Future-Proof Your Career


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Bentley University partnered with labor market analytics firm Burning Glass to uncover which skills employers are looking for, what that means for the future of certain jobs, and how educational institutions should be preparing the next generation of our workforce.

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Future-Proof Your Career

  1. 1. Future-Proof Your Career WHY YOU NEED LEFT AND RIGHT BRAIN SKILLS FOR TOMORROW’S JOBS A Bentley University-commissioned analysis of labor market data
  2. 2. SHARE: 1 2016 is the year of the hybrid job. Employers are looking for multi-faceted candidates who boast both hard, technical skills such as experience with database technology, coupled with traditional soft skills like communication and collabora- tion – a hybrid employee. And they are looking for them to fill positions that now often require skills that were not traditionally associated with that role, i.e., an HR representative now needs experience with social media platforms, etc. Marketing Meets Science. One of the fastest growing areas of expertise is data analysis and visualiza- tion—and this is true if you are seeking a job in marketing, IT, accounting or a host of careers in between. Once associated with an analyst position, big data skills are now required across a range of functions since companies need employees who can derive insight from the vast amounts of data available. Measurement Meets Performance. Knowing how to measure and quantify results in your job is essential today. Employers want their staff to compile the most important data, interpret it, and apply it to their role and the business at large. OVERVIEW The future of job skills is not one of hard science versus emotional intelligence. It’s one where hard and soft skills come together to create the hybrid job. Bentley University partnered with labor market analytics firm Burning Glass to uncover which skills employers are looking for, what that means for the future of certain jobs, and how educational institutions should be preparing the next generation of our workforce. Among the findings, the research showed that: SHARE: 1
  3. 3. SHARE: 2 OVERVIEW The Bentley PreparedU Project examined data from 24.5 million U.S. company job listings from September 2014 to August 2015 and analyzed key jobs and skills across nine industries representing different business, IT and analytics functions such as data analysis, marketing, and human resources While some of the specific skills in high demand today may be outdated in a few years, being adept and committed to life-long learning will position employees well for long- term career success. Explore this eBook for more information on what employers are looking for in job candidates, which skills to highlight, and how to prepare for the career you really want. The research showed that 71% of in-demand skills are required across two or more job categories. SHARE: 2
  4. 4. SHARE: 3 1 2 3 3 The 21st-century workplace demands employees be versatile, with a range of skills and experience. But which skills are most important to have on a resume today and which bring in the highest salaries? Across the nine job functions involved in the analysis, including roles in IT, marketing and finance, here are three of the top skills (and the average salaries associated with them) that employers are seeking: Business development. This skill was present across nine job categories, underscoring the importance of being able to sell, regardless of industry. Solid strategy, sales and relationship building skills are critical for business development success. Employers value staff who can talk passionately about their products and services and close deals. Salaries in business development range from $60,000 to more than $98,000. Employers are seeking employees with big data skills in eight industries. How those skills are applied (including technology platforms used) differs by industry, company and even individual job descriptions. The ability to compile, analyze and apply big data to everyday business decisions is driving big change. In the IT space, big data roles have seen a nearly 4,000% jump in demand with salaries averaging around $123,000. The increased need for analytics is driving demand for mathematics skills as well. It is increasingly important for people in non-math- based roles to be able to crunch numbers, from marketing professionals setting their quarterly budgets to someone overseeing overall operations of a small business. Average salaries range from $46,000 to $87,000. Soft skills are also in high demand. Employers want to hire people who can think critically and have strong communications skills. Collaboration, decision making and mentoring are sought after skills across industry lines. Demand for collaboration skills is up 88%, decision-making is up 87% and mentoring is up 73%. Jobs requiring these skills have salaries ranging from $76,000 to nearly $93,000. ImportantToday’s Most Important Skills SHARE:
  5. 5. SHARE: 4 Previously popular stand-alone jobs have seen a decline as these skills become mainstream and integrated into other roles. For instance, postings for social media strategists have fallen 64% in the last five years, even as the skill of social media strategy has risen sharply in human resource jobs (up 376%), sales jobs (up 150%) and marketing and PR positions (up 117%). Skills that are seeing the highest growth in demand across multiple job functions include measurement using key performance indicators (KPIs) with 218% growth, and social media with 160% growth. Specialized Skills Go Mainstream
