Seattle's Most In-Demand Jobs Seattle's job market remains strong in 2020; we dug into the data to help you get your next gig
Seattle's Most In-Demand Jobs Seattle's job market remains strong in 2020; we dug into the data to help you get your next gig

When it comes to the Seattle job market, “job candidates are still in the driver’s seat,” according to the Seattle Times.

But once you’re behind the wheel, where should you go? And what education can help you chart the right path to get there?

We dug into the data to compile a list of some of the hottest jobs in the Seattle area — plus the University of Washington certificate programs and degrees to help you land one of these in-demand jobs.

Read on to see where the hottest work is in Seattle right now and how you can steer your career there.

Marketing Manager

With today’s technology, organizations can measure their marketing’s return on investment better than ever to show the value that marketing brings to the table. Marketing managers — the linchpin of the marketing team — are increasingly in demand, especially in Washington state.

Estimates point to a 68% increase in marketing management jobs across Washington from 2016 to 2026, far bigger than the national rate of 8%. Companies like Zillow, Nordstrom, Expedia, Amazon and Big Fish Games are all hiring marketing managers in the Seattle metro area, and candidates who are well-versed in Salesforce, Marketo and Tableau can expect sizable salary bumps

If you aspire to be a marketing manager, check out the UW Certificate in Strategic Marketing; if digital strategy is what you’re after, explore the UW Certificate in Digital Marketing; and the UW Certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics is a perfect match for a true numbers-cruncher.

Technical Writer

With the seemingly constant proliferation of tech companies offering new products, software and services across the Seattle area, companies must be able to simplify complex ideas and communicate them directly to consumers.

Enter technical writers, who are tasked with turning technical concepts and complex information into content that users can easily understand and apply.

The Seattle area boasted a 7% increase in technical writer postings in 2018 and 2019, according to EMSI, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the strong market for technical writers will continue: Washington state will see a 35% increase in technical writing jobs from 2016 to 2026, nearly four times the rate of the rest of the country, according to the BLS.  

Technical writers in the Seattle metro area are also paid better than their contemporaries across the country: the Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue area is the seventh-highest paying region in the country, according to the BLS.

Ready to take the next step toward becoming a professional technical writer? Then it’s time to learn more about the UW Certificate in Professional Technical Writing, which can help you become well-trained, confident and ready to hit the ground running. 

Software Developer

As an established tech hub, the Seattle area is a prime place for software developers, the creative minds behind the computer programs, applications and underlying systems that run our devices or control our networks.

The projected job growth rate for software developers in Washington is more than double the national growth rate. Companies like Oracle, Alaska Airlines, Microsoft, Hulu and Zulily are all hiring software developers, who earn a median annual salary of $128,200 in Washington.

If you’re interested in software development, we have several programs that can help add to your toolkit:

Data Scientist

When LinkedIn released its 2020 Emerging Jobs report for the United States, one occupation found itself near the top of the list for the third year running: data scientist.

LinkedIn gave Seattle a specific shout-out as one of its cities “where the jobs are” for data scientists — or “computer and information research scientists,” as the Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies them.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that well-paying jobs in data science will only continue to increase in the state of Washington: the BLS estimates a 48% increase in job growth by 2026, and Washington data scientists earn an annual median wage of $138,110.

Those interested in entering the data science field must boast a strong mix of skills, and the University of Washington offers several certificate programs to help candidates earn them.

The UW Certificate in Data Science and the Master of Science in Data Science teach you to use statistics, machine learning, algorithms and more to analyze real-life data scenarios and help organizations make informed business decisions.

For a more in-depth education in machine learning or Python — two essential skills for any data scientist, according to the LinkedIn Emerging Jobs report — you should also explore the UW Certificate in Machine Learning and the UW Certificate in Python Programming.

Cybersecurity Analyst

Cybersecurity analysts — also known as information security analysts — are in hot demand, which should come as no surprise: the number of data breaches increased by 54% from 2018 to 2019, and companies are frightened of being the next Marriott or Equifax.

To ensure they’re protecting their users’ data, companies are looking to add more cybersecurity analysts. EMSI reported a 9% increase in job growth for information security analysts in 2019, while the BLS projects a 43% increase in job growth by 2026.

Companies and organizations like Boeing, Tableau, King County, the University of Washington, Getty Images and Accenture are all hiring in the Seattle area, and information security analysts earn an annual median wage of $105,080 in the state of Washington, according to the BLS

If you’re looking to start or further a career in cybersecurity, UW Professional & Continuing Education offers numerous programs that can help.

Not ready to dive into a full certificate or degree program? Build a foundation in cybersecurity with our new online Essentials of Cybersecurity, offered through edX.


For more career tips and industry trends, visit the News & Features section of our website, and subscribe to our email list. To learn more about UW Professional & Continuing Education certificates, degrees and courses, explore your options or contact us.


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