The hybridization of jobs in America is a powerful trend that is transforming the job market and changing what employers look for in employees. The rapid expansion of new technology and the digitization of the economy have changed the character of jobs by integrating an element of technology into traditionally non-technical positions.
What Are Hybrid Skills?
Hybrid skills are a combination of technical and non-technical skills. What are considered hybrid skills will vary, depending on the job and the company. For example, very few employers now look for administrative support staff who can simply greet visitors, answer phones, and organize files. Employers need administrative staff with a hybrid skill set that includes social media, updating websites, designing presentation materials, as well as manipulating spreadsheets and database programs.
At the same time, the ever-changing landscape of technology demands that workers in traditionally specialized or technology-based jobs have the softer skills to adapt to, change, and develop new products and services.
For example, application developers don’t just need coding skills. They must be able to write copy, communicate with designers about visual aspects of applications, solicit and integrate feedback from users, and solve problems as they arise. Developers must also have continual learning skills to update their coding techniques and adapt to new and revised platforms.
Key Skills for Hybrid Jobs
Burning Glass has analyzed a database of nearly 1 billion past and current job ads and deduced that one-in-four jobs show signs of hybridization, and one-in-eight positions are highly hybridized, encompassing more than 250 occupations. Burning Glass reports that the skills that drive hybridization fall into five key areas. Some are new skills and others are traditional skills being applied in new ways:
- Big data and analytics
- The intersection of design and development
- Sales and customer service
- Emerging digital technologies
- Evolving compliance and regulatory landscape
Workers in traditionally soft-skilled jobs will benefit from cultivating the hard skills that will show employers that they are equipped to keep pace with technological developments in their sector. Job seekers and employees in technology-oriented and specialized jobs can distinguish themselves by enhancing the soft skills that will enable them to add value beyond narrow applications of technology.
LinkedIn has produced a list of the most sought-after soft and hard skills for 2019. The soft skills in highest demand include creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management.
The hard skills that employers need the most include cloud computing, artificial intelligence, analytical reasoning, people management, UX design, mobile applications development, video production, sales leadership, translation, audio production, natural language processing, scientific computing, game development, social media marketing, animation, business analysis, journalism, digital marketing, industrial design, competitive strategy, customer service systems, software testing, data science, computer graphics, and corporate communications.
A candidate who has strong hybrid skills will have a mix of both the hard and soft skills required to get hired.
One of the best ways to show employers that you have those skills is to match your credentials to the skills mentioned in the job posting when you're applying for a position, and highlighting them in your resume and cover letters.
Examples of Hybridized Jobs
Digital security analysts must learn to identify complex cyber threats, but they also need communication and persuasive skills to convince management and coworkers to adopt stricter safety protocols.
Technical recruiters must possess strong communication, persuasive, and interpersonal skills, while also comprehending the complex technical demands of the positions that they are filling. They must also master data-mining skills to identify appropriate prospects from candidate databases.
Graphic designers need artistic sensibility and creativity to create appealing designs, as well as communication skills to extract customer preferences. They also must have strong technical skills to use computer-aided design systems and web-authoring tools.
Pharmaceutical and medical product sales representatives must have strong verbal communication and relationship-development skills, as well as fluency in scientific concepts and research methodology regarding drug trials.
Business and economic journalists must possess strong research, writing, and interviewing skills, and be confident in deciphering complex financial reports and identifying economic trends.
How Hybrid Skills Can Boost Your Salary
Burning Glass provides some illustrations from its research about how the pay for employees with hybrid skills is enhanced:
- Marketing managers received an average salary of $71,000, but when they possessed database management competency in SQL their average salary was $100,000, a premium of 41%.
- Civil engineers were paid an average of $78,000, but when strong people-management skills were added to the mix, their compensation rose to $87,000, a 12% premium.
- Project managers received an average salary of $75,000, but when they were skilled in Tableau they boosted their pay to $85,000, a 13% premium.
- General managers earned an average salary of $63,000, but those managers with strong data analysis skills secured an average salary of $81,000, a 29% premium.
- Customer service managers were paid an average salary of $49,000, but managers with expertise in CRM earned an average of $60,000, a premium of 22%.
Upgrade Your Skills to Become More Competitive
If your skills need upgrading so that you’re more competitive in the job market, there are many ways you can add to your skill set. There are short-term certificate programs that you can take online. If you’re looking for a career shift, there are certification programs that lead to high-paying jobs.
Also, consider taking free or low-cost online courses to add the specific skills you need to enhance your resume and show you have the hybrid skills employers are seeking.