21 Most Valuable Career Skills: Career Development, Guidance, Planning

by DerdriuMarriner

The 21 most valuable career skills turn being good at and putting in time on a job into career development, guidance and planning for promotions and raises.

21 Most Valuable Career Skills Attract Promotions, Raises

The 21 most valuable career skills advance their practitioners through “know-how that pays off the most at work” in terms of promotions and raises, according to the June 2016 issue of MONEY.

Co-authors Megan Leonhardt, Kerri Anne Renzulli and Cybele Weisser base their identification of the winning skills set upon collaborative research with the compensation data site PayScale.com. The list comes from analyses, carried out through the combined teamwork of MONEY and PayScale.com, of 15,000 job titles for 54 million employees in 350 industries. The analyses determine what skills from a set of 2,300 direct employees of similar age, experience, location and title toward career advancement and pay raise opportunities.

The co-authors explain that “Of course, knowing which skills are in demand is the first step” since “Next, you’ll need to go out and acquire them.”

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Kathy Lange ‏@kwl111 tweets June 7, 2016 that "SAS is one of the 21 most valuable career skills (http://time.com ). Get started learning SAS, FOR FREE!"

9:31 AM - 7 Jun 2016
9:31 AM - 7 Jun 2016

21 Most Valuable Career Skills Favor Data Smarts


Keeping up with the “technological, economic, and social forces that are transforming so many industries” furnishes the common link behind the 21 most valuable career skills.

The skills give their practitioners as much as 6.1 percent boosts in pay in the case of the top-ranking ability to understand statistical analysis systems (SAS). The last of the skills, new business development through “bringing in partners and brokering revenue-generating deals,” has the possibility of increasing employee paychecks by 3.0 percent. Between the extremes is a series of skills sets that support “making sense of big data,” “managing the bottom line,” thinking strategically and “wrangling new tech.”

Logistics-, marketing- and operations management-related data mining and search engine marketing join contract negotiation for business, finance and management in warranting 5.0 and 5.1 percent raises.


Shaun ‏@shaunalger tweets that "Money Magazine 21 Most Valuable Career Skills" by @shaunalger on @LinkedIn"

2:28 PM - 23 May 2016
2:28 PM - 23 May 2016

21 Most Valuable Career Skills Kindle Field-Specific Expertise


Customer service analysis, financial analysis, sales of complex technology, software development, strategic planning, and strategic project management keep employees eligible for 4.0 to 4.9 percent raises. Business analysis, computer-aided design, forecasting, IT security, lean manufacturing patient education, and risk and systems, applications and products (SAP) management land 3.3 to 3.9 percent raises.

All of the 21 most valuable career skills merge to foster fluency in analyzing data, comprehending and predicting losses and profits, and fine-tuning field-specific information technology. Paul McDonald, Robert Half staffing firm senior executive director, notes a photographer’s advancement by understanding creativity and “the finances and budgeting of the entire” photo agency. Katie Bardaro, PayScale.com’s data analytics vice president, observes that Epic software-fluent health care and Workday-fluent human resources employees respectively earn 8.5 and 9.6 percent higher salaries.


Money ‏@MONEY tweets May 19, 2016, that "Give yourself a raise: Here are the 21 most valuable career skills now http://money.us/27EWs9a 8:00 PM - 19 May 2016"

8:00 PM - 19 May 2016
8:00 PM - 19 May 2016

21 Most Valuable Career Skills Pay Faster, Longer


Education through accredited coursework, in-house training and online classes, educational experience through mentorships, and experience through volunteering prod acquiring the 21 most valuable career skills forward. Thirty-five hours of coursework and three years’ experience before passing the $555.00, 200-question Project Management Institute exam qualifies employees for formal credentials conducive to pay raises. CareerBuilder surveys of over 2,300 hiring and human resources managers reveal that employers may offer go-getters free access to Lynda-com’s multi-unit “learning paths” and online tutorials. Samantha Raniere, executive coach in San Francisco, California, states that “deep knowledge of the business” must precede mentorship with “someone who is really good at it.”

Savvy career development, guidance and planning ultimately turn around “understanding the business purpose” served by doing jobs well, according to David Hayes, Boston-area recruiter in Massachusetts.


Money @MONEY tweets May 19, 2016 that "The 21 most valuable career skills: 4. Data modeling 5. Contract negotiation More: http://money.us/1U2QfcU"

2:41 PM - 19 May 2016
2:41 PM - 19 May 2016



My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.


Money reporter Megan Leonhardt co-authored "The 21 Most Valuable Career Skills Now" with Cybele Weisser, Money's contributing editor, and Kerri Anne Renzulli, Money's family finance reporter.

Megan Leonhardt's Facebook profile picture
Megan Leonhardt's Facebook profile picture

Sources Consulted


Weisser, Cybele; Renzulli, Kerri Anne; and Leonhardt, Megan. June 2016. “The 21 Most Valuable Career Skills.” Money, Volume 45, Number 5, pp. 42-50.


Money magazine's family finance reporter Kerri Anne Renzulli teamed with Cybele Weisser, Money's contributing editor, and Money reporter Megan Leonhardt to identify "The 21 Most Valuable Career Skills Now."

Kerri Anne Renzulli's Facebook profile picture
Kerri Anne Renzulli's Facebook profile picture
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

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DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 06/08/2016, DerdriuMarriner
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katiem2 on 10/19/2018

Derdriu, Thank you I will pass that along.

DerdriuMarriner on 10/18/2018

katiem2, Thank you for stopping by and liking what you see. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree so your daughters have nature and nurture on their side ;-D. You have my best wishes personally and professionally for them and you.

katiem2 on 10/18/2018

My daughter is going to a second interview today, it is 3 hours long. She has another second interview tomorrow, it is very interesting how the interview processes are now. She has graduated with two degrees, one in neuroscience and the other psychology. People say it is hard to get a job nowadays, but she was determined to get a job in her field, she has had many exciting prospects and I am confident she will chose between one of the two job offers she will no doubt be offered over the next few days. I remembered this blog and came back to review. It is a useful tool, thank you. I am convinced it is this resource that helped her become so marketable in her field and near landing a job in it without a few short months.

DerdriuMarriner on 04/03/2017

katiem2, It's tough to get to the top and stay there, and from what I've seen it's exactly the way you put it. It's the one who juggles everything, from work ethic to people skills, since yes, it's clear who's "hardly working."

katiem2 on 03/26/2017

I feel, been my experience, that the most effective people work all the tools, have good people skills, follow through and a good overall work ethic, work being the key word. It is obvious who works!

DerdriuMarriner on 03/06/2017

sandyspider, Yes, that's exactly it! I've gotten back into magazine reading and found that magazines such as Garden Gate, Money, Real Simple and Yoga Journal have very helpful, practical insights on everything, from cutting down on clutter to progressing professionally.

sandyspider on 03/04/2017

Often we don't realize our own skills and how to put it all together for that career.

DerdriuMarriner on 06/11/2016

blackspanielgallery, Definitely! It's knowing what the employable skills are and knowing how to have them and show that you have them.

blackspanielgallery on 06/10/2016

Career skills can be very important when a person starts out, and also when career changes are needed. One must emphasize these in applying for a position.

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