Most Valuable Career Skills for 2022

The Most Valuable Career Skills for 2022

The job market is always evolving. As some occupations lose popularity, others gain an edge. Regardless of the field you’re in, having certain career skills can make a difference in your success. Knowing which qualities are most in-demand can be helpful as you carve out your career path. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Healthcare is a field offering tremendous opportunities in terms of job growth.
  • Sustainable energy and statistics are also fields where jobs are expected to increase through 2030.
  • Tech skills such as computer programming and network engineering remain to be sought-after by companies.
  • Soft skills are also important and highly sought after by employers.
  • As artificial intelligence becomes more widespread, there will be a significant shift from labor jobs that have the potential to become automated.

Fastest-Growing Jobs Outlook

Between 2021 and 2031, the fastest-growing occupation is expected to be nurse practitioners, which is set to realize a staggering 45.7% growth rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The boost in demand for various healthcare occupations is growing in tandem with the segment of the population that is aged 65 and over. The second-fastest growing occupation is wind turbine service technicians, with a growth rate of 44.3%.

Four out of 20 of the fastest-growing occupations are healthcare-related, according to the BLS data. They are nurse practitioners, medical and health services managers, physicians assistants, and physical therapist assistants.

In addition to nurse practitioner and wind turbine service technicians, rounding out the top five are:

  • Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers
  • Motion picture projectionists
  • Cooks, restaurant

Many of the highest-paying jobs are positions that require a significant amount of education, professional training, and advanced skills.

So, which career skills will improve your chances of success in these fields? 

Tech Skills Are Highly Valued Across Multiple Industries

Tech skills are hot commodities among employees, and their application isn’t limited to the tech industry. Tech-savvy workers are highly suited to most industries including healthcare and finance. Possessing a technical skillset can lead to a higher-paying position.

According to HRForecast, some of the hottest tech skills to have in 2022 and beyond include:

  • Basic programming skills. The most popular programming languages in demand are C, Python, Java, C++, and C#.
  • UI/UX design. UI/UX designers are skilled at creating digital products to meet consumer needs.
  • Data engineering. Data analysts must have knowledge of Python and SQL, Java or Scala, cloud computing platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), as well as Big Data processing technologies.
  • Data visualization. Data visualization skills are used in data analytics to help make information more easily digested and managed.

So how much can you expect jobs that rely on these skills to pay? According to Robert Half, some of the highest-paying tech jobs by midpoint starting salary for 2022 include:

  • Big data engineer: $141,500
  • DevOps engineer: $125,750
  • Information systems security manager: $157,250
  • Mobile applications developer: $137,250
  • Applications architect: $150,500

While these tech skills are relevant to roles like tech management, systems architects, and security engineers, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. For example, data analytics is an increasingly significant component of healthcare as more healthcare providers move to digital record keeping. Software programmers and developers are also needed to create the software programs used to manage patient data and healthcare records.

Tech is also reshaping the finance industry, with demand rising for project managers, software operations specialists, application developers, business intelligence specialists, and statisticians. Data analysis and software skills are also essential in fields that don’t fit the tech mold, such as human resources.

Soft Skills Still Carry Weight With Employers

While technical skills are important, employers don’t have tunnel vision when considering which workers to hire. Soft skills, which are often influenced more by personality than education or training, are still a priority in the workforce.

The soft skills that may be most important in a changing job market for 2022 and beyond, according to McKinsey, include:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Mental flexibility
  • Teamwork ability
  • Self-leadership
  • Digital fluency

The industries likely to place the highest value on soft skills include hospitality, customer service, professional training and coaching, retail, and sports. Unfortunately, jobs in this industry have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Different types of soft skills, such as time management, may be highly valued in remote or hybrid work positions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Will Be the Most In-Demand Jobs in 2022?

Some of the most in-demand jobs for 2022 are in the nursing and health care-related fields. Demand for nursing and health care-related positions is expected to see a continued increase in demand as the U.S. population ages. There is also a growing demand for tech and renewable energy jobs, as well as in leisure industries, such as ushers and ticket takers.

What Skills Will Be in-Demand in 2022?

A mix of both hard and soft skills will be in demand in 2022. On the hard skills side, employers may be looking for candidates who possess advanced tech skills, including programming and coding skills. On the soft skills side, good communication skills and the ability to think critically and creatively will be important.

What Jobs Will Disappear by 2031?

Automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) technology may make some jobs obsolete or significantly curb demand for them by 2031. Some of the industries that are most likely to be affected by automation include manufacturing, health care, transportation, agriculture, and service.

The Bottom Line

Developing both your hard and soft skills will boost your marketability to potential employers. It’s almost a certainty that tech skills will continue to be highly sought after, but other skills like being able to communicate effectively, being mindful of details, and staying organized aren’t likely to go out of style any time soon. The key to getting ahead is finding the right balance and targeting the skills that are most valued in your chosen field.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Employment Projections."

  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners." 

  3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Wind Turbine Technicians."

  4. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Fastest Growing Occupations."

  5. HRForecast. "A Guide to 8 Top IT Skills in 2022."

  6. Robert Half. "The 15 Highest-paying IT Jobs in 2022."

  7. McKinsey. "Defining the Skills Citizens Will Need in the Future World of Work."

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