and what technical skills you’ll need. It may help to work with a mentor to chart your course to success.

Give yourself a good pep talk – Putting yourself out there can be scary. Keep in mind, women have been a minority in tech forever, and we may not have a lot of role models to look to, but things are changing. You are worthy of gaining new skills, and more to the point our world NEEDS you to step up and be the future of our tech industry.

Think about your learning style – While we’ve suggested some places to go to start your journey of upskilling, there are SO many options available. If online courses aren’t your thing, try to find a local college that runs short courses. Or start a meetup in your area to bring people with the same interests together for inspiration and conversation.

Look for opportunities – Research courses and programs you can do, sign up for hackathons and competitions, and check out the Girls in Tech Jobs Board for roles that interest you. Remember, you can always gain skills on the job!