As an ambitious marketer, you’re no doubt on the constant look out for opportunities to add new skills that will put you in a better position to excel at your job and eventually move on to another more exciting one. And along the way, it would probably be nice to make a little more money, right?
Unfortunately, marketers are often left having to guess which new skillsets and knowledge will most empower them to move their career forward. It’s easy enough to tell what you need to know to complete a given task today, but predicting what will be most valuable when you’re ready to make your next marketing career move is difficult. In an industry where being data driven and analytical tends to drive the most success, this kind of uncertainty is frustrating.
Luckily for marketers, PayScale recently released some insightful data on the professional skills that are in high demand with low supply that lead to great job opportunities and higher salaries. Even better–many of those skills have direct application to a long-term career in marketing. Here are some of the best skills for marketers to pick up to position themselves for a better job:
Various programming skills topped the charts in many of PayScale’s evaluations. Basic coding ability of any kind is becoming extremely valuable in almost any field, and especially in marketing. More advanced understanding of software and web development pays off even more. As digital marketing recruiters, we’ve seen firsthand how an understanding of coding can transform a good marketer into a great one. We’ve even written before on how coding is an invaluable skill for marketers, and now there’s data to back up our claims.
When it comes to which coding skills are most valuable now, not all languages and expertise are created equal. A few currently stand well above the rest when it comes to the average pay boost for professionals:
- Scala: 22%
- Go: 20%
- iOS Software Development Kit: 11.4%
- Android Software Development Kit: 9.3%
- Groovy 6.2%
Additionally, experience in “Software Development Management” is one of the most common skills among individuals rising to director and executive-level positions. And 12% of managers feel that new graduates are sorely lacking in this department, meaning younger professionals who do have this proficiency are more likely to find great entry level job opportunities.
Familiarity with the theory and practice of programming isn’t a guarantee of success, but it’s clear that adding some amount to your personal skillset will open more doors to career growth.
Get with the Programming: Free Apps that Help Marketers Learn How to Code
Big Data Analytics
Analytics capabilities fall right behind coding among marketing-related skills that lead to salary increases. Professionals who gain an aptitude with Big Data Analytics are seeing pay growth on the order of 10.7%. Familiarity with systems built to manage Big Data are also big contributors to salary growth: Hadoop expertise can drive a salary bump of 12.5%, while cloud computing skills generate a 10.4% increase. This matches with the trends we’ve been encountering as a Big Data executive search firm.
Despite the potential for career growth, more than a third of managers named data analysis as a key shortcoming in most of the recent graduate hires. Younger marketers capable of tacking the vast challenges and opportunities posed by Big Data will find that a shortcut lies ahead of them for fast career growth.
Raw creative ability isn’t as critical to marketers as it once was, but it’s still incredibly useful when integrated with data-driven decisions and a strong technological foundation.
Perhaps surprisingly, one creative aptitude was named the single most-lacked hard skill employers sought among their team. Writing proficiency topped the charts, with 44% of managers naming it a critical deficiency in their potential hires. The ability to communicate and articulate your thoughts is an invaluable ability in any profession, and doubly so for marketers. Ours is a discipline where messages must be shared both internally and with our audience in creative, efficient, and engaging manners. You don’t have to work in creative staffing to see the benefits here: strong technical and creative writing skills are an excellent way to make yourself stand out in any field of marketing.
One other creative skill came across PayScale’s radar during their survey. A large amount of managers–12%–also named design as a key skill their professionals lacked.
Honorable Mention from Digital Marketing Recruiters
One other skill stands out among the PayScale report as the only listed aptitude that’s definitely and exclusively a marketing skill: SEO and SEM marketing. Though these are not new fields, they’re seeing a modern resurgence as changes in search engine expectations and consumer behavior are forcing digital marketers to rethink strategies from the ground up. But most SEO recruiters will tell you that there’s a lack of up-to-date expertise in the talent pool, and that’s corroborated by the report: 7% of managers say that they’re seeking this expertise but can’t seem to find it.