Money Magazine recently published an article that lists the most valuable career skills that a person can have, ranked by the wage premium that such skills generate on average.
In other words, they evaluated a ton of different skills that companies look for in their job postings and then evaluated how much higher those jobs paid on average than similar jobs thatdidn’t include those skills.
For example, a lab technician job that includes a requirement for the "data modeling" skill commands, on average, a 5% higher salary than a lab technician job that does not include that requirement.
To me, this kind of list is an incredibly valuable resource for people who are looking to improve their income and move ahead in their career path.
It specifically identifies the exact skills that companies are willing to pay a premium for!
However, the article didn’t quite follow through in all of the ways that it might. The article offers some great general advice on how to acquire these skills, but it really doesn’t go into the specifics of what one might need to do to add these skills to their skill set (and their resume) in a meaningful way. It just provides a list and some very general ideas on furthering one’s education.
I wanted to go a little further than that, so I took the top 10 items on the list and did a little homework (and, in a few cases, quite a lot of homework) to figure out what a person could do in their spare time to add that skill to their resume and skillset in a meaningful way that would help them improve their earning potential and career opportunities.
Before we dig in, I want to mention one giant caveat. Not all of these skills line up well for every career. In fact, in most careers, only one or two of these skills will really make sense. It isdefinitely up to you to determine whether or not these skills really fit in well with the career you happen to find yourself in (or hope to find yourself in). You are far better off becoming really strong in one or two of these skills that are really well connected to and useful to your field than being mediocre in several skills.
Here’s what I found.