What skills do you need to get a job in 2017? We mined our Labor Insights database to get a snapshot of the skills in greatest demand over the past year to make a forecast for the year ahead.
2016 Career Snapshot
We pulled data from over six million job postings between Dec 2015 and Dec 2016 looking for the top skills employers want. Check out our chart of the top 15 specialized skills sought by employers and the number of job descriptions requiring those skills.
Our data shows that the specialized skills in greatest demand are Microsoft Excel/MS Office, budgeting, and project management. Why are these skills so valuable? They reflect of the changing world of work.
Data Science Will Power The Future
Why do Excel, SQL, and Python consistently rank as the most in-demand software skills? Because data science is the fastest growing industry in tech right now. Big data isn’t just a buzzword, it’s the future. In a 2009 paper, “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Data”, Google’s AI expert Peter Norvig explained the power of big data by saying: “Simple models and a lot of data trump more elaborate models based on less data.” While statistics might explain something happening right now, “data science can discover and extract actionable knowledge that can be used to make decisions and predictions,” writes Irving Wladawsky-Berger in the Wall Street Journal. The field of data science will continue to grow in 2017.
Budgeting Will Drive Strategy
A budget isn’t just something that the finance office requires for accounting reasons. Creating your departmental budget means mapping out your financial and operational goals and setting up a financial plan to achieve them. The budget for your department is part of your organization’s overall strategic plan and will be used when your leadership team is considers acquiring new products or systems or reallocating resources. Budgeting is a skill increasingly in demand as companies work to improve operational efficiency and coordinate activities cross departments, especially when their decisions that will impact long-term growth. As a manager, your department’s budget is also a common benchmark for your performance review, so being able to make a compelling argument for increased resources or talk about why actual results veered from the original budget is invaluable.
Project Management Will Win Big
Project management is one of those things that looks easy — until you try it. Any good project has plenty of risk. After all, the nature of business is taking risks. However, risk needs to be managed. Project management identifies, manages and controls risk. Projects don’t happen in a vacuum. They need to be integrated with business processes, systems and organizations. You can’t build a sales system that doesn’t integrate with your sales process and sales organization. It wouldn’t add much value. Integration is often key to project value. Project management identifies and manages integration.
Whatever your industry, developing skills in data analysis, budgeting, and the project management can have a tremendous impact on your day-to-day work and help future-proof your career. We wish you the best in your professional advancement in 2017.