Over the next decade, job seekers in the Pittsburgh region will find abundant opportunities, particularly in cybersecurity, “FinTech” (financial technology) and predictive analytics for the healthcare and energy sectors, a report released May 4 suggests.

Inflection Point: Supply, Demand and the Future of Work in the Pittsburgh Region notes that digital and customer-service competencies will cut across many of the jobs of the future. Job types that will see the largest increase in growth include healthcare support, healthcare practitioners and technicians, and IT jobs drawing on computer and mathematical skills.

“The future of work in the region is an unprecedented opportunity for existing workers and our up-and-coming workforce now in K-12 and post-secondary education,” said Bill Demchak, chairman, president and CEO of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. He is the chair of the Workforce Strategy of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, which commissioned the report.

The need for talented individuals is already apparent on ImaginePittsburgh.com (a program of the Conference): there are more than 20,000 jobs open across the 10-county region, with cybersecurity and other IT professionals in highest demand.

“Technology is a big driver of this change, and it’s redefining the skills needed to be successful on the job,” Demchak added. “Every employer and worker must keep pace with this rapid change to remain competitive. We are at a critical moment for the future of our region.”

Baseline skills such as clear communication and problem solving, however, are also increasingly important as many companies are adopting a more customer-service-driven model. Those skills are also vital for teamwork and internal customer service, another trend already underway in high-demand careers.

The Conference commissioned the report to better understand what jobs will be available across the 10-county Pittsburgh region in coming decade. Boston-based Burning Glass Technologies and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, of Chicago, conducted focus groups with 130 CEOs and HR directors from 85 Pittsburgh region companies and educational institutions in early 2016. It combined those findings with traditional employment metrics and big data capabilities, including artificial intelligence algorithms, to parse tens of thousands of job postings across the Pittsburgh region.

“Not only are other regions trying to keep their talented people, they are looking to attract ours,” said Conference CEO Dennis Yablonsky. “We can’t afford to lose or leave anyone behind who has the desire, capacity and skills to be a part of the Pittsburgh region’s workforce.”

An inflection point is the place on a graph where a curve can change direction, typically with dramatic and widespread consequences over time.

The complete Inflection Point report is available at AlleghenyConference.org.

Laura Arnold b
Laura Arnold, 31, left a lucrative but unrewarding paralegal job as to pursue a job with more learning potential in advertising, for which she won an award. Photo by Matt Steffen via USA TODAY.

USA TODAY is among the news sources reporting that a majority of Millennials says they would rather have meaningful work than higher pay. According to a Fidelity survey of 25- to 35-year-olds, doing work that is interesting, rewarding and imparts new skills matters more than a cozy paycheck.

“I look for a role where work actually gets done and I’m challenged,” 31-year-old Laura Arnold, of Cincinnati, told the newspaper. “Getting new skills and things you can take with you if things go south or you wanted to leave is really more valuable than an extra couple thousand dollars.”

Conducted in February, the Fidelity Investments survey queried 1,500 respondents ages 25-70 who work full-time, and whose employer offers a defined contribution workplace retirement savings plan.

Read the USA TODAY story here.

Read the Fidelity news release here.


soft skills gap
Read the full report about the soft skills gap here.

As the owner of a staffing company, Shelley Fant Uku says she knows all too well that her business depends on supplying qualified talent to employers. Those qualifications include what are often called “soft skills” — professionalism, the ability to communicate appropriately, teamwork, problem solving.

“Yet I see that entry-level employees often fall short in these critical skills — even those with a four-year degree,” Fant Uku says. “It’s an issue of reduced opportunity — for these young workers to accelerate in our workforce and contribute at high levels; and for employers to reap fuller productivity from them.”

Fant Uku is part of the Soft Skills Working Group, a subcommittee of the Allegheny Conference (the parent organization of ImaginePittsburgh.com). The group recently surveyed both regional employers and new entrants into the workforce (those who have graduated from a four-year college within the past four years).

Both employers and new hires agree: Soft skills are important for success in the workplace. But that’s where the agreement ended.

While the majority of recent graduates say they are extremely or very well prepared with soft skills, just 14 percent of employers agreed.

Shelley Fant Uku is president of FCG Solutions, Inc.

On virtually every important measure — from accountability to written communications to time management to problem-solving – employers and workers are at odds. Forty-two percent of employers say new employees could use better understanding of what it means to show commitment and accountability — arriving at meetings on time and prepared, taking responsibility for a project through completion without having to come back for regular input. Just 10 percent of these young workers think they need to be better trained in this skill.

