Top Digital Skills to Learn for 2021

January 18, 2021 | Carrie

Comments (0)

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to set goals for the upcoming year. Start the year off right by learning a new digital skill in 2021.

Woman using a laptop

According to Techrepublic, the top 5 tech skills to master in 2021 are:

  1. Cybersecurity. Specifically, cybersecurity skills for the cloud will be in demand.
  2. AI and Automation. Organizations will need employees that can lead complex AI projects such as automating routine tasks.
  3. AI and Natural Language Processing Skills. According to Tech Republic, "voice is moving into more and more projects so speech recognition skills will be more and more valuable. Tools that can create to-dos from a meeting or make voice conversations searchable are just some examples."
  4. Operational Machine Learning. Collaboration between data scientists and operations professionals is becoming more common. According to Tech Republic, there will be a demand for people with skills in both "data operations and machine learning."
  5. Cloud-native architecture. Many companies are developing products and services right in the Cloud. According to Tech Republic, there will be a demand for expertise in"cloud foundations and containers."

Similarly, an article published in Medium entitled "Most in Demand Tech Skills for 2021 and Why You Should Learn Them" lists the following skills:

  1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Cybersecurity
  4. Full Stack Development
  5. AR and VR
  6. Blockchain

Toronto Public Library has a number of online courses and resources that can help you learn new digital skills, all free to use with a TPL card.

Courses from

Online tutorials that you can take at your own pace. Create an account to track your progress. Learn more about To follow the links below to these courses, you will be asked to sign in with your library card. Course descriptions are all from

Understanding Cloud Fundamentals Learning path

For those with a background in IT wishing to deepen their understanding of cloud computing, this learning path provides a strong foundation. Focusing primarily on general cloud principles, the path concludes by exploring services specific to both Azure and AWS.

Cybersecurity Foundations

Learn the basics of cybersecurity. Explore frameworks, threats and strategies for responding to incidents.

Cybersecurity with Cloud Computing

Discover how to use cybersecurity to mitigate your cloud computing risk. Learn how to secure cloud services such as Amazon Web Services, Google Apps and Azure.

Customer Service Using AI and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way every company does business—and it’s revolutionizing customer service. The ability not only to automate certain tasks, but also to use AI to prequalify and direct the customer service queue is a massive time-saver. This course explores the groundbreaking new solutions powered by this emerging tech.

NLP with Python for Machine Learning Essential Training

If you have some experience with Python and an interest in natural language processing (NLP), this course can provide you with the knowledge you need to tackle complex problems using machine learning. Instructor Derek Jedamski provides a quick summary of basic natural language processing (NLP) concepts, covers advanced data cleaning and vectorization techniques, and then takes a deep dive into building machine learning classifiers.

Master Cloud-Native Infrastructure with Kubernetes

Kubernetes has been called the "Linux of distributed systems." It is fast becoming the standard open-source tool for cloud-native application delivery.

Blockchain Basics

Blockchain technology presents a disruptive new way of conducting transactions over the internet. In this course, learn what blockchain is and what it might mean for you.

Virtual Reality Foundations

Join 3D artist Craig Barr for an overview of virtual reality: what it is, where it's used, and what's in store for the future of VR. Plus, learn how the VR content creation process works and what you need to know to get started in this exciting (and expanding) field.


Book Recommendations

Machine Learning for Dummies
Machine Learning for Dummies


Practical language processing
Practical Natural Language Processing: A Comprehensive Guide to Building Real-World NLP Systems


Cyber Security: Essential Principles to Secure your Organisation


Introducing MLOps


Artificial intelligence by example
Artificial Intelligence by Example


Modern Full Stack Development
Modern Full-Stack Development