The New Year is around the corner, and it’s not surprising to hear that your career is a top priority for 2017 (and if it’s not, it should be). New Years’ resolutions are attractive for a couple of reasons – but the main reason why we love them is because resolutions give us the sense that we have the ability to create a “fresh start” of sorts: a blank slate where the possibilities are endless. If your career is something you’ll be focusing on particularly in 2017, it is likely time to start writing on that blank slate and use the next 12 months to lay groundwork for your future. But where to start?
LinkedIn recently released its annual report on the “Top Skills” that can get you hired in 2017. To nobody’s surprise, the list is overflowing with “top skills” that all have one thing in common: professional engagement with technology. If you’re a software developer, a cloud engineer, or a network security engineer, you shouldn’t have a tough time finding a job (there’s an understatement for you) regardless of what city you call home (and if you are struggling to find work, you may want to examine your non-technical skills a little closer).
It’s no surprise by this point that in 2015 there were more than 7 million job openings in Canada which called for basic web development/programming knowledge – a number that has surely grown in 2016, and will grow even more in 2017. Programming-related jobs are growing 12% faster than the market average – an incredible and never-before-seen-in-history rate. By 2019, there will be approximately 200,000 jobs involving at least basic programming skills in Canada that will go entirely unfilled – and offering incredible salaries, benefits, and with top-tier companies, no less.
Complex technical engineering skills aside, UI design and digital marketing have continued to make the top 10 list for the last 2 years as part of the most in-demand skills that employers of today are looking for. In one way or another, every employer is looking for people who are comfortable engaging with tech. Not interested in becoming a software engineer? No problem – there are alternate solutions that employers will still be frantically searching for in 2017.
More specifically? The Web.
Digital skills, in one capacity or another, have become fundamental for any modern employer. In today’s economy, every company is a digital one: whether a company is operating in retail, real estate, or even more traditional industries like manufacturing, digital makes its way into the way business is done today. If the workforce fails to innovate accordingly, industry has no choice but to automate the roles it has traditionally employed people for. A recent article in the Huffington Post discusses a report by the Mowat Centre, a Toronto-based think-tank, warning that Canada will lose up to 7.5 million jobs in the next 10 years due to automation. The Mowat Centre released its own “resolutions” for 2017 (recommendations which the government could undertake to secure employees have an actual future in Canada). The report confirms above all that Canada needs to “begin to modernize and update the various components of our social architecture that no longer adequately reflect economic and employment realities.”
Sunil Johal, head of the Mowat Centre, calls the situation a “game-changer” for employment – and Canada’s population (along with the Canadian government itself) is “woefully inadequate” to deal with the massive change in the workplace.
Upwork, the world’s largest freelancing website, released its own report recently confirming that the 20 fastest-growing freelance skills in 2016 (skills that are simply not available locally, and are accordingly outsourced) all relate to digital in one way or another. Whether it’s machine learning (#1), social media management (#7), or WordPress development (#20), the report makes it clear that digital skills around the world of modern web development, digital marketing, and data analytics continue to dominate the most desired skills by employers. Indeed, if you’re looking for a place to focus on modernizing your skills for 2017, anywhere on Upwork’s list is a good place to start. The overwhelming conclusion: get digital – quickly.
Interested in taking yourself to the next level this year? Check out our Digital Literacy course and learn how to get digital for 2017!