America needs higher-skilled workers. Here’s where the jobs are.

The pandemic is pushing millions of workers to adapt their skills.


July 14, 2020

Photo via: In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images

Automation has been the labor market’s boogeyman for years. Now the pandemic has created a sense of urgency for workers to uplevel their skills to avoid becoming irrelevant.

As The New York Times reports, middle-class jobs typically require some digital proficiency, even for jobs not considered tech work. As of May, about half of US workers were working remotely — up from only 15% in the Before Times — and automation was already becoming more prevalent in fields ranging from retail to health care to warehouse operations.

Tech is poised to take jobs, but we still need managers

The need for workers with advanced skills is so great that members of Congress have reached across the aisle to draft the Skills Renewal Act, which would award up to $4k in tax credits to newly unemployed workers seeking training in high-demand areas. 

Last year Amazon began “upskilling” employees in anticipation of automating simpler tasks. Other businesses like Exelon, a utility company, implemented a training approach called “co-investing,” which means the company funds in-house training, but employees complete it in their off hours.

So, what training opportunities should people look for?

Data scientists at LinkedIn recently analyzed millions of job listings to determine which ones are in demand, pay a livable wage, and require skills that can be obtained through remote learning.

According to our research, the top 5 meeting all those criteria, ranked by number of LinkedIn job listings, are:

  • Sales representatives (~144k job listings on LinkedIn)
  • Software developer (~125k listings)
  • Project manager (~91k listings)
  • Customer service specialist (~90k listings)
  • Data analyst (~21k listings)

What skills are becoming more important in your industry — and where do you see the most hiring happening? Reply to this email, or drop me a line at [email protected].

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