Ahh, the beauty of having in-demand skills.
As college enrollment drops–plummeting something like 8% since 2019–it’s clear that we’re linking job success less to degrees and more to skills.
Then there’s the explosion of online learning platforms where you can teach yourself high-income skills for pretty much nothing. Google, Amazon, and Facebook are swinging into the mix with online courses you can take to further a tech career.
All these things mix together to equal a pretty dang great time to be learning skills. Especially if you can learn them fast, show them off, and use them to get a new job.
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- Top In-Demand Soft Skills
- Hard Skills
Top 20 In-Demand Skills (LinkedIn)
Here’s LinkedIn’s most recent list of in demand skills – Source
The Top 10 In-Demand Soft Skills
Let’s start this list with the in demand skills that don’t always get the love they deserve. Soft skills.
While we like to jump straight to hard skills when we think about marketable skills, the truth is soft skills deserve a better reputation. Research shows that employers request soft skills 4x as much and they’re worried that students aren’t learning soft skills.
Here are the top 10 soft skills to watch for according to LinkedIn.
Management is fundamentally about directing… directing people (managers), directing your time (time management), directing a product (product management).
Someone with the skill of management can take on a project or task and see it through — ideally without stressing their boss out or needing a ton of extra help in the process.
Managers make the workplace work. We need people who can step up and run things, making them happen.
How to develop the skill of management
Nobody’s born a CEO. While some people do have the skillset of leading things, heck a lot of oldest children seen to come by it pretty naturally, management can be developed. Look for opportunities to run little things. Projects. Marketing campaigns.
Find ways to be a manager and learn to watch the timelines and deliver stuff — especially focusing on using team members if you have one.
Communication is the skill set that makes for good relationships. It’s true at home, but it’s true at work too. The ability to uncover ideas and share them, to talk about how you’re feeling, to listen well to others… these are all things that make work work.
How to develop the skill of communication
You can develop communication skills be practicing actively listening and expressing your ideas. Ask people to repeat back what you said and repeat what others said. You can use a sentence like, “Okay, I just want to make sure I’m understanding. Here’s what I’m hearing you say…”
The speaking parts of communication, practice writing out point form before sharing your mind. Or, if you struggle with presentation skills, you can practice that too!
Here’s a course from LinkedIn Learning for developing your communication skills:
3. Customer Service
Customer service is basically listening to a customer, understanding what they are saying (how to make them happy), and giving it to them. Customer service is one of those things we don’t often notice until it’s done badly. (Have you ever had a waiter ignore you for 25 minutes and forget your order?)
Developing customer service can be done alongside communication skills. Because customer service is also about communication. It’s about learning what a customer needs and delivering it. When you deal with the same type of customers again and again, you can start anticipating what they need before they ask!
How to learn customer service
The same way you learn communication skills! Practice asking, “this is what I hear you saying. Is that right?” and then “No problem, I can help you with that.”
If you’ve ever called a telephone helpline, you’ve probably noticed they’re trained to use exactly those words.
You can also take this LinkedIn Learning course.
“Leader” is a word that gets used a lot. From best-selling books like Leaders Eat Last to The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, it’s a word that has captured a lot of energy from thought leaders and managers alike.
What is leadership? I’ve always liked Dave Ramsey’s definition: leadership is making decisions. Leaders make decisions.
But if you’re struggling with the definition or how to properly develop and show off leadership skills, perhaps these can help you.
How to learn leadership
Here are a few great LinkedIn courses to work on your leadership chops:
- Leadership Foundations (LinkedIn Learning)
- Top 10 Rules for Highly Effective Leadership (LinkedIn Learning)
Sales is a pretty universal skill that often pays well, which is why it makes it onto a lot of our lists. If you can help buyers make a decision about a product or service, dealing with objections and closing, you’ve got a skill set employers need.
And since sales is fundamental to the success of the company–literally keeping the cash moving in the door, it’s often the first to be hired and the last to lay off.
You’ll need to know your product and sales strategies, but modern sales also relies a lot on relationship building and less on high-pressure tactics.
How to learn sales
- Sales Fundamentals (LinkedIn Learning)
- Business-to-Business Sales (LinkedIn Learning)
- Communication Skills Machine: Master Persuasion and Influence for Entrepreneurship, Business, & Life (Skillshare)
6. Project Management
We talked about management as basically making something happen… so project management is the ability to make a project happen. If you can oversee a project from concept to finish, you’ve got project management skills.
Project management skills pop up pretty much everywhere, from that new bridge design to managing a research project.
How to learn project management
- Foundations of Project Management (Free from Google!)
- Project Management Foundations (LinkedIn Learning)
- Scrum: The Basics (LinkedIn Learning)
- Become an Agile Project Manager (LinkedIn Learning)
Research is a super important skill. The ability to know where to look for information, to find it, synthesize and cite it, and present it in clear and meaningful ways. It’s a skill not everyone has, and there are a lot of great careers that involve research.
