Jobs and Skills With a Bright Future


See what jobs and skills will help you stay in demand.


As you close out the holidays and begin thinking about a new year and potentially a new job, these are jobs and skills you may want to research and invest in to secure a bright future.


LinkedIn's 2017 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report analyzed five years' worth of LinkedIn data to identify the jobs and skills on the rise. LinkedIn's report highlights the booming growth of technology-related jobs. New advancements in technology used to simplify or automate processes, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, can be found in almost every industry and this explains why the demand for jobs using technology continues to grow. But not all jobs require technical skills. LinkedIn also found that the most requested skills across the top emerging jobs were transferrable to any industry or role.


To better understand what your future job looks like, familiarize yourself with the new job titles and skills in demand. You may also want to consider learning new skills to make you a more valuable employee or more marketable candidate.


Jobs with the greatest growth. LinkedIn researched user profile data and job postings to develop a list of the 20 jobs with the most growth over the past five years. As you might expect, jobs in technology topped the list, however, not every job requires tech skills. Jobs requiring data management and analysis made the list and so did jobs focused on sales and customer experience. You may not be familiar with some of these job titles so take a minute and research the skills and educational background required. It may just open your eyes to new opportunities. Specialized experience or an advanced degree is required for many emerging jobs, so if you are interested in one of them, start pursuing training now. These are five of the top 20 listed in the report.


• Machine Learning Engineer
• Data Scientist
• Sales Development Representative
• Customer Success Manager
• Big Data Developer


The most requested skills. When LinkedIn analyzed the skills requested from the top 20 jobs, they found that some were technical skills like Python. But other skills were transferrable, meaning, the skills are not unique to a specific role or industry. Management, sales and communication skills were the most requested among the top jobs. While you may think only people selling goods and services use sales skills, these skills actually have many uses. Sales skills will help you better persuade and influence your team or manager to get behind your idea. You don't need to aspire to be a manager to benefit from learning management skills. Leadership happens at all levels. And of course, communication skills are the key to your success. Your writing, interaction with your manager and presentation skills all impact how you are perceived and valued. If a job change is in your future, developing your mastery of these key skills can help you qualify for more job opportunities.


Top soft skills. In a separate study, LinkedIn surveyed over 1,200 hiring managers and found that more than 60 percent of them said soft skills are critical but tough to find. Listing soft skills on your resume isn't enough to prove you possess them. This is why many companies use behavior-based questions during interviews. These questions usually begin with "Tell me about a time when …" The secret to providing a good answer is concisely talking about a specific time you encountered that situation. The top three soft skills hiring managers look for are adaptability, culture fit and collaboration. Begin identifying situations at work where you demonstrated these soft skills. Not only will they help in an interview, they'll be useful for your performance review as well.


Freelancing is hot. Freelance work is outpacing growth of full-time jobs in some industries, according to LinkedIn's Emerging Jobs report. Freelancing takes hustle, but 20 percent of surveyed freelancers expect to make six figures or more this year. Knowing you are in control of how much money you bring home is a powerful motivator. The top three industries with the greatest freelance growth include health care at 47 percent, retail and consumer products at 42 percent and staffing at 41 percent. While freelancing is most popular among people who live in California and New York, it's rapidly growing in states like North Dakota, Louisiana and Mississippi. Freelance work as a side gig is a smart way to diversify your income and puts you in control.

One thing is sure: You are in the driver's seat when it comes to your career. It's up to you to continue to keep up with skills, technology and trends in the workplace. It's also important to know how to show you have the skills it takes to qualify for a new job or career.


By Hannah Morgan, Contributor