The 7 most in-demand skills for finding a new job with a fat paycheck

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It’s important to know what skills are valued where. For instance, bending your thumb backward might be a good party trick but not amazing in a job interview. And talking about your Excel proficiency is generally considered a good idea when chatting with a recruiter, but not when hanging out with friends. 

And when it comes to earning a big salary, some skills are better to focus on than others, no matter what job or sector you’re looking to bag. 

Such high-income skills are transferable ones that hiring managers of all industries tend to appreciate and compensate more for. Coursera projected seven of the most in-demand high-income skills this year by analyzing reports from the World Economic Forum, Pearson, Future Learn, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and its own data. If you’re looking to remain a viable candidate during a career switch, you might want to sharpen these skills: 

  • Data analysis
  • Software development
  • User experience
  • Web development
  • Project management
  • Account management
  • Content creation and management

Some of these skills, such as software and web development, are common in the tech world, which isn’t what it used to be given the number of layoffs that have swept the industry in recent months. But many of those laid off tech workers have landed on their feet, finding tech roles at companies outside the industry—evidence of just how transferable these skills really are.

Other skills on Coursera’s list, such as project management, fall in line with LinkedIn’s 2023 most in-demand skills in the U.S., which places a premium on management and analytical skills. But you have to talk about these skills in the right way, LinkedIn career expert Andrew McCaskill told Fortune. He explained that managers are looking for problem solvers, so you need to help them understand your skills will enable you to do that in any role.

Communication and management skills have become more important as companies look to hire and retain employees during the Great Resignation. “Particularly with people being both hybrid, remote, and in the office, you’ve got to really up the level of what we oftentimes think about soft skills,” McCaskill said.  

Brushing up on your high-income skills may not just help boost your salary, but help address the skills gap that about 7 in 10 human resource professionals believe is plaguing their company, per Wiley’s Closing the Skills Gap report. A majority of managers (69%) reported they believe they regularly deal with a workforce that lacks the skills they require. It may come as no surprise that they also want candidates skilled in project management and analysis—as well as digital communication and problem-solving skills.

But the skills gap isn’t an individual problem; solving it starts in the classroom. More than a third of Gen Zers said they felt their education didn’t give them the digital tools needed to propel their careers, according to Dell Technologies’ international survey

But until educational institutions and businesses better prepare workers for the skills they need, it doesn’t hurt to do a little self-teaching on those high-income skills in the meantime.

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