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Having one of these in-demand tech skills can help boost your pay by nearly $40,000—here's how

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The only thing standing between you and a pay bump of almost $40,000 could be a certificate in machine learning. 

U.S. workers with advanced tech skills earn about 49% more than workers who don't use tech skills in their jobs, according to newly released research from Gallup and Amazon Web Services (AWS), which surveyed more than 3,000 U.S. workers and 1,170 U.S. employers in August 2022. This translates into average individual gains of $36,552 per year.

As the development and adoption of new technologies continue at a breakneck pace, the need for digitally savvy workers is "greater than ever," the report notes. 

Newer technologies including cryptocurrency, the metaverse and artificial intelligence are becoming skills requirements for jobs in several industries, including finance, manufacturing and health care, with nearly two-thirds of employers saying it's highly likely" these inventions will become a core part of their business in the near future.

Those who consider digital upskilling stand to reap major benefits from this trend: At least four in 10 U.S. workers say learning new digital skills helped them boost their pay (43%), work more efficiently (42%), or get promoted (40%).

Here are the 10 tech skills employers say are "extremely likely" to become standard parts of doing business — and the most in-demand skills they are hiring for — according to AWS and Gallup:

At the top of the list is 5G, or the fifth generation of wireless technology, which cellphone companies began using in 2019. 5G technology can be used to make data transmission more efficient across industries: In health care, for example, large files can be transmitted more quickly between doctors and hospitals.

Generative AI tools, in particular, have become more popular in the workplace since the launch of ChatGPT in late 2022, says Jay Shankar, vice president of global talent acquisition at Amazon Web Services.

"It's a super important skillset employers are looking for, across all industries," she adds. "AI is practically everywhere now … and to me, if there's one technical skill you want to learn, that's the area to focus on." 

Many of the jobs hiring for these technical skills, such as machine learning engineer and full stack developer, offer competitive salaries of $100,000 per year or higher.

The rise of generative AI tools has elicited increased demand for prompt engineers, who test prompts and build user guides to improve chatbots' responses, Business Insider reports. Some of these jobs, which don't require an engineering or coding background, can pay as much as $335,000.

If you're looking to enhance your generative AI skills, there are several certification and training courses online, from the University of Michigan, Coursera and other e-learning platforms. For other technical skills, including machine learning and data analytics, AWS offers free online courses.

While some experts have warned that certain technologies, like AI and robotics, could replace millions of jobs in the next 10 years, Shankar says such innovations should be used to help workers be better at their jobs — not take them over completely. "It's enabling us to accomplish things faster, and evolve many roles," she adds. "But I don't think AI, for example, will ever fully replace humans." 

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