Though we’ve pointed out previously that adding skills can deliver a good return on investment for students, it’s worth noting that the same is true for mid-career workers–those already in the workforce.
In fact, adding a skill can make a tremendous difference in income to mid-career workers. Importantly, this holds true across a wide range of careers.
For example, if administrative assistants (who make an average of $32,000 annually) learn Salesforce – a cloud-based customer relationship management solution – Burning Glass Technologies analysis shows their average salary can go up to $37,000.
Business analysts who learn Tableau data visualization software can also get a significant raise, from $79,000 to $90,000.
By learning strategic planning skills, an engineering manager making $95,000 can be worth as much as $120,000.
At $106,000, product managers arguably make good money. But add Agile software development to their skill set and their salary can increase to $115,000.
Similarly, a graphic designer making $54,000 can be worth as much as $75,000 by learning HTML5, a language that tells computer browsers how to display content.
In the financial world, this would be called arbitrage, but most of us would just call it return on investment. You invest time and money to learn a skill, but that skill brings in more money in your paycheck over the long term.
It’s no surprise then that shorter, intensive courses that enable mid-career workers to add skills relatively quickly are becoming popular. While there has been a shakeout in this “boot camp” industry, these courses can help people pick up specific job skills that can augment traditional college learning. Short-term training allows people in the workforce to add skills relatively quickly and even start over in another field that promises to pay more. Many of these skills can be self-taught as well, using YouTube tutorials, books, or other free and low-cost options.
In all of these cases, however, the trick is in knowing where you want to go in your career, what employers need, and what skills will get you there. Human capital management isn’t just for employers. Becoming a savvy investor in your own career can make a big difference in your paycheck.
Skills that Boost Mid-Career Salaries
|Role||Average Advertised Salary||Added Skill||Salary with Skill|
|Engineering Manager||$95,000||Strategic Planning||$120,000|
|Facilities Manager||$58,000||Contract Management||$72,000|
|Financial Services Sales Agent (BA-level)||$62,000||Series 7||$75,000|
|HR Manager||$70,000||Project Management||$85,000|
|Supply Chain / Logistics Manager||$70,000||Forecasting||$83,000|
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