Top Skills for 2022

Published on Jan 25, 2022

Updated on Jun 29, 2023

Written by Ethan Oldham


The top skills for 2022 provide a vocabulary for talking about coming changes in the labor market—and the labor market is changing fast. Remote work is permanently altering where companies hire. Labor shortages are causing a massive spike in wages and an explosion of new and improved hiring tactics. And on top of it all, technological innovations are advancing at an increasingly rapid rate.

Changes in the labor market call for changes in the workforce. Where should you focus your talent acquisition and development efforts to keep up? This year’s top-growing skills indicate that companies should look for future-ready leaders in the new year.

Want more info on the trends that will shape 2022? Download the 2022 Talent Playbook!

Top Skills for 2022: Human Skills

Human skills apply across multiple industries, indicating the general personas that companies are looking for. The big takeaway here is that, going into 2022, companies are looking for leaders, people who are good at people. Let’s dive a little deeper into the top five human skills.

Top Human Skills*
1. Companionship (33%)
2. Critical Thinking (18%)
3. Goal Setting (15%)
4. Self-Starter (15%)
5. Self-Motivation (15%)

*Annualized growth since 2016

Companionship is the skill of providing care and support for a medical patient, often in their own home. It requires compassion, empathy, and attention to detail. While uniquely related to healthcare, the rise of companionship points to another, deeper trend: the importance of people skills—humanity—in today’s world.

Top Job Titles*
       1. Caregivers (89,159)
       2. In-Home Caregivers (31,531)
       3. Companion Caregivers (22,509)
       4. Home Health Aides (16,312)
       5. Caregivers/Home Health Aides (15,052)

Top Companies Posting*
       1. CareInHomes (83,956)
       2. Home Instead (73,116)
       3. Help at Home (7,134)
       4. Connected Home Care (6,407)
       5. Visiting Angels (5,713)

*# of job postings since 2016

Critical Thinking is the skill of analysis, taking information and breaking it down into its essential parts. It enables employees to effectively manage themselves and others by producing a full-orbed understanding of the what and why of something. Whether you’re looking for people to help patients in a hospital or run finances in a skyscraper, critical thinking will fuel intelligent problem-solving and decision-making.

Top Job Titles
       1. Registered Nurses (43,620)
       2. Medical Surgical Registered Nurses (33,066)
       3. Sales Associates (23,932)
       4. ICU Registered Nurses (23,071)
       5. Project Managers (19,316)

Top Companies Posting
       1. Intuit (88,612)
       2. Bank of America (56,855)
       3. Hospital Corporation of America (55,954)
       4. Cleveland Clinic (55,383)
       5. UC Health (40,034)

Goal Setting applies in two directions. First, it applies to the individual: can an employee establish an objective, then reach it? Second, it applies to others: can an employee cast a vision and motivate a team of people toward that vision? By using a workforce’s talents to its fullest extent, the skill of setting and achieving meaningful goals creates a more productive and fulfilling workplace.

Top Job Titles
       1. Department Managers (22,795)
       2. Registered Nurses (20,955)
       3. Store Managers (10,965)
       4. General Managers (10,528)
       5. Style Advisors (8,772)

Top Companies Posting
       1. DaVita (31,706)
       2. McDonald’s (23,517)
       3. Raising Cane’s (14,368)
       4. AdventHealth (13,610)
       5. Justice (11,895)

Self-Starters don’t need other people to tell them to get up and go. They’re their own catalysts—they put fuel in their own tanks. Self-starting is a kind of self-sufficiency, an independence of action that doesn’t sacrifice teamwork. As factors like remote work make the employee experience increasingly insular, the ability to take initiative will become increasingly important.

Top Job Titles
     1. Administrative Assistants (55,229)
     2. Accountants (26,224)
     3. Staff Accountants (26,148)
     4. Sales Representatives (24,476)
     5. Outside Sales Representatives (23,650)

Top Companies Posting
       1. Macy’s (157,402)
       2. Robert Half (153,949)
       3. Bank of America (44,304)
       4. Randstad (34,289)
       5. Mutual of Omaha (28,005)

Self-Motivation is the skill of maintaining focus and high performance without being told. If self-starters don’t need people to tell them to get up and go, self-motivators don’t need people to tell them to keep going. And again, now that remote work is removing some of the previous pressures to perform (e.g. consistent contact with coworkers/manager), employees who can motivate themselves are essential.

