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Ten In-Demand Job Skills
by James C. Gonyea

As everyone who has held a job eventually learns, your future career prospects depend on the skills you have to offer an employer. And those workers with skills that are in demand are the ones who get the job.

The skills you should develop depend upon your interests, abilities and aptitudes, resources and career goals. But, with uncertain economic times ahead, it's important to look at the skills that will be useful in advancing your career. Here are 10 skills that the US Department of Labor says are on employers' wish lists.

Problem-Solving Skills
Many of the tasks we face each day in our personal and business lives are complex in nature. People who can identify problems, research solutions and make effective decisions are increasingly desired in such fields as business administration, management consulting, public administration, science, medicine and engineering.

Vocational-Technical Skills
Today, technology is advanced in all areas of human endeavor. Installation, testing and repair of most electrical, electronic and mechanical equipment in fields such as engineering, telecommunications, automotive, transportation and aerospace requires people with advanced vocational-technical skills.

Human Relations Skills
All companies with more than one employee face inevitable problems dealing with how people interact with each other. Often, the success of a company depends upon how well people can work together. It is the job of human resource managers, personnel officers, department managers and administrators to understand the needs of workers and how best to meet those needs within the confines of the employment environment.

Computer Programming Skills
Understanding how to harness a computer's power and program it to meet the specific needs of a particular company can dramatically increase your employment opportunities. Specific languages most in demand today include C++, Java, HTML, Visual Basic, Unix and SQL Server.

Teaching-Training Skill
Our modern society develops and collects more new data in a day than our ancestors did in a year. As a result, there will continue to be a demand for people with teaching and training skills in the fields of education, social services, management consulting and commerce.

Science and Math Skills
Great advances are being made daily in the fields of science, medicine and engineering. Bright minds skilled in the sciences and math are needed to meet the challenges of these fields.

Money Management Skills
With Americans enjoying a longer life span, it's essential today to carefully plan one's finances to ensure a comfortable life and retirement. Investment brokers and security officers, retirement planners, accountants and CPAs are in continual demand to meet this need.

Information Management Skills
In the Age of Information, America now produces information as the basis of its economic system, and individuals who possess the ability to manage information are critical to most businesses. Systems analysts, information technologists, database administrators and telecommunication engineers are examples of people with highly developed information management skills.

Foreign Language Skills
America depends upon many nations for raw materials and goods, as well as for global markets for our own goods and services. The ability to speak a foreign language -- today's hot ones include Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and German -- can enhance your employment opportunities and compensation.

Business Management Skills
The business of America is business! Understanding of how to run a successful company is highly in demand. At the core of these skills is the ability to manage people, systems, resources and finances; to understand the needs of consumers and how to translate those needs into business opportunities.



Source: www.monster.com, 5/20/02



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