Professional Development

Skills needed for the future of work

Written by Guest Contributor

The way people work is changing. Increasing demand for digital skills means many of us can now work remotely, and burnt-out employees across the nation are partaking in ‘The Great Resignation’. However, a shake-up on this scale makes it vital that you add new skills to respond to a changing jobs climate.

The future of work

In the words of UC Berkley’s Cristina G. Banks, “the balance of power between executives and workers is going to shift a little bit toward employees.” Workers have clued onto the best working practices and are demanding more from their employers. When you interview nowadays, hiring managers can’t wait to tell you about the perks and incentives they offer. All this is great news for prospective employees but can be a tad confusing. So it’s time to ask yourself: what do you want?

  • Flexible Working Hours (“Flexi”): being able to work flexible hours to suit your schedule is something almost all competitive employers now offer. If you want to set your own hours to suit your schedule, you should have no issue finding employers who are keen to let you.
  • Remote Working / Working From Home: Nearly 88% of prospective employees are interested in the option to work from home. Working from home does more than allow you to stay in your comfy clothes all day: it saves you time and money and allows you to spend more time with your family and friends.
  • Inclusive + Diverse Workplaces: beyond the obvious fact that diverse workplaces make us better at our jobs, working for an inclusive employer is a real demand for folks looking to switch jobs and—hopefully—is a sign that our world is becoming a kinder place by popular demand.

What jobs will you do?

Due to the pandemic, job growth in specific sectors is a little tricky to understand. For example, food and service industries are growing at a staggering rate this year, but that is likely due to a rebound effect from the pandemic. Broadly, though, there are a few, digital-oriented, job sectors where it may pay to jump on the train.

Software Engineers

Seemingly every college graduate is receiving an education in computer science + software engineering, and for good reason: job growth in software engineering is up by 22%—much faster than the national average of 8%. In addition, the median average pay for software engineers is $110,140. You will need to know at least a few programming languages (Java, C++, Python) and will likely need to hold at least a Bachelors’s degree to be considered.

Market Research Analysts

If you’re looking for a varied, interesting job with high pay you may want to look into market analysis. Like software engineers, market research analysts are in high demand. Job growth was also up 22% in 2020, with a median pay of $65,810. Market research analysts take on interdisciplinary approaches to their work, but typically need at least a Bachelor’s degree and some form of SEO training or experience.

Content Creation

Many folks falsely believe careers in creative fields are for the blessed few. However, statistically, creative careers are growing at average or above-average rates. For example, the film and video editing industry is growing faster than almost any other field and has a median pay of $61,900—much higher than the nationwide average of $34,248. Additionally, many creative folks with backgrounds in humanities and the liberal arts go on to management positions and are valued for their critical thinking and creative abilities.

What skills do you need?

Whether you’re between jobs or are considering a career pivot, it is vital that you seriously consider re-skilling to meet current job market demands. The way we work, and the skills employers demand, have changed drastically in the last decade. As such, you need to ensure you have the skills necessary for success.

User Experience Design

If you’re looking to capitalize on the increasing demand for digital skills, adding user experience (UX) design skills to your resume is a great way to go. By re-skilling with a UX course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of user experience and will have the opportunity to design and build your own app, website, or another concept. By gathering practical experience, you’ll be able to display a growing portfolio of work to potential employers, and will feel confident responding to the ever-changing field of UX.

Video Editing and Filmmaking

For more creative folks, investing time into video editing is worth the effort and can often be free. YouTube tutorials and online blogs contain thousands of hours of editing tips, tricks, and skills for you to try out. To get started, all you’ll need is a video editing program. Within a month, you can easily add several projects to your portfolio of work and will be surprised by how quickly you become familiar with the process of video editing.

SEO Management

A deep understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for anyone wanting to jump on the digital marketing train. Luckily, there are hundreds of online courses for you to choose from. When working in SEO, you’ll likely utilize google analytics, and so a beginner course in analytics might be a good place to start. From there, you can add more niche courses in SEO and marketing to build a more competitive resume.

It’s a great time to re-skill and make the career change you’ve been dreaming of. By investing in yourself, you can build a varied and interesting resume with hard and soft skills which tick the boxes for hiring managers while opening new doors for your future.

About the Author:
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity and marketing strategies.

About the author

Guest Contributor