Despite struggling recovery and an unemployment rate that remains well over ten percent several industries still report having difficulty filling important positions.
Employers in various industries, such as construction, cite skill gaps that limit the available pool of talent. Some traditionally blue-collar industries are losing talent to retirement and are unable to replenish their ranks, while newer fields are not yet widely appealing to students and grow more quickly than their available workforce. Educators are even encouraging students to take classes in highly-valued fields, in or out of their major programs of study, to develop the skills that employers are seeking.
Below are eight of the current hardest to fill jobs.
Skilled trades such as welders, electricians, and other manufacturing jobs suffer from a lack of specialized professionals. Many young people avoid the trades in favor of advanced degrees and higher-profile positions, but skilled positions require strong math and science skills as well as significant training to develop expertise.
Construction engineers are responsible for developing and overseeing complex infrastructure products. Advanced math, science, and spatial skills are a must. Also, unconventional and potentially dangerous work sites make this a niche position, to the point that many companies find themselves competing for the same small pool of applicants. Construction is becoming more technology-based, further expanding the skill set that employers are trying to match.
Trucking companies have noted a steady decline in qualified drivers to carry freight loads. Companies with driver shortages find it hard to deliver products on time and to take on additional loads, particularly with the added burden of tightened regulations on driving conditions including hours-of-service. Most open positions are in long-distance hauling, though many locally-operating firms are also hurting for drivers.
Oil exploration and engineering is another highly competitive field, due to booming growth and the many years of experience that employers require. Qualified directors Oil exploration directors must be able to juggle a number of projects at the same time and be intimate with the exploration and drilling process. Engineers, meanwhile, must also have experience running the drills in both traditional and tight formation drilling.
IT is a critical field, even in companies not directly providing IT-related products or services. Computer hardware, customer management systems, and proprietary systems all require support and maintenance, but as a relatively new industry there are not nearly enough graduates to meet every company’s needs. Of the skills required for the jobs on this list, students are most encouraged to develop at least a rudimentary IT skill set.
Sales positions require professionals with excellent people skills – the ability to connect with the customer, respond to a variety of questions and concerns, and effectively communicate the benefits of the product or service they are selling. Obstacles to filling sales positions include the perception that salespeople must be experts in their field, when they need only know enough to answer questions about the product; and commission-based pay that may not be enough for potential talent.
Content management including writing, editing, and curating social media content is in high demand. Employers want intelligent, creative, and driven team players with the talent to keep up with changing trends. Interpersonal skills are a huge plus.
Software development jobs are posted in scores every day. The industry is projected to offer more than one million jobs by 2020 in the United States alone, but they are suffering from a scarcity of talent coming out of universities. Employers for these positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field as well as varying amounts of experience with programming.
One complaint regarding these types of positions is that companies are choosing to compete with one another for established talent, rather than hiring at the ground level and cultivating talent from within. As the skills gap continues to widen, many companies may take that complaint seriously.
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