5 New Jobs Skills Employers Are Looking For

Discussing skills during a job interview

Discussing skills during a job interview | Chris Hondros/Getty Images

In a rapidly changing world economy, it’s a question that’s consistently at the top of everyone’s mind: what job skills do I need, and which will get me a job? Hunting for a job requires not only a specific set of strategies and techniques, but also a strong sense of confidence in your abilities. But it’s those abilities – which abilities, specifically – that hang up a lot of jobseekers.

We’ve dug into this very topic before, and provided some insight into which job skills will get you hired. As the economy is constantly shifting and evolving, and churning undercurrents of consumer behavior call for different types of workers creating and supplying different products and services, it can be really difficult to know what employers want. We’re here to be a compass of sorts, and outline a handful of skills that employers are really scouring the labor market for this year, which should give you a leg-up in your job search.

While there will always be a need (until the robot take-over, that is) for menial, low-wage work, if you’re truly looking to give your career a shot in the arm, you’re going to need to put in some time on the side. Investing in yourself by learning new skills can lead you to new, unanticipated opportunities, and ultimately put a lot more money in your pocket. If you want to get serious about improving your earnings potential, this is the place to start.

So, what are employers looking for, and what skills do you need to make yourself an attractive candidate? Read on to find out.

1. Social skills

Source: Thinkstock

Social skills at work with coworkers | Thinkstock

As we covered a little while back, social skills are becoming increasingly important in more and more organizations. At one time, this set of skills was overlooked – even seen as a hindrance to productivity. But as time marches on, managers and team leaders are recognizing the importance of social skills, and how they can shape a workplace. The main reason? Human interaction is hard to automate, and almost impossible for a computer to mimic. As automation kicks in, and social connections become more scarce, they’ll naturally increase in value.

2. Industry-related programs

Source: Thinkstock

Man working on a laptop | Thinkstock

If you know what specific job or industry you’re gunning for, then you’re going to want to have a tool chest full of skills tailored for it. And in a world in which knowledge and software skills are as important as ever, figuring out which programs and skills you’ll need is paramount to getting hired. We put together a recent list of which programs are on employers’ wish lists for this year, so take a look and see which are relevant to your career track. Knowing these programs intimately will give you a big leg-up during the hiring process.

3. Development

Google software developers

Google software developers | Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

These days, the word “developer” means so much more than someone who builds condos. And developers of all stripes are in high demand. In our case, we’re referring specifically to software and web developers, both of which possess skill sets that are highly sought-after by many big, flourishing companies. If this is a career track you’re interested in pursuing, go back to the previous item on our list, and figure out which software programs you need to be well-versed in to start getting successful interviews behind you.

4. Design

Software designer

Software designer | Farooq Naeem/AFP/Getty Images

In the same way that developers are a hot commodity, so are designers. Designers possibly come in more stripes than developers, as there are graphic designers, software designers, game designers – hell, even fashion companies and automotive manufacturers need designers. Needless to say, the world needs designers. If you want to get specific, the world needs web designers, and algorithm designers. These are skills that will not only land you a job, but likely a pretty high salary.

5. Information security

Information security sign

Information security sign | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

We don’t often go a week or so without hearing about some giant data breach, which typically puts the personal information for millions of people at risk. It’s happened to big corporations like Target, and it’s even happened to government agencies. Because data is so valuable – and because so many people are out there trying to steal it – information security is something that every organization is quickly trying to beef up. That means there’s a need for information security professionals, leaving an opportunity to learn the skills and get hired.

There are a lot of problems to solve, so don’t hesitate to learn and start applying right away.

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