  6. 6. SHARE: 55SHARE: Total demand, growth and salary are solid indicators for the type of positions that employers are trying to fill and the skills needed to be successful. Our analysis found: IT, Sales & Finance Top Total Demand IT, sales and finance are the largest career areas in terms of total demand for jobs. Over the past 12 months, each had more than 1.5 million job postings. Data Scientist, It Security & Emerging Sectors Are Growing the Fastest Most of the fastest-growing occupations are related to data analysis such as data scientist, information security such as fraud analyst, or emerging digital technologies such as mobile application developers. Overall, research and analysis jobs have grown more than any other job function at 72% since 2011. IT Skills Get the Top Salaries Another indicator of in-demand skills: salary. Management and operations, IT and research and analysis roles command the biggest pay, with each reporting average salaries around $70,000. IT roles command three out of the top four positions. The most lucrative occupations include high-level finance, big data and IT which all report starting salaries at an average of $90,000. Demand, Growth and Salary Ranges Demand, Growth and Salary Ranges Reveal Today’s Hottest Career Areas DEMAND GROWTH SALARY
  7. 7. SHARE: 6 0100101001010001001001001001000100010010000100100100100101 001001010010100010010010010010001 0010010000100100100100101 00100101001010001001001001001000100010010000100100100100101 001001 1001010001001001001001000100010010000100100100100101 001001010010100010010010010010001000100 0000100100100100101 00100101001010001001001001001000100010010000100100100100101 001001010010 0001001001001001000100010010000100100100100101 001001010010100010010010010010001000100100001 0100100100101 00100101001010001001001001001000100010010000101 001001010010100010010010010010 Big Data is Driving Big Changes in IT With the amount of data in the world growing exponentially, it comes as no surprise that the top four skills by salary and percentage growth in the IT industry that have seen the biggest growth all relate to big data. Collecting, analyzing and acting upon large data sets is critical for business growth and innovation. Developing actionable insights about customers and using data to measure business objectives are just two examples of how data can help businesses thrive. Experience with big data alone saw four-digit growth over the past year. Jobs in big data, which encompass several skills and is a term that has slightly different meaning depending on the industry, saw the most growth. Since 2011, there has been 695% growth in the number of data scientist jobs available, demand for data analysts is up 121% and data architects is up 55%. Demand for IT skills grew an impressive 3,977% and is tied to more than 56,000 job openings. Roles requiring big data skills have an average salary of $123,057, second only to those positions seeking Apache Hadoop (an open source framework) skills.
  8. 8. SHARE: 7 broadest IT isn’t just about the data though. Employees need to be able to effectively communicate what the data means, and explain how it applies to the big picture business objectives. In addition to the technical requirements to work in IT, there is still a strong and growing need for employees to be able to collaborate (109% growth) and mentor colleagues (70% growth). IT is one of the broadest career industries, requiring skills including: • 56,441 openings • 11% growth • 102,316 openings • 76% growth • NoSQL • 52,893 openings • 1,002% growth • Apache Hadoop • 59,736 openings • 704% growth Accounting MATHEMATICS Knowledge of big data-related tools
  9. 9. SHARE: 8 Data Scientists are a great example of the hybrid IT job. They have to deal with large amounts of data and understand how to use the right tools to filter, sort and organize data as efficiently as possible. This requires strong technical skills. The ability to identify patterns in the data is more of an artistic skill but is as critical as technical experience. Understanding whether a pattern might have an important ramification to the business or is an anomaly requires business acumen. They also need to communicate what the data means. Having all of these skills allows them to turn data into actionable information because data on its own isn’t useful. It’s the information and insight that comes from it that matters.” Adam Stewart Vice President of Engineering, Autotask Forward-thinking IT leaders have always pushed their teams to be not just technology experts but business experts as well. With Big Data, this imperative has become vastly more important. In short, if you are an IT professional who doesn’t care what the data means for the business, your days are numbered.” Rama Ramakrishnan Chief Data Scientist at Demandware WHAT THIS MEANSWHAT THIS MEANS “ “
  10. 10. 9SHARE: 9 On The Rise Demand for Technical Skills in Marketing & PR On The Rise The widespread application of big data and digitization are forcing career areas traditionally based on soft skills to expand to include non-traditional hard skills. This is particularly evident in the field of marketing and PR. Employers still want employees who can handle customer relationship management (102% growth) and content management (131% growth), but they expect them to accomplish these tasks by applying insights achieved through work with technology, such as Oracle databases (329% growth), Google Analytics (232% growth) and the database language Oracle SQL (58% growth).
  11. 11. SHARE: 10 Our analysis also showed that roles requiring the technical skills mentioned above also demanded the highest salaries. As the use of technology becomes more pervasive in marketing and PR, soft skills such as the ability to collaborate (128% growth) and be concise (60% growth) will become even more important as the need for team work and interpretation grow. To succeed in marketing and PR, employees must be able to design and execute campaigns, but the real value lies in the ability to measure success and this is underscored by the fact that KPI demand is up 319% and mathematics is up 66%.
