5 In-Demand Skills That Can Make You a Digital Leader

By BrainStation July 26, 2018

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the most in-demand skills of 2018 are digital-related.

Modis is projecting that “tech employment” will increase 12 percent by 2024, with 488,500 new tech jobs created. This is creating a demand for highly specialized digital skills, which, according to LinkedIn Learning’s 2018 report, companies are already working to fill.

This backdrop can cause some unrest in the workforce, but it also creates numerous opportunities for those with the right skillset (or the will to learn something new).

Here are five in-demand skills that can turn you into a digital leader.

1. Statistical Analysis and Data Mining

Related Jobs: Business Analyst ($65,000), Sr Data Analyst ($75,000), Statistician ($67,000)

Recommended Courses: Data Analytics and/or Data Science

Data Scientist was named the “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century,” and it’s easy to see why — businesses want to understand trends and make more data-driven decisions. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by PwC, 83 percent of companies believe data and analytics are becoming increasingly important to the decision-making process. Unfortunately, at most companies there is still a large gap in the way data is being used. As seen in a global survey, 50 percent of all business decisions are based on data, yet only half of the data available to an organization is actually used for these decisions. Companies need data professionals to help shape their strategic plans and make informed decisions.

Fittingly, the demand for talent who can collect and analyze business and customer data is soaring — which means solid salaries and a wealth of opportunities for qualified experts. Data related jobs as seen on Glassdoor have salaries ranging from $62,000 at the analyst level to over $100,000 in some Data Scientist positions.

More importantly, availability is increasing, with data scientist job postings spiking 75 percent between January 2015 and January 2018, and job searches for data science roles rising a whopping 65 percent.

2. Web Architecture and Development Framework

Related Jobs: Web developer ($55,000), Full Stack Web Developer ($64,000)

Recommended Courses: Web Development

There is an increasing need for developers who are well-versed in web architecture, and development frameworks, to build and manage apps, services, and websites. Between 2012 and 2022, Web Development jobs are expected to increase a total of 20 percent – which is higher than the average growth rate for any other occupation.

Developer salaries are rising to match this increasing demand, with Full Stack Developer making it onto Indeed’s Top Ten Best Jobs list for the past two years. If the current salary trends hold, developers could see as much as a four percent wage growth rate in 2018 alone.

3. User Interface (UI) Design

Related Jobs: UX Designer ($80,000), UI Designer ($72,000)

Recommended Courses: User Interface Design, User Experience Design

According to Adobe, 87 percent of managers say hiring UX Designers is their top priority. Meanwhile, 75 percent say they plan to double the number of UX Designers on their teams within the next five years. There is a good reason for this kind of demand: findings from rapidops suggest that for every dollar invested in enhancing a product’s user experience, a business can experience returns of up to $100.

So, where does UI design come in? While the UI designer position was also ranked one of the top careers for 2017 by Esmi data, many people have a limited understanding of what UI design is. User interface designers ensure that products, apps, and websites are designed in a way that is seamless for people to use.

UI design puts the user at the center of the design process, which builds brand value. As bwired puts it, “Usability is the foundation of a successful user interface and is the easiest process for creating a positive user experience. A positive user experience is a critical part of the overall customer experience and helps define the relationship your customers have with your brand.”

4. Data Presentation

Related Jobs: Graphic Designer ($45,000), Data Scientist ($96,500)

Recommended Courses: Data Analytics and Data Science

There’s more to data than just crunching numbers — the way you present information is crucial to how well people understand it.

Because humans are visual creatures (90 percent of information is transmitted to the brain through images), we can understand and process information better when it’s presented visually. Designers and Data Scientists utilize visualization tools such as Tableau to highlight their findings through engaging illustrations or graphics.

In addition to aiding comprehension, the way data is presented influences perceived credibility. A study conducted by Stanford found that 46 percent of individuals saw the visual design of a website as the primary indication of the credibility of the material presented. This means it’s not enough to collect and analyze data; organizations have to present data in a meaningful way for it to have an impact.

5. SEO/SEM Marketing

Related Jobs: Marketing Specialist ($56,000), Digital Marketing Manager ($78,000)

Recommended Courses: SEO/SEM Analytics, Digital Marketing

While search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) aren’t necessarily new skills, the digital marketing industry is in a state of constant change. That’s why SEO/SEM experts continue to be in high demand. According to Search Engine Journal, SEO has experienced a 43 percent increase in positions in the past year, and there are no signs of it slowing.

But why are these skills important? With Google accounting for nearly 75 percent of all global desktop search traffic in 2017, businesses need to have a solid presence on search engine results pages. SEO and SEM professionals act as the catalysts that help companies increase their online traffic and leads.

Developing in-demand digital skills will help you elevate your career, whether you’re looking for a new job or hoping to take on a leadership role in your organization. Being strategic about digital skills training, and committing to continuous learning, is – now more than ever – the key.

Looking to elevate your skills to compete in the shifting job market? BrainStation offers professional development courses to help you find digital success.