10 Skills Employers Are Hiring For In 2017

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Every year, LinkedIn combs its database and reviews billions of interactions between professionals and companies to line up some of the most important skills employers are hiring for.

According to its most recent list, skills like cloud computing, mobile development, and data science will be in high demand in almost every industry for years to come, so highlighting these skills on both your resume and LinkedIn profile can help you become more visible to potential employers.

On the other hand, if you’re not yet proficient in these areas but are looking for ways to advance in your career, it could be a good idea to work on developing one or more of these highly sought-after skills.

So with this in mind, here are the top ten skills employers will be on the lookout for in 2017, as well as some advice for developing them.

1. Cloud and Distributed Computing

The demand for IT professionals who are skilled in cloud computing has steadily increased over the past couple of years, and according to research by CEB Talent neuron, there were 18 million cloud computing-related jobs globally in 2015.

Data from PayScale also shows that IT professionals working in senior cloud computing positions such as Solutions Architect and Enterprise Architect can earn upwards of $130,000 per year.

If you’re looking to develop your cloud computing skills or get certified for jobs such as cloud architect or administrator, there are a number of courses and certification programs that can help, including Google’s CloudAcademy, Microsoft Azure certifications and Rackspace’s Open Cloud Academy.

2. Statistical Analysis and Data Mining

The demand for data-savvy employees has increased dramatically in recent years, and as a result, higher education institutions have started to offer more degree programs in data science and analytics.

Even so, a recent report by McKinsey Global Institute shows that the demand for data scientists is growing by as much as 12 percent per year. The average wages for data scientists also increased by about 16 percent between 2012 and 2014, whereas overall wages increased by just 2 percent.

Research from Deloitte shows that businesses will need one million data scientists by 2018, so if you’re hoping to enter this fast-growing industry, check out this list of 16 big data certifications that can pay off or visit MOOC List to find data science-related courses.

3. Web Architecture and Development Framework

Employees skilled in web architecture and development framework are expected to be in high demand in the coming years, and some of the jobs available in this area include web development, software engineering, and programming. Salaries range from $60,000 to $120,000, depending on factors such as experience, location, and field of practice.

If you want to brush up on your skills in this area, you can find relevant courses through LinkedIn Learning. Alternatively, if you’re totally new to web design and development, taking the Open Colleges Certificate in Web-Based Technologies could be a great way to kick-start your career.

4. Middleware and Integration Software

Middleware and integration software helps make application development simpler by connecting separate and often complex programs. It allows programmers to create new applications without needing to custom craft integrations for each one.

According to LinkedIn’s global top skills list, IT workers with these skills are in high demand and will continue to be for some time, so if you’d like to add these skills to your resume, the Coursera course Web Application Development: Basic Concepts is a good starting point.

5. User Interface Design

User interface design focuses on maximising the usability of a product and improving the user experience. LinkedIn’s global skills list shows that this skill is increasingly in-demand among employers, and ranked at number five in 2016, compared to number ten the year before.

The average salary for a User Interface Designer in Australia is $69,568 per year, although experience strongly influences income for this job. If you’re interested in learning more about user interface design, you can check out HackDesign, which is made up of existing resources from the web and delivers weekly lessons to your inbox.

6. Network and Information Security

Every year the number of cyber attacks and the sophistication of these attacks increases, so it’s no surprise that qualified cyber security engineers, specialists, analysts, and architects are in high demand. A recent report by Intel Security shows an international shortage in cyber security skills and estimates that there will be between one and two million unfilled cyber security jobs by 2019.

Because of the sensitive information they deal with, some of the top industries for cyber security professionals include banking and finance, and information technology and management.

If you’re interested in learning about network and information security, you can start with free online resources such as Cisco Security and Tenable Blog or YouTube channels like CBT Nuggets and Google Cyber Security. If you’re hoping to earn a certificate, Coursera also offers a variety of network security courses.

