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Microsoft Office Excel is one of the most important job skills out there

There’s a portion of the job market that hires the millions of Americans out there that have an education higher than a high school diploma but lower than a bachelor’s degree. These “middle skill jobs” employ millions of people and are incredibly important but the most lucrative and rapidly growing of these jobs tend to reject people who don’t have at least some computer skills, particularly using spreadsheets like Microsoft Office Excel. 

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.

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