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Professional Skills Map

Since its inception in 2019, the Professional Skills Survey has been the cornerstone of SSP’s Professional Skills Map, a unique interactive career development tool built from self-reported industry data.

Reflecting on the success of our 2021 survey with nearly 400 responses, we are eager to elevate the voices of underrepresented respondents, particularly those in entry-level positions and areas outside of editorial and marketing. Respondents can win one of four free 2024 webinar registration spots!

Tell us about the most essential and emerging skills you use in your work in less than five minutes, and add to the collective understanding of our industry’s evolving dynamics. Survey responses are due December 31, 2023. 

Have you ever wondered what other jobs in publishing you might be suited for? 

We know many job seekers have a full set of skills that are waiting to be transferred but they often don’t know which roles might fit best. 

The SSP Professional Skills Map presents the most frequently reported personal characteristics and interpersonal and technical skills that are (a) essential to success and (b) emerging needs for development.

Scroll down to explore the 2021 map and learn more!

We’ve divided the field of scholarly publishing into six broad categories at the top level, followed by the professional roles reported by survey respondents (you can find the number of respondents listed after each role). Each role can be expanded to reveal the desirable personal characteristics, essentials for success, and emerging needs for that role. Skills and characteristics at the end of each branch indicate the percent of respondents who endorsed that item.

Please note: This interactive map is best displayed using your browser’s desktop mode.

How to Use this Map

Each branch of the map can be expanded on multiple levels to reveal further detail. Click the radial circle at the end of a node to expand the next level. Click it again to collapse the level. Use the + and – symbols in the upper left corner of the map to zoom in and out, and use the crosshairs to recenter the map. Click the double arrow in the upper right corner to jump to the map in your full browser.


How We Created this Map

In late 2019, SSP decided to undertake the ambitious effort of surveying the wider scholarly publishing industry, reaching out to SSP members and others via email and social media, about the professional skills needed and desired in their roles. Results of the first yearly survey and map are outlined here.

The 2021 survey received 396 responses, an increase of 150% from 2020, and asked publishing professionals at all career levels across multiple roles in the industry to indicate which personal characteristics, transferable/interpersonal skills, and technical/knowledge-based skills are essential to success in their respective positions. Respondents also identified skills they would most like to develop further, highlighting opportunities for training and mentorship in those areas as they advance in their careers.

Once data collection was complete, we parsed the responses by professional role within organization type, and then identified all responses endorsed by any respondent.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in our 2021 survey!