7. Mobile Development

With mobile usage increasing every year, the demand for mobile development skills is on the rise too, and jobs for Android and iOS developers, technical architects, and software engineers should be plentiful in the coming years.

According to PayScale, mobile app developers in Australia can expect to earn between $66,000 and $120,000 per year, depending on their level of experience. For software engineers this is between $53,126 and $99,998 per year.

Websites like Apple Developer and Android Developer are great for learning some basic mobile development skills, but if you’re looking to gain a qualification, you can check out the Open Colleges Certificate in Programming.

8. Data Presentation

Companies these days have an abundance of data and need employees who can understand this data and demonstrate trends, correlations, and insights. So just like statistical analysis and data mining, data presentation skills will be in high demand for years to come. In fact, data presentation appeared as a brand new skill on LinkedIn’s global skills list last year.

Data presentation involves creating data visualisations using maps, charts, and graphs, as well as summarising, organising, and communicating this information clearly. If you want to pick up some of these skills, try Udemy’s Data Presentation for Business or one of Coursera’s Data Analysis and Presentation Skills courses.

9. SEO/SEM Marketing

With more professionals gaining digital marketing skills, the demand for marketers has slowed somewhat over the past year and SEO/SEM marketing skills dropped five spots since 2015. Even so, digital marketing skills will remain important, and research shows that by 2019 there will be nearly 4 billion global internet users, which is just over half of the world’s population.

In Australia, a digital marketing manager with less than 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average salary of $77,244 per year. If you’re interested in a career in digital marketing, the Open Colleges Digital Marketing Pathway program covers all the latest techniques, from SEM and SEO to social media marketing and User Experience.

10. Storage Systems and Management

The final in-demand skill on the LinkedIn’s list is storage systems and management. Storage management refers to the technologies and processes used by organisations to manage storage networks and devices, and some of the jobs available in this area include IT consultant, software engineer, system engineer, and administrator.

If you’d like to develop your skills in this area, EdX offers a good self-paced introductory course on Data Storage and Management Technologies which will equip you with the skills to manage large amounts of data with new technologies.

Naturally, these aren’t the only skills employers will be hiring for this year, but this list should give you a glimpse into what sort of skills will be important in the coming years and help you keep your own skills current. If you’re interested in developing transferrable skills like problem-solving and communication, check out our list of MOOCs that support lifelong learning.


Marianne Stenger is a London-based freelance writer and journalist with extensive experience covering all things learning and development. She’s particularly interested in the psychology of learning and how technology is changing the way we learn. Her articles have been featured by the likes of ABC Education, The Huffington Post, Lifehacker, and Psych Central. Follow her on Twitter @MarianneStenger.

6 Responses

  1. Very helpful and interesting, this list – thanx – however the question how many skilled people will lose their jobs in High Tec companies and banks and insurances because of AI is still not answered …

  2. Angel says:

    The title should be changed to skills in the information technology industry. The title is misleading making people think its an overall list not based only on one industry.
    Wish people match title with the actually content of articles!

    • Saga Briggs says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Angel. It is an overall list based on a survey of 4,000 talent recruiters in 35 countries. The top ten skills happen to all be tech-related. –Admin

  3. Katherine Kim says:

    As far as I see an overwhelming majority of skills which are listed above are computing related. Then is it true that nowadays we need to focus more on obtaining of skills required by employees than on traditional ones not related to High Tec?

    • Saga Briggs says:

      Thanks for your comment, Kim. The survey suggests that tech skills do seem to dominate the hiring market across a wide range of industries, especially when it comes to candidates “most likely to start new jobs or attract recruiters’ interest.” But those “other” skills you’re talking about are essential too. We’ve got a great post coming up that highlights which of them employers are looking for. Stay tuned. –Admin

  4. jonnyt says:

    Agree, that Data Mining is the top priority as of now. There’s appeared the whole niche like demand and lead generation , that gives some benefits for the businesses

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