CXO

These 10 jobs have the most openings and best promotion potential in 2018

Many of the most promising jobs of the year are in tech, according to LinkedIn.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Engagement lead, software engineering manager, and customer success manager top the list of most promising jobs for 2018 in terms of salary, openings, and promotion potential. — LinkedIn, 2018
  • Soft skills such as management, leadership, and strategy are equally as important as tech skills on the list.— LinkedIn, 2018

Tech- and customer-focused roles dominate the list of most promising jobs for 2018, with high salaries, strong openings, and room for growth and advancement, according to a new analysis from LinkedIn.

Tech jobs continue to grow in number, with hard skills in demand and at a premium, a recent Glassdoor report found. Those interested in breaking into the field might consider learning cybersecurity skills, programming, and data science, according to a Tech Pro Research survey.

"The rise of technology across every industry has created a flurry of new jobs and associated skills, and these aren't necessarily all tech roles," Rachel Bowley, a data scientist at LinkedIn, wrote in a Thursday blog post.

Topping the list of in-demand hard skills are cloud and distributed computing, statistical analysis and data mining, and middleware and integration software, according to a LinkedIn analysis published earlier in January.

Even for those who are not technologically inclined, the tech skills trend is also creating jobs outside of tech functions that are growing quickly, Bowley added.

SEE: IT jobs 2018: Hiring priorities, growth areas, and strategies to fill open roles (Tech Pro Research)

"You don't need to be technical to be successful," Bowley wrote. "Despite the prominence of technical jobs and skills, soft skills like management, leadership and strategy are equally as important." A previous LinkedIn survey of 2,000 business leaders found that soft skills including leadership, communication, collaboration, and time management were most in demand—and 57% said those soft skills were more important than hard skills.

Here are the 10 jobs with high median salaries, strong job openings and solid year-over-year growth, and the most potential for promotion within an organization—as well as the top five skills needed for each, according to LinkedIn data.

1. Engagement lead

Median base salary: $93,000

Job openings (YoY growth): 1,200+ (425%)

Career advancement score (out of 10): 10

Top skills: Management, leadership, project management, strategy, communication

2. Software engineering manager

Median total salary: $148,000

Job openings (YoY growth): 1,100+ (38%)

Career advancement score (out of 10): 8

Top skills: Software development, agile methodologies, management, Java, SQL

3. Customer success manager

Median total salary: $82,300

Job openings (YoY growth): 1,000+ (91%)

Career advancement score (out of 10): 10

Top skills: Management, sales, customer service, leadership, customer relationship management

4. Solutions architect

Median total salary: $134,000

Job openings (YoY growth): 2,000+ (28%)

Career advancement score (out of 10): 6

Top skills: Management, integration, solution architecture, design, project management

5. Sales director

Median base salary: $145,000

Job openings (YoY growth): 2,000+ (31%)

Career advancement score (out of 10): 6

Top skills: Sales, management, business development, account management, marketing

SEE: Job description: Data scientist (Tech Pro Research)

6. Engineering manager

Median base salary: $130,000

Job openings (YoY growth): 1,400+ (42%)

Career advancement score (out of 10): 6

Top skills: Engineering, project management, management, manufacturing, design

7. Program manager

Median base salary: $100,000

Job openings (YoY growth): 4,500+ (25%)

Career advancement score (out of 10): 8

Top skills: Management, project management, program management, leadership, training

8. Product manager

Median base salary: $105,000

Job openings (YoY growth): 3,600+ (30%)

Career advancement score (out of 10): 8

Top skills: Management, product management, program management, marketing, product development

9. Data scientist

Median base salary: $113,000

Job openings (YoY growth): 2,100+ (45%)

Career advancement score (out of 10): 8

Top skills: Python, data analysis, machine learning, SQL, statistics

10. Enterprise account manager

Median base salary: $180,000

Job openings (YoY growth): 800+ (74%)

Career advancement score (out of 10): 8

Top skills: Sales, management, account management, solution selling, business development

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/chombosan

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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