Not surprisingly, CREATIVITY is once again king of the soft skills for 2020. Based on a LinkedIn Learning report from earlier this year, Creativity was not only the most in-demand soft skill last year, it has retained its place as we move onward in 2020.
Furthermore, LinkedIn said, “Organizations need people who can creatively approach problems and tasks across all business roles, from software engineering to HR”.
LinkedIn Learning researched timely data from their network of over 660+ million professionals and 20+ million jobs to reveal the 15 most in-demand soft and hard skills of 2020. Persuasion, collaboration, adaptability and emotional intelligence rounded out the top five, all skills that demonstrate how we work with others and bring new ideas to the table. Four of the five most in-demand soft skills remain in their top spots year over year.
The lone exception, LinkedIn noted, was emotional intelligence — defined as the ability to perceive, evaluate and respond to your own emotions and the emotions of others — a newcomer to its list, which “underscores the importance of effectively responding to and interacting with our colleagues.”
The one variation in the most in-demand soft skills list indicates that companies are gravitating toward talent with interpersonal and people-oriented skills. It’s notable that employers are placing more emphasis on emotional intelligence in particular.
The top 5 most in-demand soft skills are:
#1 Creativity – Same as 2019
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 – Same as 2019
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 – Same as 2019
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 – Same as 2019
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 – New
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.
While the most in-demand soft skills are all about how we work together, the most in-demand hard skills are the ones changing what we’re working on. Trending data also reveals that data-driven decision-making skills like business analysis (#6) are essential in today’s workforce. As companies continue to collect and analyze more data than ever before, they need people who can help interpret and take action on that data to drive growth for their business.
The top 10 most in-demand hard skills are:
#1 Blockchain – New
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 – Down 1
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 – Same as 2019
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 – Down 2
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 – Same as 2019
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 – Up 10
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 – New
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 – Same as 2019
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 – Up 3
Scientific computing skills are held by 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 – Down 3
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.
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