Some of you might remember the term “human capital,” that used to crop up when a company was discussing why they had the potential to be successful. It’s a term that means a company sees the people working for them as one of their greatest assets. You may have noticed we didn’t hear that term a lot between 2007 and 2009 — but it’s starting to make a comeback.
Now that the unemployment rate is drifting back down around 7%, companies are starting to again feel competition for talent. The demand hasn’t blossomed into full blown talent wars yet, but has started to put upward pressure on salaries for certain in-demand skills. Here are five career choices that are going to do well in 2014 drawn, from ICT Collaborative.
Gone are the days when the top software developers commanded bonuses like apartments and a new car, but 2014 promises to be a great year for anyone with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) or IT career. The median hourly wage is expected to rise to $45.06 an hour — and do remember that’s an average! Programmers specializing in mobile applications can command an even higher premium.
Just about anything computer-related should do well in 2014, with many companies that have put off IT upgrades now desperately needing new networking systems.
Market Research Analysts & Marketing Specialists
Marketing specialists research potential markets, and study in new ways to reach out and engage customers. Lately those efforts have been focused on local Internet search, and on engaging more customers with mobile services. They also help companies understand which products customers want, and what motivates them to make a purchase. The median hourly wage is $29.10.
Customer Support Specialists
With the outsourcing trend pretty much running its course, and companies squeezing as much as they can out of employees, it’s no surprise that many companies have started rediscovering premium customer care. The old days of a call center where operators had to escalate calls to their supervisor are rapidly being replaced by personable, empowered customer support with the ability to resolve customer issues right on the spot. Smart companies will analyze the feedback they get from service reps, to constantly refine both product and service offerings.
Making companies customer-centric is not as easy as flipping a switch, and the concept of empowered customer service reps scare some executives. The median average salary is $15.10.
Web Developers/Database Administrators
Website development and database management are increasingly overlapping occupations these days. There are very few pure web developers left in the world, with most websites being powered and supported by a database. The increasing reliance of companies on web-based services, and the need to manage the data that supports cloud services, is driving the growth of this career field. Average salary is $37.39 an hour.
Many doctors are already reporting their appointments increasing in advance of millions of new patients getting health care coverage starting January 1st. Many of those visits will result in surgeries, and a downstream surge in the need for physical rehabilitation and therapy. Physical therapists are needed in a variety of medical fields, including nursing homes and sports injury management. Average salary is $43.22 an hour.
Any way you slice the data, 2014 is shaping up to be a good year for those with in-demand job skills. Companies have put off hiring as long as they can and may now be forced to compete for an ever-diminishing pool of qualified applicants.