Salesforce skills in high demand in 2017

Salesforce skills in high demand in 2017

Want to land a better job in 2017? If you do one thing in pursuit of that goal this year, you should add Salesforce skills to your resume. It's one of the fastest-growing, most in-demand skills out there. And it's ubiquitous. From software developers, solutions architects and designers to project managers and marketing and sales professionals, it's a skill that almost every professional can benefit from.

IDC research from 2016 predicts that Salesforce and its ecosystem will enable the creation of 1.9 million "direct" jobs -- meaning within the Salesforce customer base -- and as many as 2.8 million "indirect" jobs -- meaning jobs created in the supply and distribution chains supporting Salesforce customers -- by the year 2020. And in that same time period, Salesforce also will add $389 billion to local economies.

The demand for these roles is already present, says Alexandra "Gigi" Neuenfeldt, tri-state and national sales manager for IT recruiting and staffing firm Mondo, and she doesn't see that abating anytime soon.

"The demand from the market is really high; demand for developers who can build on and around existing Salesforce platforms, Salesforce administrators, project managers with Salesforce experience, Salesforce training specialists, Salesforce solution architects. Our clients need talent for everything from low-level reporting professionals to high-level developer skills to integrating Salesforce tools and to architects and solutions developers that specialize in customizing the platform to their organization's needs. There's a huge range of skillsets tied to this one area," Neuenfeldt says.

[ Related story: 10 IT skills employers need in 2017 ]

Jobs aplenty

And there are plenty of available jobs for professionals with these skills. A recent report from Burning Glass analyzed the research firm's proprietary database of more than 100 million job postings collected across over 40,000 sites and found more than 300,000 job postings between July 2015 and June 2016 that called for Salesforce skills.

According to the Burning Glass report, these roles range from those requiring basic understanding of Salesforce's products to more complex software development roles. "Setting aside the near-universal Microsoft Office suite, Salesforce is now the 7th most in-demand software skill, up from number 18 just four years ago. That puts demand for Salesforce [skills] ahead of IT stalwarts such as Python, .Net, and C++, and in line with commonly used applications such as Adobe Photoshop," according to the report.

There is a small but growing category of jobs that are specifically designed around Salesforce skills, according to the Burning Glass research. Many companies are developing positions specifically to build and maintain their Salesforce applications, such as Salesforce Administrator and Salesforce Developer, according to the report.

"In most positions, Salesforce knowledge is required as a complementary skill, in addition to a technical skill set in IT roles (such as software developers and network engineers), sales roles (such as sales representatives and sales managers) and marketing roles (such as marketing managers and marketing specialists)," the report says.

[ Related story: 5 tech jobs that will boom (and 2 that will bust) in 2017 ]

Driving demand

The demand for Salesforce skills is also growing faster than demand for other skills, according to the report. Since 2012, Burning Glass reports that postings calling for Salesforce skills have grown 1.3 times faster than job postings overall, and demand for Salesforce-specific jobs have quadrupled.

"In roles where Salesforce is a complementary skill, demand for Salesforce skills is increasing as well. For example, postings for Sales Representatives calling for Salesforce skills increased twice as much as all sales representative postings over this same period," the report says.

Salesforce skills also pay well, regardless of whether the job requires technical skills or not, the report shows. On average, jobs that request Salesforce skills pay more than $70,000 per year, and for Salesforce Developers that balloons to $100,000, according to the report. Sales roles requesting Salesforce offer 8 percent higher salaries than other sales roles, and IT roles with Salesforce carry an 11 percent salary premium. Specific advanced skills, such as Visualforce and Sales Cloud, command salaries over $100,000.

"Salesforce administrators in the New York city area can command between $80,000 to $90,000 a year; Salesforce developers we see could get $100,000 to $130,000 a year or more, depending on their years of experience, specific development skills and accomplishments. And Salesforce project managers -- those professionals who assess what a company's doing and manage the implementation of new deployments, or that do customizations, could get anywhere from $130,000 to $150,000. Even contract positions pay higher rates -- anywhere from $130 an hour to $160 an hour," says Mondo's Neuenfeldt.

[ Related story: 6 Tips for negotiating your next raise ]

Professionals can get training and earn "badges" to prove their competency in several areas like security, data integration and business analytics through Salesforce's Trailhead training platform, says Neuenfeldt, which can help prospective employers notice their skills.

"No matter what your background -- technical, marketing, sales, administrative - we feel these are really valuable skills that pay well and have a good future outlook and we don't think the demand is going away," she says.

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