Top Job Titles
       1. Sales Representatives (76,255)
       2. Customer Service Representative (54,906)
       3. Administrative Assistants (49,760)
       4. Account Executives (42,567)
       5. Sales Associates (41,238)

Top Companies Posting
       1. State Farm (109,826)
       2. Intuit (81,090)
       3. Robert Half (80,089)
       4. Bank of America (59,363)
       5. GPAC (54,905)

Top Skills for 2022: Technical Skills

Technical skills are unique to specific jobs, indicating the particular abilities that companies are looking for. The big takeaway here is that companies are looking for future-ready workers, employees who know how to handle the latest technologies. 

Top Technical Skills*
DevSecOps (221%)
Vue.js (166%)
Kubernetes (109%)
Looker Data Platform (102%)
TensorFlow (99%)

*Annualized growth since 2016

DevSecOps is an approach to software development that integrates security practices into every stage of the process. As company security becomes more and more a matter of cybersecurity, synthesizing cybersecurity measures into your company’s workflow will become more and more important.

Top Job Titles*
       1. DevSecOps Engineers (10,944)
       2. DevOps Engineers (4,024)
       3. Software Engineers (2,606)
       4. Cloud Security Engineers (1,695)
       5. Cloud Engineers (1,351)

Top Companies Posting*
       1. Deloitte (2,630)
       2. Raytheon Technologies (2,383)
       3. Leidos Holdings (2,054)
       4. General Dynamics (2,020)
       5. Peraton (1,898)

*# of job postings since 2016

Vue.js is a tool for creating user interfaces that looks to minimize the time and effort spent in development while maximizing the flexibility and speed of the result. The growth of Vue.js points to the expanding uses of web applications and the ongoing refinements being made to their creation and maintenance.

Top Job Titles
       1. Software Engineers (11,532)
       2. Full Stack Developers (7,328)
       3. Front End Engineers (6,515)
       4. Front End Developers (6,238)
       5. Software Developers (6,001)

Top Companies Posting
       1. CyberCoders (7,669)
       2. Robert Half (6,509)
       3. Jobot (2,624)
       4. Pearson (2,383)
       5. Array (2,158)

Kubernetes is an open source system for tackling large-scale software development projects effectively and efficiently. It’s used in a wide variety of contexts, including website maintenance, cloud-based products and services, and machine learning/artificial intelligence.

Top Job Titles
       1. DevOps Engineers (58,523)
       2. Software Engineers (26,978)
       3. Site Reliability Engineers (15,659)
       4. Java Developers (11,589)
       5. Cloud Engineers (9,087)

Top Companies Posting
       1. IBM (13,779)
       2. CyberCoders (12,634)
       3. Deloitte (9,495)
       4. Kforce (6,380)
       5. Jobot (6,025)

Looker is a business intelligence platform designed to make data visualizations accessible and intelligible to anyone in a company. In a world drenched with data, the capacity to communicate complex information to both specialists and non-specialists is key to unifying your company’s vision and tactics.

Top Job Titles
       1. Data Analysts (3,424)
       2. Data Engineers (1,667)
       3. Business Intelligence Analysts (1,436)
       4. Data Scientists (1,410)
       5. Data Engineering Managers (1,161)

Top Companies Posting
       1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1,760)
       2. Square (933)
       3. Looker Group (791)
       4. CyberCoders (605)
       5. Disney (528)

TensorFlow is an open source library for developing and training machine learning models. Its applications are extensive: analyzing medical scans, tagging photos on social media, constructing architecture models, and more. As the world becomes more and more automated, the need for tools like TensorFlow will continue to grow.

Top Job Titles
       1. Data Scientists (13,521)
       2. Machine Learning Engineers (8,275)
       3. Software Engineers (2,483)
       4. Deep Learning Engineers (2,304)
       5. Machine Learning Software Engineers (2,146)

Top Companies Posting
       1. Deloitte (4,056)
       2. CyberCoders (2,967)
       3. Amazon (2,422)
       4. IBM (2,128)
       5. Microsoft (1,415)

How to hire the top skills for 2022

Given the high demand, hiring these skills can be tricky. It’s often easier to build them within your current workforce rather than track them down externally. If you do need to hire outside your company, consider related skills with less demand that can be developed into the skills you need.

Along the way, keep tabs on whether your company’s talent is moving with or against the current. Benchmark your competition and continually monitor which skills are emerging. For more information on the top skills and occupations for 2022 (as well as other trends like remote work, wage increases, and hiring incentives), check out the 2022 Talent Playbook.

The labor market is changing. But that can be an opportunity as well as a challenge. By keying in to the latest talent trends and developing your workforce accordingly, you can ride the wave of change—and come out on top.

To get in touch with one of our experts about how to hire successfully and strategically in the new year, fill out the form below!


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