Hybrid jobs are multi-disciplinary, specialized roles that require a wide array of skills from different fields. For instance, digital marketing managers need to combine creativity with data analytics. Successful software engineers need design instincts in addition to their technical skills.
Hybrid jobs are growing twice as fast as non-hybrid jobs and they pay 20-40% more, according to a 2019 report by Burning Glass Technologies, a job market analytics company.
In order to prepare themselves for future job market demands (and to have the competitive advantage of higher salaries and more job opportunities), students should develop both technical and soft skills — here’s how.
How to prepare for the hybrid job market
Many hybrid jobs require skills that use both the right brain (creativity) and left brain (logic). While everyone has natural strengths and abilities that they should enhance and continually develop, students should also challenge themselves by taking courses in other areas.
For example, students who are naturally right-brained are more likely to select rigorous courses in art, language and music. But they should also consider taking courses such as computer science, engineering and business to develop their analytical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Students who are naturally more left-brained are more likely to select rigorous courses in math, science, engineering and computer science. These students should also consider taking courses like marketing, speech, journalism, creative writing, art, music, philosophy and psychology to develop their creativity and language skills.
Ideally, students will find jobs that mostly align with their skills, personality and interests. But it’s also important for students to align their skills with the future hybrid job economy. Parents should encourage students to choose a holistic balance of courses that play to their strengths, as well as ones in areas that they haven’t been naturally drawn to.
Soft-skill development is imperative
According to a 2020 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, problem solving and teamwork are the top skills that employers say they look for when hiring. They also look for employees with a strong work ethic, as well as analytical, leadership, and written and verbal communication skills.
While these soft skills often aren’t taught in traditional classroom settings, they can be learned and developed.
Professional learning platforms such as Coursera can help students develop these soft skills. Some courses to consider include:
- How to Write a Resume (offered by SUNY online)
- Successful Interviewing (offered by University of Maryland)
- Communication in the 21st Century Workplace (offered by University of California, Irvine)
- Writing Professional Email and Memos (offered by University System of Georgia)
- Improving Communication Skills (offered by Wharton University of Pennsylvania)
Beyond these courses, students can further develop their soft skills by seeking support from their high school counselors and/or college career advising offices. Alternatively, contact My College Planning Team to set up a meeting with college/career counselor Paige Buttels.