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Specialists and hires with niche skills were most hotly in demand last year

If you want to find a new job, a specialist skill could be the way to go

A new study from global recruiter Morgan McKinley found that the demand for niche skills was extremely high in 2017, and it is likely that this demand will continue to grow.

The demand for niche skills

The study, which was released in the annual 2018 salary guide, found that industries such as technology and regulation saw a huge increase in demand for specialist skills. An increased demand for niche skills was also found in the finance and accounting industry, the IT industry, the risk management industry and the tax industry, but what skills are companies looking for? Technical skills are in hot demand in most sectors, so anyone with technical qualifications may want to start a new job search.

Other key trends that emerged from the report included a 25 per cent increase in legal jobs volumes. This is likely to be predominately caused by recent changes to regulations.

Brexit has had a mixed influence on the working world. Some sectors saw lowered confidence, such as the IT industry, which resulted in less hiring than in previous years. On the other hand, some industries thrived in the uncertainty, such as strategy-aligned banking roles.

2017 also saw the highest increase in the number of contract employees converted to permanent employees due to recent changes to IR35 off-payment rules. This resulted in more experienced, skilled contractors finding full-time employment within the private sector and was particularly apparent in the IT industry, the finance industry, and the HR industry.

Less demand for marketers

While some industries may be booming, others are starting to quieten down. A second study found that the demand for marketers decreased in 2017, with demand for people with marketing skills reaching its peak in 2015.

There are a few reasons for the decrease, but the main reason is a changing world. SEO is still an important skill, but it is slightly less relevant. It is also possible that more people now have marketing skills, which could further decrease the demand.

The power of the cloud

Data- and cloud-based skills have been in hot demand for a few years, and it does not appear that this demand is going away any time soon. Cloud computing and data skills are still some of the most in-demand skills, which makes sense – most companies need employees with these skills to stay on top of their competition. For this reason, it is unlikely that this demand will change in the short term.

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