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Which skills should you learn while working from home?

30 Jul 2020

New research from SHL suggests that coding languages are the most in-demand and highest-earning skills that you can learn at home.

You might have found yourself with more time for professional development now that you’re working from home. But where should you start?

Digital hiring agency SHL looked at more than 1m LinkedIn job ads in the US and the UK in April 2020 to find the most in-demand and highest-paying job skills that can be learned from home, such as coding, design, marketing and language skills.

In the US, it found that seven of the 10 most in-demand skills were programming languages. Skills were ranked based on how often they appeared in job ads. SQL came out on top, appearing in almost 117,000 job postings. Other popular languages included Java, Python and C.

The average salary for each skill was sourced from Adzuna data, and was based on the average salaries for all job postings containing that skill. SHL said the top 10 highest-paying skills in the US all involved coding, with Golang (Go) being the highest-earning programming language. Jobs requiring Go had average salaries of more than $150,000 in the US. In 10th place was Java, which had an average salary of $125,000.

“Go is used by big-name brands such as Google and Twitter for large-scale network programming, and it is less likely to appear on a résumé than more common languages, such as JavaScript and Python,” SHL said in its report.

“According to Stack Overflow’s latest survey, only 8.2pc of developers worldwide use it.”

The UK’s highest-earning skills

In the UK, SHL found that job ads were looking for coding skills, French and German speakers and SEO expertise.

More than 18,000 ads cited SQL as a required skill. SEO skills were identified in 5,707 ads, making it the most in-demand marketing skill SHL came across.

PL/SQL (procedural language for SQL) was found to be the highest-earning skill in the UK, appearing on ads for jobs offering an average salary of £70,000. Though nine of the top 10 earners were coding languages, knowledge of cloud-based design programme Figma also featured.

On the back of its findings, SHL also recommended a number of resources to help people learn coding skills at home.

Free resources include Free Code Camp and Codewars, which offer opportunities for collaborative learning. Another option is Udemy, where you can find thousands of coding courses. SHL said Stephen Grider is one of the platform’s popular tutors worth following.

SHL’s findings

Infographic showing the most in-demand skills in the US.

Click to enlarge. Infographic: SHL

Infographic showing the highest-earning skills in the US.

Click to enlarge. Infographic: SHL

Infographic showing the most in-demand skills in the UK.

Click to enlarge. Infographic: SHL

Infographic showing the highest-earning skills in the UK.

Click to enlarge. Infographic: SHL

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Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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