The Top Skills For The Modern Workplace

Karsten Strauss, Forbes

When you sift through the job postings across many job categories in a handful of industries, you find that certain skills are more in demand than others. Some of those are desirable in more than one industry, and some can lead to jobs with higher salaries.

We have a clearer picture of what those skills are, thanks to a recent study completed by Bentley University, a business school based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

According to Bentley’s study, certain skills – hybrid skills – are applicable to various types of jobs categories like marketing, HR, IT, etc. We built a gallery of the top 12 hybrid skills (see below) ranked by average salary.

These hybrid skills allow workers to be useful in different arenas and, according to the study, the most versatile ones to have are Business Development (which is used in 9 job categories), Oracle (9) and Mathematics (8).

Current job seekers would do well to tout their hybrid skills as they enter the workforce, said Susan Brennan, Associate VP of career services at Bentley. “At one time you could really thrive in the marketplace with the technical skills or you could go into a human resources role or even a career services role with the soft skills competencies,” she said. “But that no longer exists. We’re seeing this merging across functions and a requirement for job seekers to have these skills across a number of these functions.”

Data analysis is one of the more in-demand skills the study discovered. In the IT sector, openings for data-oriented positions increased 3,977% since 2011, with an average salary of more than $123,000 a year. But IT isn’t the only realm where it proves useful. “That’s one of the most common jobs that we see our graduates going into—some kind of analyst,” says Brennan. “That role could be in human resources and marketing. It’s really about taking that across any industry and function—being able to take data and make sense of it. It’s not really just for IT anymore.”

Some skills that were once considered specialized have now become mainstream, according to the Bentley University study. That change has led to a decrease in the amount of postings for positions that use those skills specifically. Postings for Social Media Strategists have fallen 64% in the last five years even though skills in the social media realm are coveted among HR, sales, marketing and PR positions.

Postings for Web Designers have decreased 8% in the same timeframe, though demand for such skills have gone up 11% in marketing and PR, and 8% in graphic design listings. Sales skills are seen 49% less in listings for business development executives, but are posted as a requirement 68% more often in postings for marketing and PR jobs and 29% more often for IT work.

In compiling its report, Bentley University employed labor-market focused data analytics firm, Burning Glass, which scanned through its database of 24.5 million current and historical job postings from nearly 40,000 jobs sites. The company extracted data from the listings, including job titles, skill requirements, requested credentials, salary, and the length of time postings remained open.


This article was written by Karsten Strauss from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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