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Middle-class jobs are disappearing for people that don’t at least know Excel

AP/Susan Montoya
The spreadsheet wins.
By Max Nisen
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

For all the focus on the job environment for college grads, millions of US workers have “middle skill jobs,” roughly categorized as jobs for those with more than a high school degree, but less than a bachelor’s. The fastest growing and best paying of those jobs don’t often hire the computer-averse.

Digital expertise is a requirement in 78% of openings—which means applicants need to know their way around a spreadsheet, according to a new report from Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that does labor-market analysis, highlighted by The Wall Street Journal (paywall).

Burning Glass scans nearly 40,000 job boards and employer sites daily and breaks them down by the skills and qualifications required. Digital middle-skill jobs grew by 4.7% from 2004 to 2013, according to the BLS. Non-digital jobs over the same period grew by only 1.9%. The average salary in digital jobs is $3 higher an hour.

Here’s the breakdown by industry:

And here are the most popular digital skills by number of job postings that call for them and median hourly salary in those postings in 2013.

Knowing how to use productivity software is by far the most popular skill, but proficiency with more specific software can lead to a substantially higher salary. Most of the higher-level jobs require knowledge of productivity software as a baseline:

You can peruse the full report here.

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