Top 10 Computer Science Skills That Could Sharpen Non-Computer Science Careers

What do design, marketing, engineering, and data analysis have in common? They're all careers where employers increasingly demand computer science skills.

Roughly two-thirds of the highest-paying and fastest-growing jobs in these fields now demand computer science skills, according to our new report with Oracle Academy, "Rebooting Jobs: How Computer Science Skills Spread in the Job Market."

This is an outgrowth of the trend toward "hybrid jobs," or roles that combine skill sets from different fields. A mobile app developer is a good example, demanding skills in programming, design, marketing, and UI/UX. These roles can be hard to fill, because few training programs teach all of these skills.

Only 18% of these jobs ask for a computer science degree, and that is another indication of how the job market is changing. Increasingly, the labor market is about specific skills rather than degrees or jobs. The roles we examined don't require a comprehensive knowledge of computer science, just the specific abilities relevant to that job.

For example, the advent of big data has led to major changes in marketing, as companies try to target customers more precisely, measuring what's working and what isn't. That means having the skills to program databases, manipulate data, and explain it using data visualization.

The exact skills in demand depend on the field, but overall we identified a set of skills that had the fastest growth in demand since 2014, and those that commanded the biggest salary premium for workers who had them. In a wide range of careers, these computer science skills will serve you well.

Top Skills by Growth, 2014-16Top Skills by Average Advertised Salary

There are a number of ways for workers to pick up these skills such as courses at community colleges, boot camps, online course providers. For those still in school, this reinforces the calls from many quarters to provide "computer science for all." In some of the fields we examined, such as engineering, it's common for students to take computer science courses, but it's much less so in fields like design and marketing. Skipping those courses now could lock students out of potential careers—and higher salaries.

You can read the full report here.

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