2016 Hiring & Salary Trends: Hot Jobs & Skills In Demand

Guest Blogpost by Diane Domeyer, Executive Director, The Creative Group

In the creative field, it’s not always easy to know what’s hot and what’s not – or how to land that next great design gig. To help you understand the career opportunities available today and in the near future, you need a guide. One helpful resource to consult is The Creative Group Salary Guide. It’s filled with timely information about the latest hiring trends, which skills to brush up on or acquire, and salary ranges for more than 120 positions in the industry. In fact, the Salary Guide is so well trusted that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has incorporated the data in its annual Occupational Outlook Handbook. What can you expect to learn? Here’s a taste.

Job Seekers Are In Command:

The unemployment rate for designers is well below the national rate, and companies are competing head to head to recruit top talent. As a result, creative professionals with in-demand skills have an advantage in benefit and salary negotiations, whether with a current or prospective employer. If it’s been some time since you reviewed the average salary range for your position in your area, start researching. Our Salary Calculator allows you to quickly customize compensation data for your city. This information will help you gauge how much extra pay you might deserve.

The Hottest Job:

So what skills do employers seek? Largely, individuals with digital proficiency. For example, if you’re a graphic designer who also possesses coding, user experience (UX) or social media expertise, you’re in an enviable position. Five creative jobs expected to see substantial increases in average starting salary in 2016:

1. Mobile Developer
2. Multimedia Designer
3. User Experience (UX) Specialist
4. User Interface (UI) Developer
5. Mobile Designer.

Check out the Salary Guide for actual dollar ranges.

Skills in Demand:

Not pursuing one of these career paths? You can still improve your marketability – and salary potential – by expanding your inventory of job skills. Here are some areas of expertise requested frequently by today’s hiring managers:

1. Coding, including CSS, HTML and JavaScript
2. Content management system (CMS), such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla
3. Customer experience
4. Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM)
5. Social media, particularly in the growing B2B space
6. Soft skills, including strong communication, problem-solving and collaboration abilities.

Make 2016 the year you take your career up a notch. High-paying job opportunities are out there for those dedicated to ongoing professional growth. Learn a new language or work on your presentation abilities, and then refresh your resume. Already working for a company you adore? Develop your skill set so you can increase your chances of landing a promotion and raise.