If you want to get into research, I will say that a degree can make sense for developing higher-order research skills. My PhD didn’t give me a lot of transferable skills, but it definitely made me a great researcher.
How to learn research
If you don’t have or don’t want a degree, you can improve your research skills. We’ll talk about some specific hard skills below, but I did find a course on LinkedIn to teach you the basics of quantitative academic research.
8. Analytical Skills
Analytical skills are the basis for solving complex problems. Having the skill of analysis means being able to look at a complicated thing: an argument, a data set, an academic paper, and find meaning. Analysis also often requires judging arguments or presentations and considering how they reached conclusions and whether you agree.
Analytics skills solve problems. And that makes them really important skills for the modern workplace.
If you need to promote something, marketing is where it’s at. The skill of marketing is learning how to present something, and understanding how people are likely to react to it.
If you know how to package something and present it, how to find market demand and help strategize how to get products or services to the right people, you’ve got the skill of marketing. Marketing could be considered a soft skill, but it plays pretty well with some hard skills.
How to learn marketing
These are some cool courses for learning digital marketing skills:
- Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate (Coursera)
- Digital Marketing Strategy: Profitable Sales Funnel Fundamentals (Skillshare)
- Digital Marketing Foundations (LinkedIn Learning)
- Advertising on Facebook (LinkedIn Learning)
Teamwork skills are vital to survive in an office. They can connect to communication skills (above).
Team players are wonderful to work with. They don’t hog credit, they consult others, and they don’t steamroll. The fact is, most of us have worked on a team at one point or another. But not all of us have the skill of teamwork!
Hard skills are often the ones that get more attention. They’re the sexier ones. News articles will say, “WE HAVE SHORTAGE OF CODERS…” They don’t often say “WE HAVE A SHORTAGE OF TEAMWORKERS.”
So for better or for worse, we need soft skills… but a lot of hiring is done on hard skills. Here are the hard skills that are most in-demand right now:
11. Software Development
Software development is still an incredibly in-demand skill right now. Nobody knows where the industry is going in the future, and there probably will be some disruption by AI. But for now, it’s solid. Software developers build the software we interact with every day. They’re highly prized by all sorts of fields since pretty much every industry has a need for digital products and services.
Software development uses coding languages, which can be learned through things like online platforms or a coding BootCamp.
You can learn to code here:
SQL (Structured Query Language) is a way to interact with data. It’s a programming language used for managing a database, and it’s a fundamental skill for data scientists and analysts.
Here are some courses for learning SQL:
Finally, we get to a non-tech skill 🙂 I can see some of you take a deep breath.
Ahh, something that doesn’t involve coding.
Finance is an important skill for any company to have in its roster. If a business doesn’t understand where the money is coming from, it won’t last long!
If you have finance skills, you can do things like understand accounting, estimate budgets, or forecast revenue. All of these are vital:
Python is a popular programming language that can be used for all sorts of different applications — from building websites and software to analyzing data. This makes it an extremely versatile skill to have since it’s common to many of the highest-paying tech jobs.
If you’re going to learn a programming language, Python can be a pretty great place to start. Do check with some job postings to make sure it lines up though!
Other than Python, Java is probably one of the most popular programming languages. Websites. Apps. Java has a lot of different uses and makes an appearance in all sorts of job openings. We talked above about software development… and yes, Java is one of the most common languages in software development too.
Here’s that Java course again!
16. Data Analysis
With companies creating mounds of data all the time, a common saying is that “data is the new oil.” That means that data analysis are the… um.. new oil workers?
Data analysis is the skill of understanding how to sort and manipulate data. And most importantly, probably, how to tell stories with it. And the cool thing is… You often use the languages we talked about above! (Like Python or R)
18. Cloud Computing
Clouds are everywhere. OneNote. Google Drive. Dropbox. And the prevalence of cloud software solutions means that cloud computing is also an important and in-demand skills.
Operations management is making the day-to-day stuff in a business happen, often bringing together disparate parts of the organization: sales, HR, accounting, shipping, procurement, etc., to make sure it functions as a whole.
Operations people are nuts and bolts people, and business function better because of them. It’s also one of the skills on this list that doesn’t necessarily have a digital-first application — although a lot of operations roles at tech companies do require digital skills.
Where to learn operations management
20. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is growing quickly, and it’s another one of those great skills for people who don’t want to code. Customer Relationship Management entails strategically building relationships with customers. Because of the use of customer data, customer relationship managers can build strategies to connect with clients.
CRMs usually use CRM software–customer relationship management does have a digital side to it. And using the data, they can connect things like marketing, customer service, and support to an overall customer experience.
These skills are the ones LinkedIn says are in high demand for this year. How many of these in-demand skills do you have? Learning them is a great way to future-proof yourself, make more money, and build the path to a great career.
Now Read: How to Make 10000 a Month – (9 Ways)