Forty percent of employers say new hires need stronger critical thinking and problem-solving skills, but less than a quarter of those workers thought that was the case.

Our working group is part of a partnership between the Allegheny Conference and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to determine the extent of the issue, and to engage employers, new hires and area colleges and universities. We are exploring a pilot program to assess, train and certify college students in the soft skills employers say are critical to their success in the workplace.

You can read the full report online, or download it here.

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Looking for a job? Pittsburgh’s got ‘em — more than 20,000 open positions across the 10-county region. Check out our powerful job search aggregator at ImaginePittsburgh.com.

Find a job, advance your career, build a life you’ll love: ImaginePittsburgh.com.




Zersha Munir

Pittsburgh’s got jobs — 28,707 open as of today in the 10-county region on the ImaginePittsburgh.com job search engine. That’s  a one-stop aggregator of career postings updated daily from more than 900 jobs boards, corporate websites and search engines.

Here are few available today:

Senior Technician at Bayer

IT Help Center Manager at Carnegie Mellon University

Associate Customer Billing Analyst at Highmark

Technical Storage Administrator at Dollar Bank

Clinical Dietitian at Eat’n Park Investor

Development Director at the Allegheny Conference

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Check ImaginePittsburgh.com regularly for more career opportunities and news about the region. You can also sign up for our monthly eNewsletter, or follow us by RSS feedFacebookTwitterLinkedIn or our other social media channels.

Zersha Munir

Did you know that women hold nearly half of today’s jobs and are a growing number of family breadwinners, yet we still earn about 78 cents* for every dollar that the average American man earns? For women of color, the gap is even more stark (and a gap exists for men of color, too).

Pittsburgh takes steps toward gender wage equality with a month full of events! Support the cause by shopping at 76<100, taking part in “The Great Debate”  and becoming a member of the Closing the Gap initiative.


Sponsored by the Women and Girls Foundation, the 76<100 pop-up shop will hold an opening reception on Friday, April 3 from 6-10 p.m.  (This is instead of their annual Equal Pay Day Rally in Market Square.) The shop raises awareness for gender wage equality through “pay what you’re paid” pricing.  Male shoppers will be charged 100 percent of an item’s retail price, while women will be charged 76 percent to highlight the Pennsylvania wage gap, in which women earn 76 percent of men’s wages. The shop will be open throughout the month of April, Tuesday through Sunday, from 12-7 p.m. It carries ceramics, textiles, publications, art prints, stationery and more, all created by women artists and makers across America. Check out the website for a list of artists and special events.

“The Great Debate”

Can nonprofits afford to be worried about wage disparity? The Women and Girls Foundation sponsors another event, for which the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management opens up this question. “The Great Debate” is from 5:30 – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14  at the Twentieth Century Club in Oakland. The 14th is actually Equal Pay Day — the date that symbolizes how long the average American women must work into the new year to equal the earnings of her male counterparts in the previous year. Listen to speakers from either side, and see if you’re persuaded one way or the other. A vote will be held prior to and post debate. Register online or purchase tickets by calling 412.397.6000. More information can also be found here.

Closing the Gap: 50 Years Seeking Equal Pay

April is chock full of events discussing the wage gap, but becoming a member of the Closing the Gap initiative shows your support year-round. The initiative explores why the gap persists, and arms women with information and skills to assist in earning fair pay. Register as a member to learn more about the wage gap and how to help eradicate it.

Do your part to support equality in the workplace by attending these events and engaging with the concept of the wage gap.

*U.S. Department of Labor, 2015

Zersha Munir

Pittsburgh’s got jobs — 26,555 open as of today in the 10-county region on the ImaginePittsburgh.com job search engine. That’s  a one-stop aggregator of career postings updated daily from more than 900 jobs boards, corporate websites and search engines.

Here are few on offer right now:

Technical Platform Specialist at PNC Financial Services

Technology Support at University of Pittsburgh

Engineering Manager at PPG Industries

Digital Marketing Specialist at Howard Hanna Real Estate

Corrosion Technician at Alcoa

Tax Analyst at CONSOL Energy

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Check ImaginePittsburgh.com regularly for more career opportunities and news about the region. You can also sign up for our monthly eNewsletter, or follow us by RSS feedFacebookTwitterLinkedIn or our other social media channels.