New Workforce Report: Demand for Communications Skills Growing Across Occupations

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A trend report by nonprofit College for America highlights growing labor market demand for communications skills, driven by increased data analytics, social media, and mobile communications.

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Communications skills have always been valued, but these skills are becoming mission critical.

The demand for communications skills is expanding across occupations, driven by the decentralization of traditional communications roles and the continuing adoption of data analytics, social media, and mobile technologies—according to a new workforce trend report by the nonprofit College for America at Southern New Hampshire University.

The complimentary 16-page report, “Why Data, Social, and Mobile are Prioritizing Communications Skills in More Occupations,” is available for download here:

“Communications skills have always been valued, but these skills are becoming mission critical for an increasing number of professions as today’s communications become more complex,” said Melissa Goldberg, co-author and Senior Workforce Strategist at College for America. “The findings in this report have the potential to inform professionals who manage workforce development, recruitment, and succession planning policies; policymakers considering investments in workforce programs; and educators charged with curriculum development.”

The new workforce trend report focuses on the growing need for workers with communications skills and provides a snapshot of 6 occupations with projected growth rates ranging from 12–18%, including typical salary, education requirements, and common job activities. The six professions are:

  •     Fundraiser
  •     Human resources manager
  •     Marketing manager
  •     Public relations specialist
  •     Sales manager
  •     Training and development manager.

“Between mobile technology and social media, people today are always connected – including in the workplace and when dealing with customers and external stakeholders. This connectedness has altered how we consume information and interact with other people, brands, and organizations,” said Julian L. Alssid, co-author and Chief Workforce Strategist at College for America. “As a result, employees now need to have strong communication skills—even if they don’t have words like ‘marketing’ or ‘communications’ in their job title.”

Through an analysis of labor market data, real-time data, and interviews with communications professionals nationwide, the report also identified key detailed work activities—including establishing & maintaining interpersonal relationships, making decisions and solving problems, researching information, and thinking creatively—that are common across these high-growth roles and often easily transferable between job titles.

This report is the product of the workforce strategies team at College for America, which is dedicated to better-connecting higher education, workforce research, and labor market trends. College for America at Southern New Hampshire University is a nonprofit school that partners with employers nationwide to offer their employees access to low-cost, competency-based college degrees designed to be more applicable in the workforce. Earlier this summer, the school announced the first nationally available, fully accredited $10,000 bachelor’s degree, available to working adults through their employers. For more information, visit


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Linnae Selinga
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