Inside Higher Ed: What Employers Want | Burning Glass Technologies

“Matt Sigelman, CEO of Burning Glass Technologies, a labor market and job skills analytics software firm that was not involved in the report, said his own data support much of those gathered by the AAC&U, especially in light of COVID-19.

“COVID has led to an increased demand for advanced skills generally,” Sigelman said, adding that he’s seen an increased employer emphasis on automation. The demand for advanced job skills has also “stimulated demand for bedrock liberal arts skills.”

Jobs that are the “most data-driven and technology-enabled actually request more liberal arts skills than the average job,” he continued. These jobs are 50 percent more likely to require writing, 50 percent more likely to request research skills and 40 percent more likely to ask for problem solving, for instance, he said.

Liberal arts skills “are the ticket up, regardless of the profession,” Sigelman said. “The further north in one’s career arc, the more valuable liberal arts skills, such as communication, prove to be.”

Employers are also willing to pay a salary premium for liberals arts skills, he said. Engineering and information technology professionals can expect to make an additional $14,000 annually for leadership skills, $12,000 for presentation skills and $2,000 for writing skills, based on a median salary of $81,000, according to information from Burning Glass.”