Demand for Digital Skills Ascending with Data Analytics witnessing over 450% increase: Quess Report

  • Testing Engineer is the most sort after job role in Sept-Nov 2021; Bengaluru witnessed the highest demand for Testing skills (43%)
  • The top 5 digital skill domains in demand include Testing (12%), Platform Technologies (9%), Java (8%), Cloud Infra (6%), and Data Analytics (5%), with some showing an uptick of over 100%
  • Data Analytics (454%), Cloud Infra Technologies (131%), and Java Technologies (5%) saw a positive increase in skill demand

Mumbai, 17 December 2021: Upskilling across industries has been a strategy adopted by companies over the last year to bridge the emerging skill gap in India. Data from Quess, leading business solutions provider and India’s largest private sector employer, reveals that the demand for talent with digital skills such as Testing, Platform Technologies, Java Technologies, Cloud Infra Technologies, and Data Analytics, among others, has seen a surge since last quarter.

Although growth in demand has risen in absolute numbers, the rate of increase from June-July-August 2021 has been steady. Nevertheless, the skill-mix contributing the highest demand continues to be volatile.

The search for top tech talent this year has unfurled into an unprecedented battle, reflecting the accelerated adoption of digital business models in organizations industry-wide. Technology giants as well as start-ups are witnessing double-digit growth and are ramping up their teams by employing more people than ever before, to combat rising attrition and meet their manpower needs amidst the ‘Great Resignation’.

Staffing and recruitment firms are in great demand as organizations seek to fulfil their manpower mandates of resources with niche and super-niche tech skill sets. As per a report by market intelligence firm UnearthInsight, India’s IT services industry is likely to see a gross employee addition of around 450,000 in the second half of FY22. To service this workforce pipeline, unique talent solutions are being devised to ensure shorter time-to-hire and greater cost optimization.

Top 5 Digital Skills in Demand

The top 5 digital skill domains in demand in Sept-Oct-Nov 2021 are Testing, Platform Technologies, Java, Cloud Infra, and Data Analytics. In Sept-Oct-Nov 2021, the role of Testing has seen a ↑18% increase in the total number of open positions, compared to Jun-Jul-Aug 2021, bringing it to the top of the list for digital skills in demand. Platform Technologies come in at the second highest position in demanded roles, with a small decrease in demand from the previous time period. Similarly, Java Technologies continue to be in the top 5 list and exponential growth in demand for roles in Cloud Infra (↑131%) and Data Analytics (↑454%) has been witnessed.

Top Skills% of Contribution to Overall Demand In Sept-Oct-Nov ‘21% Shift in Overall Contribution (Jun-Jul-Aug ‘21 vs. Sept-Oct-Nov ‘21)
Testing Technologies12%↑18%
Platform Technologies9%↓3%
Java Technologies8%↑5%
Cloud Infra Technologies6%↑131%
Data Analytics5%↑454%

Note on Overall Skill Demand For 2021

The overall demand for digital skills in 2021 (Apr-Nov ’21) is largely consistent with the demand during Sept-Nov ’21. The top digital skill domains for Apr-Nov 2021 are Testing (12%), Java (10%), Platform Technologies (9%), Cloud Infra (5%), Database Technologies (5%), Business Analysts (4%) and Data Analytics (3%). A city-wise break-up highlights that the IT hubs reigned supreme: Bengaluru leading the pack (40%), followed by Hyderabad (20%), Pune (18%), Chennai (10%), NCR (5%).

City-Wise Demand for Digital Skills

Analysing the overall geographical spread for the top 5 digital skills, the IT hubs emerged unmatched in their demand. Bengaluru witnessed the lion’s share of demand (54%), followed by Hyderabad (15%), Chennai (11%), Pune (8%), and lastly NCR (7%). As per Quess’ client data, a skill-wise break-up highlights that Bengaluru had the highest demand for every digital skill by a large margin; Testing Technologies (43%), Platform Technologies (85%), Java Technologies (41%), Cloud Infra Technologies (65%), and finally Data Analytics (62%). Nevertheless, Hyderabad demanded significant manpower in Testing Technology roles, comprising 28% of overall demand.

Factors Leading To Demand Creation

Growth in the digital economy, fuelled by the increasing Cloud enablement among tech giants, is a primary contributor to the surge in demand for digital skills. Large digital transformation deals, hybrid cloud adoption, automation of front-end and back-end systems, and investments in tech-enabled assets have underpinned the business performances and manpower hiring sprees in the last leg of 2021. 

As the demand for automation rapidly increases, accuracy in operations becomes a top priority. Hence, the testing domain leads the pack in digital skills as validation of systems and quality control are crucial for business continuity. Further, Data Analytics witnessed more than 450% growth as nearly all companies have adopted big data and analytics in their technology repertoire. A report by the World Economic Forum found that 96% of companies are definitely planning or likely to plan to hire new staff with relevant skills to fill future big data analytics related roles in 2022. This is most likely going to be the most in-demand role in 2022.

Overall, as industries continually renew and chart their digital priorities and implement technology transformations, the demand for digital skills will ascend.

Vijay Sivaram, CEO, Quess IT Staffing commented, “As the great resignation moves towards a great migration, the talent market will undergo a great deal of changes. With the slow opening of borders, we expect to see more opportunities arising in Tier 2 cites. Talent may also leave the country, as international borders open and give way to lucrative offers. However, with Omicron playing spoilsport, the industry’s back-to-office plans have been foiled.

Further, with the fresher talent pool being trained to enter the workforce, the hiring curve has become steeper. Today, campus hiring programs for not only Tier 1 but also Tier 2 colleges are a significant aspect of talent acquisition strategies. This shift in candidate profile and experience will result in a notable transition of teams.

In terms of retention strategies, organizations will continue to focus on employee experience management and develop employee programs that circle around learning, benefits, and culture in 2022. Now more than ever, talent attraction is a key strategy in board rooms, with strategists seeking new models of manpower fulfillment. Thus, we see a rise in demand for contract hiring, the gig work model, and hire-train-deploy programs. Further, with the demand for recruiters continuing to surge upwards, the RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) model is more in demand than ever before. 

Lastly, while December is generally a silent month, we expect to see continued action and hiring during this quarter.”


The data is derived from the algorithm build into the company’s application tracking system which maps and matches all candidates to the positions. The data on % shift in Top Skills is for the time period of Jun-Jul-Aug ‘21 vs. Sept-Oct-Nov ‘21. The city-wise breakup of demand is as of November 2021.