Talent shortage: The in-demand skills employers have difficulty hiring for in six hot sectors

Want to make sure that your career has longevity? You need to keep up with the latest trends and technologies of your industry so that you always have the in-demand skills employers are seeking.

We recently reported on the most in-demand skills in Canadian job postings. Because those weren’t broken down by sector, the most in-demand skills tended to be ‘soft skills.’ Teamwork, communications, problem solving, were among the most frequently listed in job postings across industries.

Those are essential skills, and demonstrating them will set you apart from the candidates who don’t have them. However, if you don’t have the technical skills to actually do the job, no amount of communications and teamwork will get you hired. So, what are employers looking for right now?

Data analysis firm, Strayer@Work has put out their 2017 Skills Index. The team used in-depth analysis of job ads compared with candidates profiles on LinkedIn to reveal skills gaps between what employers are looking to hire vs. what job seekers can do. They’ve also broken down the skills gaps by sector.

    “Understanding what skills are in highest demand and shortest supply not only helps employees plot their next career moves, it also helps employers how to maximize their training and developments investments,” said Karl McDonnel CEO of Strayer Education.

Having up-to-date information about the most in-demand skills can help you plan which skills to acquire to stay relevant on the job market for the foreseeable future, and let you know what to highlight on your resume to catch the eye of potential employers.

Automation is threatening to replace many of today’s jobs in retail, hospitality, healthcare and many other sectors. At the same time, analytics and technology skills are becoming more and more important across industries from blue collar to high finance.

The widest skills gaps between job postings and resumes by sector:

Information technology

  • Relationship Building
  • Performance Management
  • Business Acumen
  • IT Audit
  • Scheduling
  • Teamwork

Financial Services

  • Programming
  • Operational Planning
  • &L Management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Warehouse Architecture
  • SQL
  • Crystal Reports

Food and Beverage

  • Data Analytics
  • Competitive Analytics
  • Market Research
  • Problem Solving
  • Organizational & Prioritization Skills
  • Employee Training
  • Advertising
  • Supervisory Skills
  • Written Communication


  • Statistics
  • Community Outreach
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Space Planning
  • Branding
  • JDA
  • Sketching
  • Categorization
  • Shopper Marketing
  • Multi-Channel Retail


  • Enterprise Software
  • Programming
  • Strategy
  • Analysis
  • Data Administration
  • Cross-Functional Team Leadership
  • Program Management
  • Project Management
  • Oncology

Travel and Tourism

  • Wireless Technologies
  • CPM Scheduling
  • Enterprise Software
  • Mobile Applications
  • Mobile Advertising
  • Interactive Advertising
  • Process Improvement
  • Operating Systems
  • Analysis

“Even as more jobs become automated, from food preparation to healthcare delivery, there will continue to be a need for people who can manage these systems and make strategic business decisions,” said Terry McDonough CEO of Strayer@Work.

I’ve only listed the highlights of the 2017 Skills Index here. You can read the complete list of skills shortages across even more sectors over at skillsindex.com.

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