What are the Top Skills Employers Want, According to LinkedIn?

Posted By Terri Williams on June 14, 2017 at 1:02 pm
What are the Top Skills Employers Want, According to LinkedIn?

When applying for a job, it’s helpful – to say the least – to know which skills employers want most. While every organization is different, there’s also a great deal of consistency regarding the traits that employers want in a given industry.

With more than 500 million registered users and 10 million active job openings, LinkedIn has access to mountains of data. So, the company decided to crunch the numbers on its top 50 companies (which include Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet, Uber, JP Morgan Chase, Tesla, UnitedHealth Group, Apple, Walt Disney, Cisco, and Verizon) to determine the most in-demand skills.

What are the top skills employers want? It depends on the industry, of course. But below is the list of the most in-demand, industry-related skills from the 2017 top companies on LinkedIn:

Technology Web programming
Java development
Cloud & distributed computing
Financial Services & Insurance Software engineering management
Web programming
Java development
Media & Entertainment Web programming
Software engineering management
Java development
Telecommunications Project management
IT infrastructure & system management
Manufacturing & Industry Project management
Business development & relationship manager
Oil & Energy Project management
Software engineering management Engineering
Automotive & Transportation C/C++
Software engineering management
Java development
Government, Education & Non-Profit Process & project management
Web programming
Java development
Retail & Consumer Products Social media marketing
Web programming
Software engineering management
Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Healthcare management
Project management
Professional Services Social media marketing
Web programming
Statistical analysis & Data Mining


No surprise among the skills employers want

Technology dominates the list of skills employers want, which should probably be no surprise since U.S. tech employment has reached the 7.3 million mark.  A recent report on the 20 fastest-growing skills in the online job market also emphasized tech skills.

The results are not unexpected to R. Iris Bahar, a professor of computer science and a professor of engineering at Brown University, who tells GoodCall® that technology is pervasive in our society. “People depend on it for so many everyday tasks,” Bahar says. “To keep up with the demand, companies are looking to hire people who can demonstrate programming proficiency.” In fact, half of high-paying jobs require coding skills – even non-IT jobs.

She’s quick to explain this doesn’t mean that every college student should shift majors and pursue a computer science degree – but believes it’s important to be computer literate.  “As a response, I see many students at Brown looking to supplement their academic preparation with more programming courses, even if it is not strictly required for their concentrations.”

To Shriram Krishnamurthi, also a professor of computer science at Brown University, the dominance of tech among skills employers want represents a growing desire to harness the power of digital platforms and the seemingly infinite amounts of digital data available to organizations. “The need for effective user-facing digital presences, the powers offered by large-scale computing resources, and the desire to gain an edge by monitoring and tracking users, have all resulted in enormous and growing computational demands.”

Krishnamurthi tells GoodCall®, “Forward-thinking companies have been scaling this growth curve for some time now, while others are just starting to get onto it.”

And that’s good news for students and grads who can expect lucrative wages and multiple job offers. In fact, job-hopping is actually recommended for IT employees – as opposed to becoming a “lifer” at one organization.

“Since the needs of these industries are all somewhat different, and competitors are unlikely to share resources, every one of them ends up having to build a complete technology team,” Krishnamurthi explains. And he doesn’t expect this trend to end anytime soon – in fact, Krishnamurthi believes it’s still in an embryonic stage.

As employers gain more awareness of the seemingly-endless possibilities, he believes demand will increase. “What many organizations may not yet realize is just how much sophistication is available in computing tools — and hence that these teams are going to need,” Krishnamurthi says. “These include not only value-adding skills – such as machine learning – but also skills to avoid becoming significant threats to their organization, especially cybersecurity.” Ongoing news headlines surrounding cyber threats during the 2016 election cycle are just one example of the dire need for cyber professionals.  There are over 348,000 cybersecurity job openings in the U.S., and the highest shortages are in California (over 45,000), Virginia (over 35,000), Texas (close to 25,000), and New York (over 20,000).

Terri Williams
Terri Williams graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her education, career, and business articles have been featured on Yahoo! Education, U.S. News & World Report, The Houston Chronicle, and in the print edition of USA Today Special Edition. Terri is also a contributing author to "A Practical Guide to Digital Journalism Ethics," a book published by the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago.

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