With all the buzz about uncertain future workplaces and loss of jobs to automation, it’s no wonder that students today feel the pressure to choose degree programmes that will make them employable.

While it’s tough to predict the future with the disruption of new technologies, there are certain skills that have been touted as essential to thrive in the future digital economy.

Those who have already graduated and are already in the working world also have their own set of challenges as they worry about their skills and knowledge becoming obsolete and outdated.

But there is always opportunity to upskill oneself and grow yourself professionally. Thanks to online learning, you can always take a course to learn new skills such as the ones offered by Job Ready Learning.

The top 5 most in-demand soft skills are: 

#1 Creativity 

Organizations need people who can creatively approach problems and tasks across all business roles, from software engineering to HR. Focus on honing your ability to bring new ideas to the table in 2020. 

#2 Persuasion 

Leaders and hiring managers value individuals who can explain the “why.” To advance your career, brush up on your ability to effectively communicate ideas and persuade your colleagues and stakeholders that it’s in their best interest to follow your lead. 

#3 Collaboration 

High-functioning teams can accomplish more than any individual—and organizations know it. Learn how your strengths can complement those of your colleagues to reach a common goal.

#4 Adaptability 

The only constant in life—and in business—is change. To stand out in 2020, embrace that reality and make sure to show up with a positive attitude and open-minded professionalism, especially in stressful situations. 

#5 Emotional Intelligence 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, evaluate, and respond to your own emotions and the emotions of others. New to the most in-demand skills list this year, the need for emotional intelligence underscores the importance of effectively responding to and interacting with our colleagues. 

The Hard Skills Companies Need Most in 2020

The top 10 most in-demand hard skills are: 

#1 Blockchain 

Blockchain was born in 2009 to support the use of cryptocurrency. But blockchain’s novel way to store, validate, authorize, and move data across the internet has evolved to securely store and send any digital asset. The small supply of professionals who have this skill are in high demand. 

#2 Cloud Computing 

Today, companies are built and run on the cloud. They need talent who have the skills to help them drive technical architecture, design, and delivery of cloud systems like Microsoft Azure. 

#3 Analytical Reasoning 

Data has become the foundation of every single business. Organizations want talent who can make sense of it and uncover insights that drive the best decisions for the business.

#4 Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial intelligence (AI) augments the capabilities of the human workforce. The people who can harness the power of AI, machine learning, and natural language processing are the ones who will help organizations deliver more relevant, personalized, and innovative products and services.  

#5 UX Design 

It seems like the average attention span of consumers decreases every year and they have little patience for products that aren’t intuitive. Organizations need more expertise to help them build more human-centric products and experiences.

#6 Business Analysis 

Business analysis made the most significant jump of any skill on our list. It’s one of the few hard skills every professional should have, as most roles require some level of business analysis to make decisions.

#7 Affiliate Marketing 

With the decline of traditional advertising and the rise of social media, affiliate marketing is rapidly rising as a must-have hard skill. Affiliate marketing leverages company partnerships or  influencers that are hyper-targeted to a particular audience. 

#8 Sales 

You’d be hard pressed to find a company that doesn’t need great sales people—those who can effectively manage a sales team, understand the sales funnel, work with cross-functional partners, and sell into the highest levels of the business.

#9 Scientific Computing 

Scientific computing skills are held data science professionals, engineers, and software architects, and others. Companies need more professionals that can develop machine learning models and apply statistical and analytical approaches to large data sets using programs like Python, MATLAB, and others. 

#10 Video Production 

Consumers have an insatiable appetite for video content, so it makes sense that video production continues to be a priority for companies. Cisco estimates that video will account for 82% of global internet traffic in 2022.

We hope that with insight into what companies need today, you feel ready to cultivate the essential soft skills and hard skills, and empowered to own your career.

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