Skills on the Move

PayScale recently released the newest Skills on the Move report. As a recruiter, I have to keep up on the current trends of what is hot, or not, in the market. So I dove right in to the report, seeking to glean the insights that help companies pay people right. Here’s what I found in the three major industries of Manufacturing, Technology, and Healthcare.


Equipment Maintenance vs SAP Plant Maintenance: Competition in the marketplace sapping cash out of SAP skillset.

Within the Manufacturing industry, our data reveals that Equipment Maintenance offers those with this skillset an average of 12.9% pay boost (up 6.2%) whereas SAP Plant Maintenance drops to only a 6.1% boost (down 1.7%). While both of these are manufacturing-related software skillsets, “Equipment Maintenance” is in reference to a type/genre of software that is designed to manage asset performance and capture things such as equipment tasks, maintenance, specifications, warranties, cost history, etc. where the latter is a specific software program designed to contain the functions of Plant Maintenance such as inspections, preventative maintenance, repairs, etc. of technical systems.

Based on this data, it’s fair to say that this industry is currently favoring more universally applicable manufacturing software skillsets and experience over program-specific expertise. This could be a reflection of the fact that this industry is becoming saturated with software options like never before. The increased competition in this space seems to be giving the household-name ‘big dogs’ such as SAP a run for their money (and SAP SMEs a reason to run… for their money…), according to Dice’s What’s Hot (and Not) in Tech Skills which refers to SAP’s demand temperature as “tepid.” Ouch!


Django vs Apple Xcode: A bite out of the big APPle.

The Technology industry seems to be diversifying similarly. Django is a free and open-source Python web framework used for building web applications. The PayScale report shows that Django affords its proficient users a sizable 20.1% pay boost (up 7.3%)! Conversely, Xcode is a for-profit tool, free only to users already bought-in to Apple programs such as ‘Mac Developer’ and ‘iOS Developer.’ Apple Xcode is designed for creating apps only applicable to Apple products and has taken a notable dip in pay boost, falling to only 13.5% (down 6.6%).

Both Django and Xcode are tools designed to create and code apps, confirming what we already knew to be true: it’s all about apps out there, and the more mobile the better. This data, however, speaks to the current technology talent market seeming to favor open-source, speed-to-market, and more universal application. In addition to being free and open-source, Django operates “with a ‘batteries-included’ philosophy” (Full Stack Python) meaning that it’s designed to allow for speedy app creation because it doesn’t require developers to recreate the wheel.

With the app marketplace becoming more and more saturated, being the first to the forefront is becoming an essential competitive advantage – the need for speed is clear. In addition to our data revealing this Python-based product’s pay boost, Dice’s “What’s Hot (and Not) in Tech Skills” calls out Python as a “Hot” skill in high demand, whereas Apple rates a bit breezy at “Cool.” And, as we all know, demand leads to dollars. Xcode expert? Don’t panic! Django is free to use, and has excellent tutorials and documentation. (Full Stack Python).


Utilization Review (UR) vs Neurology Clinic: Process efficiency gets on your nerves.

Utilization Review (UR) refers to a type of process aimed at ultimate operational efficiency within the healthcare field by essentially auditing medical care to limit unnecessary medical procedures/tests, etc. Medscape describes UR as “a safeguard against unnecessary and inappropriate medical care,” allowing medical professionals to “review patient care from perspectives of medical necessity, quality of care, appropriateness of decision-making, place of service, and length of hospital stay.” Neurology Clinic refers to the skillset/experience of working within a neurology clinic… ‘nuff said.

Here we see another industry favoring a skillset with broader/more universal application over specific/specialty skills, with UR offering a 11.8% pay boost (up 3.6%) in contrast to a 4.7% boost (down 2.55) that Neurology Clinic gives.

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Universal APPlication vs SME Specificity

The verdict is in: skillsets that are more universally applicable/transferrable and focus on speed and overall efficiency are guilty… of being in higher demand and earning a higher dollar. Manufacturing is focused on software skillsets, the more universally applicable the better. Technology is focused on app development, the more mobile the better, also leaning towards more universally applicable rather than Apple iOS-specific. Healthcare is focused on efficiency optimizing process skills, versus specialty clinic experience.

We’re in an age where all employees are expected to wear more than one functional hat. When was the last time that you met a Receptionist? Like… a real receptionist whose sole responsibility is to act as a phone switchboard for a company and doesn’t have a million other administrative responsibilities? And, the era of staying at one company for 15+ years is in the rearview. It’s no surprise that there’s a demand for more universally transferrable skillsets that speak to a more well-rounded worker.



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