With the overall U.S. unemployment rate improving, though still high due to COVID-19, more and more opportunities for job seekers are starting to materialize. But for qualified candidates who really want to take their careers to the next level — and see their pay rise accordingly — what skill sets are most valuable in today's market? Read on to see the top five high-income skills currently in demand.

1. interpersonal skills 

Do you thrive on "interpersonal" or "human interaction", carefully listening to others and using your troubleshooting skills to reach a resolution? If so, it sounds like you're blessed with an excellent human touch. You might also have what it takes to be a fantastic customer service representative, to boot.


are you an expert communicator? then a career as a customer service representative may be for you.

What are the requirements? Excellent verbal and written communication skills are two good skills to have for starters. In this role, you'll spend your days speaking directly with customers. Not everyone who calls in will be in the best of moods, of course, so you'll need to think on your feet, listen patiently and act quickly in order to preserve the relationship and steer the interaction toward a positive outcome.

2. finance and accounting skills

Are you thrilled at the thought of balancing a budget? Is Monopoly your favorite board game? Do you habitually retrieve pennies from public fountains? If at least the first of these is true, good news: The existing pool of talent for many finance-oriented roles — from accounting clerks to accountantsfinancial analysts and more — is ridiculously shallow.

If you're highly organized with strong accounting and general ledger skills, plus some technical know-how, it's high time to search for openings in your area.

3. full-stack development skills

Think you have what it takes to succeed as a full-stack developer? They're the tech pros who help manage companies' front- and back-end technologies, tools and systems. And, as the name implies, you'll need to know both sides of the latest and greatest technologies, front and back. That means skills you'll need to learn will include languages like HTML5, JavaScript and CSS, as well as frameworks like Foundation, Angular JS, Ember JS, Backbone and Bootstrap. Proficiency working in .NET, Python, Java, Ruby, PHP and database programs like MySQL, Oracle, MongoDB, SQL server and others is also a plus.


you'll need to learn both front-end and back-end skills in order to become a full-stack developer.

If you're ready to launch your job search as a full-stack developer, bear in mind that a large number of openings in this field are located in major metropolitan hubs like New York and Los Angeles. So willingness to relocate may be an important factor in your job search.

4. human resources skills

Got a background in HR, but a mind for business? Lucky for you those are good skills to have these days, as the demand for professionals who possess your hybrid skill set is skyrocketing. That's because the HR function is rapidly transforming: While robots won't take over HR, there are a raft of new technologies on the market today that can automate and enhance HR processes to better support business outcomes. As the strategic focus of the HR department shifts toward performance management, productivity (including how it’s measured) and adopting new tools to support teamwork, it should come as no surprise that companies are so hungry to find business-minded HR leaders who can help them with these focus areas — and deliver on bottom-line goals.

Hitting the HR job boards, but not seeing anything that seems like exactly the right fit? Instead, try searching for titles like "HR generalist" or "HR business partner" — roles where business and HR responsibilities typically blend.

5. security engineer skills

Want to land a job in a field that's not only fast-growing but also has a significant skills gap? That sounds pretty ideal — and it's the cozy reality for security engineers today. Across the country, in fact, the ratio of open positions to available cybersecurity professionals is nearly two to one. Plus, 64 percent of all incidents involving stolen data records have occurred in the U.S. Not to mention the fact that, as more businesses continue to work remotely due to COVID-19, enhanced cybersecurity services will be needed as reliance on cloud technology intensifies.


the ratio of open positions to available cybersecurity professionals is nearly 2:1.

So, if you have the right background, you're in a great place with a ton of opportunity, and it's not about to go away any time soon.

What does it take to succeed in this role? While most job listings for security engineers require a bachelor's degree, the talent shortage means that non-college grads can get a foothold in the field, too, mainly through security training courses online. Udemy, our learning partner, has a wide variety of cybersecurity training courses you can check out if you're looking for a place to get started.

At the same time, it's not just technical savvy that makes for great security engineers. You'll also need to be able to work collaboratively in teams and possess core organizational, analytical and communication skills. After all, IT pros at most organizations these days are asked to work cross-functionally with various stakeholders, so good skills to learn here would center around communication — with the ultimate goal of being able to fluently converse with folks who don't necessarily share your technical background. If you're ready to land your next opportunity as a security engineer, check out some of the openings available right now.

let us power your next career move

Whatever field you specialize in — from finance and accounting to office and administrative work, tech or HR — certain jobs are more in demand right now than others. So why not strike while the iron's hot? Click here to see where the hiring action is happening in your field, and put those high-income skills to use in securing your next great job today.