Revealed: The skills that will get you jobs with the highest salaries

 
Joe Curtis
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Here are the jobs to train for if you want to thrive once the robots take our jobs
Here are the jobs to train for if you want to thrive once the robots take our jobs (Source: Getty)

Automation isn’t just putting lower-earning jobs at risk; it’s a threat to higher-earning roles too.


While AI is putting the likes of customer service agents’ roles are under threat , the technology could replace up to half of banking jobs too, according to Barclays’ former boss Antony Jenkins.

Read more: Technology could replace half of banking jobs, warns ex-Barclays boss

Meanwhile, the Bank of England expects automation to lead to a “hollowing out” of the job market, saying people will need to learn new skills to find work.

So if the robots are taking your job, what should you train to become?

Luckily, UK charity Nesta has done the hard work of deciding what skills to learn for you.


Its analysis of 41m job adverts has helped it rank and classify skills for UK jobs based on the salaries they command and the potential for growth in their respective industries.

Two of the top skills groups - data engineering and web development - show IT skills are very much in demand, while roles in the ailing shipping industry and (alas) journalism are ripe for automation.

Employers are most in need of digital skills that underpin roles that are creative and varied, focused on problem-solving over routine tasks, Nesta found.

Principal policy researcher at Nesta, Eliza Easton, said climate change, globalisation and even Brexit are among the factors affecting the skills the UK needs.

She added:

“We have created the UK’s first publicly available data-driven skills taxonomy because, more than ever, we need to create an informed labour market. Informed in the sense that education providers, workers, students, employers and policy makers understand how skills are changing and are empowered to react to these changes.

“New technologies may put jobs at risk but one of the great benefits of the technological revolution is that we now have the opportunity to create a labour market fuelled by data and evidence. We now need to act on this evidence to protect the most vulnerable to these shifts in the labour market - ensuring they have access to lifelong learning and retraining schemes.”

The top five skills groups with the highest salaries and highest growth are:

  1. Data engineering

  2. IT security operations

  3. Marketing research

  4. App development

  5. Web development

Read more: Net migration of EU citizens into the UK falls to six-year low

The five skills groups with the lowest salaries and lowest growth are:

  1. Shipping and warehouse operations

  2. Medical administration and coding

  3. General sales

  4. Archiving and libraries

  5. Journalism and writing

Jobs containing the most in-demand skills are:

  1. Social work and care-giving

  2. General sales

  3. Software development

  4. Office administration

  5. Driving and automotive maintenance

  6. Business management

  7. Accounting and financial management

  8. Business analysis and IT projects

  9. Accounting administration

  10. Retail

You can see what skills you need for your dream job by typing it into Nesta’s UK skills taxonomy on its website.