These Are the Technical Skills You Need To Land a Job in 2021

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Almost all jobs now require some technical skills. Careers across a number of fields are reliant on software and applications to keep things running, and with remote work on the rise, being comfortable with the tools that make this possible is essential.

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If you’re currently in the market for a new job, these are the top 10 technical skills you will need to have to get hired.

Last updated: May 27, 2021
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10. Office Suite

ResumeLab analyzed stats for over 900 occupations across more than 500 industries to find the most in-demand tech skills and found that knowledge of Office Suite was needed for 81 of the jobs.

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9. Word Processing

Word processing was a required skill for 100 of the jobs analyzed, and a top three skill for jobs in the field of education and training. But it was also listed as a requirement for some jobs you wouldn’t expect, including drywall and ceiling tile installers, and anesthesiologists.

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8. Graphics or Photo Imaging

Graphic skills and photo imaging skills were in demand for 104 of the job titles analyzed by ResumeLab. This was the top skill needed for jobs in the field of arts and audio/video technology and communications, and the No. 3 skill for marketing jobs. Photo imaging skills are also vital for those in the medical field, including oral and maxillofacial surgeons, prosthodontists, psychiatrists and orthodontists.

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7. Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

Computer-aided design was also an in-demand tech skill among 104 of the 900+ jobs analyzed. It was a requirement for 9% of jobs in the architecture and construction field and 13% of STEM jobs.

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6. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Experience with enterprise resource planning software was needed for 108 jobs in the analysis. It’s especially essential for jobs in business management and administration, and finance.

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5. Medical Software

Knowledge of medical software was one of the top in-demand tech skills overall, as well as one of the most in-demand skills among both the highest-paying ($150,000-plus) and “most likely to hire in the near future” industry jobs analyzed by ResumeLab.

“Largely due to the pandemic, the medical industry is booming and expected to grow exponentially,” said Jennifer Pieniazek, a career expert with ResumeLab. “Medical software is required for 30% of jobs in the health science cluster; medical software skills were needed for 126 jobs out of the 900+.”

There’s a huge growth in projected job openings in the medical industry, so brushing up on your medical software skills could help your job prospects now and in the future.

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4. Analytic or Scientific Software

The rise in demand for this skill is correlated to the rise in hiring for STEM jobs.

“The STEM factor may be skewing the overall statistics to fourth place,” Pieniazek said. “Our study, based on data from O*NET OnLine, showed that analytical/scientific skills were required for 188 jobs. Those jobs in the Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) job family require analytical or scientific software skills 30% of the time. Analytical and scientific software are some of the trendiest skills you can have these days.”

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3. Email

Much like knowledge of Microsoft Office and word processing, almost all jobs will require you to be able to communicate via email. It was a top three tech skill needed for just about every career field ResumeLab analyzed.

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2. Database User Interface and Query

Believe it or not, database user interface and query is now a more in-demand tech skill than email: “For 12% of the occupations, it was a needed skill,” Pieniazek said. “Email was at 10%, which was an unanticipated finding.”

However, this skill is more necessary for certain career fields than for others.

“If you’re in the manufacturing career cluster, email skills are needed 12% of the time, whereas database user interface and query is necessary 9% of the time,” Pieniazek said. “For those who are in the law, public safety and corrections/security cluster, database user interface and query skills are part of the job 24% of the time, while email is only at 9%.”

Notably, this is a highly in-demand skill for the “sunny outlook” jobs — those that are projected to have an employment increase of 5% or more, or to have 100,000 or more jobs available between 2019-2029 nationwide.

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1. Spreadsheets

Of the 900-plus jobs analyzed, 403 require comfort using and understanding spreadsheets.

“The jobs which most often require this skill are administrative assistants, accountants, project/program coordinators and salespeople,” Pieniazek said. “But content creators, market research analysts, teachers and business owners will rely on spreadsheet skills as well. Solid Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets skills are extremely valuable and are required in a wide range of industries and occupations.”

Spreadsheet skills are the No. 1 skill for sunny outlook jobs, as well as the No. 1 skill for high-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree.

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How To Improve Your Tech Skills

If you’re lacking some of these skills, don’t worry too much — there are a number of resources you can tap into to gain the knowledge you will need to be an appealing job candidate. Pieniazek recommends the following:

  • “Google offers training — both free and paid courses — which applicants can take from the comfort of their own home, at their own pace.
  • Udemy [has] great online courses with lots of tech skills included.
  • If you’re currently employed, try to take advantage of any tech courses you are eligible for. Then, you can utilize those skills so you become more proficient.
  • LinkedIn Learning offers a plethora of top-notch tech skills courses. Plus, you can grow your network while you’re improving your skills.”

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