Special Report

22 Jobs With the Fastest-Changing Skill Requirements

Certain jobs evolve with time — sometimes the nature of the job changes, and sometimes the necessary knowledge does. The demands from workers therefore can shift as well, in some cases quite rapidly, requiring workers to update their skills fairly frequently in response to the changing environment. Workers in such jobs often develop expertise in new areas — be it through pursuit of new tasks at work or through additional learning.

“Day by day, skill by skill, the basic building blocks of a job are repositioned, until the role looks much different than it did just five years ago,” said a recent report from The Burning Glass Institute, a Boston-based research group. “Yet the job title — and the worker in the job — may remain the same.”

These days, this is especially true of jobs directly involved with the digital environment, from coding to social media. (Also see, these are the highest paying jobs you can get without a college degree.)

A computer scientist might need to learn a new programming language that did not exist just a few years earlier. Data engineers might want to pursue new advances in the related area of data science, making them more valuable to employers for having skill sets in two closely aligned fields. Advertising managers a decade ago needed less experience in online marketing, such as through websites and video streams, than they do today.

Jobs whose skill expectations change rapidly over a short period of time are considered to have a high rate of so-called skill disruption. This rate of disruption varies by job type. For instance, the skill disruptions for a music recording artist is lower than for a website administrator.

To identify the jobs at greatest risk of skill disruption, 24/7 Wall st. reviewed the skills disruption index for 678 occupations from the May 2022 report “Shifting Skills, Moving Targets, and Remaking the Workforce,” published by The Burning Glass Institute, a research organization focused on labor in the United States. The report, which covered 2016 through the third quarter of 2021, measures the amount of skill change in an occupation on a scale from 0-100, with 0 being the least amount of disruption and 100 being the greatest.

About 37% of the top 20 skills requested by employers have changed from 2016 to 2021, according to the report. Jobs with the highest level of skill disruption include industrial psychologist, industrial designer, financial quantitative analyst, and robotic engineer. As thes job titles suggest, jobs with high rates of skill disruption tend to pay better than those with lower rates of disruption. (Here are 65 jobs with six figure salaries.)

For data engineers, the occupation that scores 100 on the index, close to 75% of the top skills often required for that occupation have changed over the five-year review period.

Here are the occupations with the highest rates of skill disruption.

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