  12. 12. SHARE: 11 Marketing has become a technology-powered discipline, and therefore marketing organizations must infuse technical capabilities into their DNA. Today’s marketing landscape has been hit by a perfect storm of marketing technology due to a number of factors including the high-velocity economics of software innovation and the shift from old to new media demanding demonstrable ROI. As a result, there’s a surge in demand for some of the hottest jobs in our industry: marketing technologists and marketing CTOs.“ Scott Brinker Co-founder and CTO, ion interactive and Editor, ChiefMartec.com What is necessary now is for colleges and universities to develop a community of students with a set of skills uniquely positioned for both left and right brain thinking. Graduates need to know data analytics and possess critical marketing skills but they also need to be able to create connections, communicate and tell a good story. If you can’t tell a story with the data it just remains as data.” Ian Cross Lecturer and Director of the Center for Marketing Technology, Bentley University “ WHAT THIS MEANS “ “ WHAT THIS MEANS
  13. 13. SHARE: 12 More Than Math Success isn’t just about the numbers. Rather, it’s about reading the market and finding opportunities. One way to do that is to stay on top of business needs. The job market in finance, banking and accounting reflects current market conditions. For instance, the rise and fall of the housing market impacted the need for risk managers and financial advisors versus bank managers. Jobs are on the rise that require critical thinking skills, such as fraud analyst (137% growth), merger and acquisition specialist (126% growth), and financial aid and loan counselor (86% growth). To be successful in these fields, employers need to understand human behavior and its impact on risk and investments. Employers are seeking professionals who can think critically, communicate what the numbers mean and apply that reasoning to business decisions, whether it is setting the fiscal year budget or identifying strategic investment opportunities. The need for data analysis skills grew 104% and the need for strong decision-making abilities is up 100%. Being able to do the math is no longer enough to get ahead. Finance and Accounting: More Than Math Finance and Accounting:
  14. 14. SHARE: 13SHARE: 13 Accounting positions and skills are still in highest demand with 709,544 current job openings. Employers want employees who still understand the basics such as Pivot Tables (205% growth) and not surprising either is the fact that positions that require tax planning skills top the charts when it comes to average salaries reported at $96,590. Thanks to technological advances, businesses are inundated with data and increasingly challenged as to how to organize that data, interpret what it means and use it to drive competitive advantage. To be successful in this changing environment students need hands-on training in the latest technology, need to know how to glean insights and search for patterns in a broad data set and how to effectively communicate those findings to colleagues to drive decisions. As educators, we need to move away from ensuring students merely know how to calculate a formula or memorize a chapter or an arcane theory from a textbook. Employers today look for students having hands-on interaction with the actual presentation and modeling tools that are being used in the real world.” Kristina Minnick Finance Professor, Bentley University “
  15. 15. SHARE: 14 To be successful in sales, it’s more important than ever to be well-versed in all the technical aspects of a particular industry. According to Daniel Pink, in his book To Sell is Human, some companies may be losing as much as 40% of their sales talent going into 2016 due to attrition, which will contribute to the creation of two million new sales jobs by 2020. This generational change in the industry highlights the importance of effective knowledge transfer from retiring workers to new employees in the critical onboarding process. To make the knowledge transfer successful, sales professionals must keep pace with industry-specific technology advancements which require knowledge of both technology platforms and their application. The area for highest growth in sales skills is with Oracle (382% growth). Knowledge of customer relationship management technology platforms such as Salesforce (292% growth) is also in high demand. While technical skills are critical, there is still a clear need for universities to teach courses that address negotiating, effective selling techniques, sales strategy and interpersonal relations in management. Management training saw an increase in demand by 321%. Master the Art of Selling By Industry
  16. 16. SHARE: 15 Buyers today have more information available at their fingertips than ever before, which means they engage with salespeople much later in the buying process. Good sales professionals, no matter what industry, must be able to quickly diagnose the unknown, underlying issues and offer solutions to issues the buyer might not realize they have. And that’s not enough. A successful sales professional will turn into a buyer’s trusted advisor by constantly consuming relevant industry information and curating that information so they focus the buyer’s attention on the pieces of information that will best serve their needs.” Jim Pouliopoulos Founding Director of the Professional Sales Program, Bentley University “
  17. 17. SHARE: 16SHARE: 16 Human resources is a key driver for attracting and retaining talent for an organization. HR reps are often a job candidate’s first exposure to a company and can set the tone for the entire experience. As expected, the demand for versatile skills in HR has increased and given rise to a hybrid job where HR professionals are expected to have a diverse range of skills from onboarding to social media to business development. For skills on the rise, our analysis found the following were in highest demand for HR: recruitment processing and outsourcing (RPO) which grew 993%. In fact, all recruiting skills saw an increase of more than 100%. Social media grew 376%, which is not surprising given the increased use of LinkedIn and other social media properties used to find suitable job candidates. In an HR role, the perfect pairing of hard and soft skills is critical to help navigate corporate culture, employee relations, training, onboarding, as well as contract management and benefits administration. HR: Demand for Versatile Skills on the Rise
