These 14 must-have skills are in high demand, and come with a salary premium

If you’re thinking of upskilling, chances are you’ll already have a good sense of what skills you’d like to brush up on just by observing your colleagues and managers.

Depending on your job, that might be communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills much more than, say, software development or data management, or vice versa.

But real masters of the digital age will have skills outside of what’s strictly required in their job.

According to a report by Boston-based analytics software firm Burning Glass Technologies, there are 14 must-have digital skills – called ‘new foundational skills’ – that are in high demand.

These skills fall into the following three categories that have been dubbed ‘human skills’, ‘digital building blocks’ and ‘business enablers’.

(Source: Getty)
(Source: Getty)

Human skills – more commonly referred to as ‘soft skills’ – are those that require social, creative and critical intelligence, and are focused on collaboration and relationship-building.

Digital building block skills will be required by those who are directly involved with managing or analysing data, developing software, programming computers, or digital security and privacy.

Meanwhile, business enabler skills will be the leadership skills that are needed to make teams work well together, such as project management, business process and digital design.

Here are the 14 must-have digital skills:

Human Skills

1. Communication
2. Creativity
3. Critical thinking
4. Collaboration
5. Analytical skills

Business Enablers

6. Communicating data
7. Digital design
8. Project management
9. Business process

Digital building blocks

10. Analysing data
11. Managing data
12. Software development
13. Computer programming
14. Digital security and privacy

More skills, more pay

Less than a fifth of workers can claim skills across all three categories, according to the report.

And while not every individual needs all 14 skills, those most prepared for an economy which is becoming more digitised, will have a decent mix.

And as a result, are in the running to earn significantly more.

According to Burning Glass’ analysis of US statistics, the average advertised salary of jobs that required at least one of the new foundational skills was US$8,000 (A$11,208) more than the average for other jobs.

Not only that, but the new foundational skills were 49 per cent more likely to be required in more senior roles, the report noted.

I don’t need most of these skills in my job

Do many of these skills seem irrelevant to your industry? Think again.

Although all of these skills show up frequently in postings from the digitally intensive areas of the economy, nine of the skill areas actually fall outside of the digital economy.

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