Abbey Slattery is a writer, editor, and pop culture aficionado. She has contributed to newspapers, magazines and websites, but is most prolific on Twitter.
Technology is constantly evolving, and so is the job market along with. To keep up with the demands of an ever-changing society, employers are looking for a very specific set of skills—and they’re willing to pay for them.
Recently, LinkedIn released their list of the most in-demand skills sought out by employers. By using profiles of LinkedIn members who had been successfully hired, they were able to narrow down which keywords appeared in the highest number of profiles.
If you’re striving to adapt to the changing job market and get a pay bump in the process, here are the top 10 in-demand, high-income skills to add to your repertoire, how you can develop them, and how much you can expect to earn.
10. Audio production
As podcasting becomes an essential medium, companies want to ensure that they have the best capabilities for recording. It’s not just the music, radio, and entertainment industries that value audio production—major companies like IBM, Apple, Microsoft, and even the US Army and Air Force highly value employees that know the ways of audio production.
Improve your skills: While audio production typically requires a lot of training, there are plenty of online resources that can help you learn the basics. You’ll need some equipment to get started, like a microphone, a computer, a program for recording and editing, and studio-quality headphones. From there, there are tons of videos and online classes that can you teach you the basics.
Audio production engineers can make around $75,000 a year.
Connecting with people from all over the world is easier than ever thanks to the internet, and international and cross-cultural business is booming. Spanish, German, Japanese, Russian—having translating capabilities for these languages is becoming a must-have for some employers and will help your resume stand out from the rest.
Improve your skills: If you’re active on Twitter, then you’ve probably seen the popular “threatening Duolingo Owl” memes. While the memes do strike close to the truth (that owl is damn persistent), the Duolingo app is a fantastic free option for learning a new language at your own pace. There are a number of similar resources out there, like Babbel and Fluent in Three Months, making learning a new language one of the more attainable skills to add to your resume.
Translators can earn as much as $70,000 a year, or you can use it as a means to negotiate up an existing salary.
8. Sales leadership
Sales is nothing new. In fact, sales leadership is probably one of the only skills on this list that has remained popular over the past twenty years. It’s a cornerstone for businesses, which means having sales leadership experience opens up a world of opportunities.
Improve your skills: Sales leadership isn’t really a skill you can refine in your free time, which makes it hard to get experience outside of the professional sphere. But in the meantime, you can pad your resume for sales jobs by getting sales certifications from places like RISE Up Sales Certifications and HubSpot Inbound Sales, both of which are sought-after by employers.
Depending on your field, sales positions can pull in six figures annually. Explore sales jobs in tech, real estate, financial services, and medical devices if you’re looking for a high-income gig.
7. Video production
Did you know that the top Youtube channel, a kid who reviews toys, brings in $22 million dollars? There’s no denying how huge Youtube is and the enormous impact it can have on profits. While video production is another field that typically requires a more in-depth education, you don’t have to re-enroll in college to learn the basics.
Improve your skills: All you need to practice video editing is a computer, a camera, some video editing software, and maybe a nice microphone for good measure. A lot of pros use paid programs like Adobe Premiere or VideoStudio, but there are a number of free options that are comparable to both.
Video producers for major companies (or even independent video producers) can pull down $80,000 to $120,000 a year.
6. Mobile application development
Building apps sounds complicated—and well, it kind of is, but there’s a reason it’s one of the most in-demand skills. These days, company apps are nearly as ubiquitous as websites and much cheaper than brick-and-mortar stores.
Improve your skills: To make an app, you’ll need a handful of skills, like light graphic design and coding. Since apps are so common, though, you’ll find plenty of guides for DIY app creation. You can check out coding bootcamps to kickstart your app-building skills as well.
App developers often earn six figures. Expect to pull down somewhere between $105,000 and $140,000 with this high-income skills.
5. UX design
UX Design is just a fancy way of saying user design, which is just another fancy way of saying that you understand what users want, then make designs look good based on what you learned. A UX designer’s job includes tasks like initial research, user testing, visual design, and usability testing.
Improve your skills: SInce UX Design typically means you need a product and users to refine your skills, it’s a little tough to do, but not impossible. Want to really impress employers? Try developing your own app, then using UX Design to test it before release (now that’s two new high-income skills on your resume).
Entry-level UX designers can make around $80,000 per year, more senior designers can expect $110,000 and up.
4. People management
People management is a hard skill that requires a myriad of soft skills to work properly. Being a manager is one thing, but being a good manager is a whole other ballpark.
Improve your skills: Of course, having people to manage makes practicing people management much easier. If you aren’t in a management position but looking to enter one, try focusing on refining the softer sides of the skill, like clear communication, dealing with work stress, and learning how to empathize with your co-workers. Laying that groundwork will go a long way in proving that you have management chops.
People managers exist across all industries, so there’s no specific salary range for managers. However, moving in to a management role typically comes with a pay raise, and you can use that extra responsibility to negotiate higher in your current position or in a new one.
3. Analytical reasoning
Analytical reasoning is all about problem-solving: how fast can you do it, how creative your process is, and whether your conclusion is successful. Being a good leader and a good employee has a lot to do with solving problems and making tough decisions, which means analytical reasoning is a highly profitable skill.
Improve your skills: Again, analytical reasoning is one of those skills that’s a little harder to concretely improve, but it’s all about keeping your brain active. It might sound silly, but doing things like playing Sudoku, reading books, and taking online classes—like push-ups for your brain—can help keep your analytical reasoning skills sharp.
Financial analysts and data analysts can expect to make $80,000 at the start, and well into the $100Ks with more experience.
2. Artificial intelligence
The robot invasion has begun. The second-most in-demand skill employers want is Artificial Intelligence expertise, from knowing the ins and outs of an artificial neural network (basically, a robot brain) to navigating machine learning algorithms that teach computers new skills.
Improve your skills: Artificial Intelligence is hugely complicated if you don’t have prior experience. You’ll need a strong foundation of statistics, software design, engineering, coding, and a smattering of other fields. For this one, you might not be able to get by with anything short of a college degree or its equivalent.
AI engineers will enter the job market earning somewhere in the neighborhood of $130,000. With more experience, there’s not really a limit on earning potential.
1. Cloud computing
The number one most in-demand (and super high-income) skill and...what exactly is it? Cloud computing is the ability to work with the cloud (or remote servers) to store and manage all of your data rather than doing it all on your personal network or computer. For most companies, cloud computing has all sorts of benefits like boosting network speeds, saving space and money on physical storage devices, and increasing productivity.
Improve your skills: There are a lot of aspects to cloud computing, from the basics to security to development to advanced networking. Since the field is newer and constantly changing, online classes are one of the best ways to fill your resume with some cloud computing buzzwords if you aren’t currently in school.
Cloud computing engineers can expect a whopping $200,000 (as a median salary). With extra STEM and tech skills, the sky is the limit on income.