7 High-Income Skills Worth Learning in 2024 (2024)

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Developing these seven skills could lead to more job opportunities and a bigger salary.

7 High-Income Skills Worth Learning in 2024 (1)

Every job requires some combination of workplace skills and technical skills, and chances are, you have already built an impressive skill set derived from your education or past work experience.

High-income skills are tools and expertise that employers tend to value highly and may make it easier to change jobs and even industries, according to a 2022 report from McKinsey & Company [1]. These job skills may be rare, and they’re often crucial to running a successful business.

As you aim to advance your career or shift your career focus, you may want to find ways to highlight your high-income skills. Depending on your desired career path, you may be able to leverage these skills to reach your salary goals.

7 high-income skills to learn

Below, you’ll find seven high-income skills that you can feature on your resume to help stand out to potential employers. To build this list, we looked at reports forecasting the most in-demand skills through 2030 from the World Economic Forum [2], Pearson [3], Future Learn [4], LinkedIn [5], Glassdoor [6], and Coursera [7].

The skills listed here are all transferable across a number of career paths. As you read this list, consider your career goals, past experiences, and the job descriptions of your desired roles, and notice whether any of these skills may naturally facilitate your path.

1. Data analysis

Analytical thinking and innovation is the top skill forecasted in the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report [2]. As businesses across industries increasingly rely on data to make informed decisions, they require more employees with the ability to collect, interpret, and share data that can solve their business problems.

People skilled in data analysis may use a range of tools including Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, SQL, Tableau, R, or Python.

Here are some careers that use data analysis, along with average base pay in the United States as of December 2022, according to Glassdoor:

Job titleAverage base pay
Business analyst$76,147
Data analyst$67,179
Data engineer$94,327
Data scientist$102,994

Learn more about what data analysts do.

2. Software development

Increasingly, industries are turning toward technology to advance their business capabilities, and they need people skilled in developing, maintaining, and improving their technological systems. People who work in DevOps or software engineering build, monitor, and control an organization’s technology.

People skilled in DevOps or software engineering may use tools like Git, Docker, Jenkins, or Kubernetes, and may know coding languages like Python, Java, or C++.

Here are some careers that use software development, along with average base pay in the United States as of December 2022, according to Glassdoor:

Job titleAverage base pay
Applications engineer$81,008
Systems developer$90,943
Software engineer$90,390
DevOps engineer$104,148

3. User experience

Hand in hand with technological development comes user experience (UX), which has to do with the way a consumer interacts with a product. People working in UX figure out the best way to present a product to consumers. They may conduct research, design, or help market a product.

Although they still involve some data, UX roles are grounded in design and tend to offer room for creativity, and they require a high level of social perceptiveness—three skills that come up in multiple skill reports [2, 3, 4].

Here are some careers utilizing user experience skills, along with average base pay in the United States as of December 2022, according to Glassdoor:

Job titleAverage total pay
UX writer$98,553
UX researcher$100,490
User interface (UI) designer$102,987
UX designer$105,118
Product designer$107,400

Learn more about essential skills needed to work in UX.

4. Web development

Web development brings together the fundamentals of software development and user experience, incorporating the technical aspects of the former with the design elements of the latter. People skilled in web development will also be familiar with technical search engine optimization (SEO) in order to design and program websites that meet business needs.

Here are some careers that require web development skills, along with average base pay in the United States as of December 2022, according to Glassdoor:

Job titleAverage total pay
Front-end developer$104,394
Full-stack developer$110,497
Back-end developer$119,292

Learn more about what web developers do.

5. Project management

Many companies use an organizational structure in which different departments, teams, or team members all work on a singular product or project. A person who is skilled in coordinating efforts across each of those touchpoints is skilled in project management. These team members may be responsible for maintaining schedules, organizing budgets, and communicating with project stakeholders (or various parties interested or invested in the project outcomes).

You can consider “project management” to be a catch-all term for leadership, communication, planning, resilience, and organizational skills—all of which are frequently cited as valuable to employers [2, 3, 4, 6].

Project management shows up in many careers and becomes especially important as you move into managerial positions. However, you can also pursue a career as a project manager. Here are some careers along the project manager path and their average base pay in the United States as of December 2022, according to Glassdoor:

Job titleAverage total pay
Project coordinator$89,374
Program manager$89,989
Project manager$93,043
Portfolio manager$119,373

Learn more about what a project manager does.

6. Account management

While project management typically has an internal focus, account management taps into a similar subset of skills to work with people outside of your organization. Often highly valued in sales positions, account management skills enable you to confidently position your company and its products to customers.

Account management skills incorporate both the organizational aspects required to close a business deal as well as the interpersonal skills required to productively negotiate and maintain relationships. They often work with a customer relationship management (CRM) tool like Salesforce.

Here are some careers that use account management and sales skills, along with average base pay in the United States as of December 2022, according to Glassdoor:

Job titleAverage total pay
Account manager$83,999
Business development associate$88,601
Business development manager$98,861
Sales representative$100,310

7. Content creation and management

Content creation and management skills involve storytelling and are often crucial for marketing careers. This skill set incorporates creativity, originality, social perceptiveness, and emotional intelligence. Taking these skills a step further can also mean adding data analysis to your toolbox, specifically honing in on marketing analytics so that you can assess how well an audience is connecting with your content.

Here are some careers that use content creation and management skills, along with average base pay in the United States as of December 2022, according to Glassdoor:

Job titleAverage total pay
Social media manager$76,325
Digital marketing manager$96,206
Content marketing manager$107,777
Brand marketing manager$109,952

Keep learning

You can build many skills through your regular work activities, however, sometimes it can help to bolster your skill set with outside classes or certifications. If you are trying to figure out the best skills for you to increase your earning potential, visit the Career Academy on Coursera. Here, you’ll get an in-depth look at the key skills across several career paths and can find specific online courses for each path.

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Coursera Staff

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

7 High-Income Skills Worth Learning in 2024 (2024)


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