  18. 18. SHARE: 17 We believe that the game is changing for the HR profession and that great HR practitioners have a blend of harder business skills coupled with the softer skills that allow them to work with teams to build engaging corporate cultures. Versatile skills are required, starting with good business basics like the ability to understand key business metrics and aggregate data, coupled with marketing/brand knowledge and goal setting/ project management skills to drive results. HR is a key driver for building the corporate culture resulting in powerful programs that create employee engagement, enhanced productivity, and a powerful employer brand/reputation.” Laura Kerekes Chief Knowledge Officer, ThinkHR “ SHARE: 17
  19. 19. SHARE: 18 With the rise of big data, it should be no surprise that careers in the area of research and analysis are at the forefront of big data skills adoption. There is a significant increase in the need for knowledge in big data platforms and coding languages such as Tableau and Python, which allow companies to better visualize and analyze data. Analysis showed a 1,582% growth in the need for Tableau and 456% growth in the need for Python. Roles requiring Python also have the highest average salary, coming in at $119,794. Analyzing the data is not enough though. Employees need to be able to apply it to make informed, strategic business decisions (66% growth). Employers want research and analysis professionals who can lead and mentor other employees (52% growth), as well as the ability to understand the risks associated with their decisions, and manage and mitigate those risks appropriately (74% growth). Understanding How to Apply Data through Research and Analysis through Research and Analysis
  20. 20. SHARE: 19SHARE: 19 In a rapidly changing job market, students and job seekers need be fluent in the technical skills that matter today and they need to continue learning in order to keep up with the skills of tomorrow. They must also remember to hone the skills that will never become obsolete such as how to ask probing analysis questions, how to make meaning out of data, and how to communicate effectively with colleagues.” Dan Restuccia Chief Analytics Officer, Burning Glass “
  21. 21. SHARE: 2020 Moving Beyond the BasicsMoving Beyond the Basics with Management and Operations Management and operations is a broad career category encompassing roles and skills from contract management (29% growth) to enterprise resource planning (70% growth) to technical support (65% growth). To be relevant, employees on a management/operations career path must diversify their skill sets and take on more non-traditional management tasks. The largest growth area for management and operations is succession planning (381% growth). Other top areas for growth include project management (the use of Scrum saw a 260% growth), record keeping (250% growth), results measurement (KPIs saw a 232% growth) and asset protection (205% growth). Roles that require more technical skills come with the highest salaries. For instance, positions requiring JAVA have an average salary of $103,026.
  22. 22. SHARE: 21SHARE: 21 To differentiate themselves, students and job seekers looking to pursue a management career must have a solid combination of both hard and soft skills. For example, in some of my classes, I use a case simulation tool that requires students to work in teams where they must assess key performance indicators using technical skills. However, to make effective decisions and accomplish their goals as group, they must also sharpen their communication and collaboration skills.” Jill Brown Associate Professor of Management, Bentley University “
  23. 23. SHARE: 22 Design and Web Development: The rise of the hybrid job has impacted design and web development. While traditional design skills such as those used in Photoshop are still required in more than 34,000 job openings, there has been exponential growth in web skills associated with new programming languages, platforms, etc. A qualified candidate must be a “jack of all trades.” In fact, the skill that saw the biggest growth was knowledge of Node.js, a platform used to develop web applications, with demand up by 2,493%. People on this career path are also typically early adopters of new technology and are instrumental in identifying which new tools are available and which ones can benefit their industry. To succeed, individuals need to be at the forefront of technological developments and how they can be applied to branding strategy, data visualization (i.e., big data), mobile apps and UI/UX (user interface/user experience). Design and Web Development: Early Adopters of New Technology
  24. 24. SHARE: 23SHARE: 23 In today’s market, design is no longer just for the web – it’s everywhere. From mobile, to industrial, to architectural, and beyond, designers today must be more creative and sophisticated in their thinking and know that successful products are no longer just about function or appearance but about user experience. Employers are looking for a candidate who can bring that experience to light by properly conducting an interview, administering a survey, and gaining insight from that data. In addition to learning the latest in technical design skills, students in our program gain a deep understanding of human behavior, which is the key to developing an immersive product experience.” Bill Gribbons Director of the Masters in Human Factors in Information Design, Bentley University “