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7 skills employers will look for in 2022 and beyond

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay

As we inch closer to 2022, it pays to have your new year’s career plans in place. These could include new goals, changes in lifestyle, pursuing a new industry, or even just simply an upgraded skillset.  

Through new technologies and field developments, in-demand workplace skills are constantly evolving, often differing from one year to the next. Not keeping up-to-date on the latest employment trends could risk your skill set lagging behind, hampering your potential for new industry opportunities.

Below, we break down the top seven skills Australian employers are after in 2022 (and beyond) – and how training with Upskilled can help.

What skills will be in demand in 2022?

  1. Programming.
  2. Critical/analytical thinking.
  3. Project management.
  4. Leadership.
  5. Communication and collaboration.
  6. Creativity and innovation.
  7. Digital marketing.

1. Programming.

With the digital field experiencing exponential growth, the need to “code” has grown ever-more pertinent. Not only are these skills valuable for the multiple new tech roles cropping up on the market – but they can also help one navigate the looming impacts of automation.

Research expects AI and automated systems to shrink 11% of Australia’s current job market (compromising about 1.5 million workers). Coding skills not only demonstrate your ability to keep up with the times, but maintains your competitive edge in an increasingly digitised job landscape.

2. Critical/analytical thinking.

The ability to break down and analyse complex situations is invaluable to any employer, regardless of industry. Such skills help in key decision-making, problem-solving, and in troubleshooting project roadblocks or failures. They also help in taking calculated risks and planning for future business growth.

Whatever your role or position may be, having sharp analytical and critical thinking skills demonstrates your potential as a leader, your ability to strategise, and your ability to accomplish goals while embracing unexpected change.

3. Project management.

As the economy emerges from pandemic lockdowns, companies will increasingly need project management talents to bring their business plans to fruition. According to the Australian Institute of Project Management, the job market is currently flourishing with opportunities for aspiring project professionals; with roles in ICT and construction leading demand.

While having this skill set can equip for plenty of lucrative roles in the project management field, they’re also transferable skills to have for any industry – helping efficiently and productively turn project or program plans into reality.

4. Leadership.

Behind every successful team, project, and company is an innovative, open-minded leader. It’s no surprise the skill remains as one of the most sought-after abilities by employers – and 2022 is no different.

Being an effective leader demonstrates your reliability, influence, emotional intelligence, and people skills as an employee. It shows that you’re a critical decision-maker, a calculated risk-taker, and a creative person who likes thinking out-of-the-box. By having strong leadership abilities, you can help manage teams and motivate colleagues towards success, both invaluable skills to have for any workplace.

5. Communication and collaboration.


Without effective communication, most company projects are doomed to fail.

The skills to clearly articulate your ideas – while actively listening to those of others – are imperative to ensuring excellent teamwork and collaboration. They remain as staple, in-demand skills of any industry, no matter the year. Laborious, repetitive tasks may be automated; but the ability to connect with others, to encourage those who need, and to offer graceful, constructive criticism remain an exclusively human skill set.

6. Creativity and innovation.

Just as AI has yet to take over effective “people skills”, a creative, innovative mindset remains in-demand for the years to come. The ability to think “outside the box” can lead to lucrative new opportunities and business growth, helping your company stay competitive and ahead of the curve.

Additionally, an innovative mindset leads to quicker, more efficient problem-solving; and can help streamline existing company processes to achieve greater productivity.

7. Digital marketing.

Of course, it’s still important to consider “future-proofing” your skills for an increasingly digital future. Online marketing skills will remain high in-demand as businesses continue shifting to social media and e-commerce platforms – a trend further fuelled by pandemic lockdowns and the rise of telecommuting. In fact, statistics from Social Media College show that digital marketing has grown 30% faster than other marketing roles.

As with the other technical skills mentioned, training in this area not only brings opportunity in the field of social media and online marketing – but they equip you with a competitive, transferable skill set valued in any modern business.

How to develop these skills

Developing these skills can be as simple as independently practicing them. For example, pursuing your own passion projects can help exercise your critical thinking abilities, your creativity, and project management skills. Attending networking events and meeting new people is a great way to build on your people skills and communication abilities.

However, the more technical skill sets may require a side of formal education as well as experience. Training yourself in digital marketing or programming, for instance, can be effectively done by pursuing a course or two. Plenty are now available online (such as those offered by Upskilled), and lead to nationally-recognised qualifications that can help you stand out in the job market.

How to demonstrate these skills to an employer


It’s not enough to develop these skills – come job interviews or internships, it’s also important to effectively demonstrate them to your potential employer.

Having a portfolio of past projects handy can help persuade them as you apply for your role. Not only do these offer solid proof of your skills, but they also demonstrate your passion for the field. They additionally offer a glimpse of the experience you’ve built so far, and the creative ideas you can bring to the table.

Once you’ve acquired the role, the internship, or the apprenticeship, be sure to further demonstrate your abilities by taking initiative in the workplace. Offer your skills or expertise to any relevant projects or opportunities that may emerge, show your ability to independently solve problems, and offer a helping hand when and where necessary. By applying your skills in ways that bring positive change to the workplace, you’ll establish your irreplaceable value and competitive edge as an industry professional.

Build the skills you’ll need for the new year!

Upskilled currently offers a wide selection of online courses across Australia’s most in-demand sectors – from programs in IT to those in community services. Brush up on these seven key skills through short, “bootcamp” courses or through specialised, nationally-recognised qualifications.
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