Top Professional Skills for 2020

Top Professional Skills for 2020

Last updated on 14th Oct 2020, Artciles, Blog

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2020 and the time ahead will have a significant shift in the skills in demand hiring managers and employers seek for. Interpersonal skills top the list, while visualization skills rank highly as well. These changes arise as our society becomes more dependent upon AI and robots – these professional skills all remain needed by people since their computerized coworkers can’t do them. Ensure you have these skills in your arsenal as you embark upon your new career this year.

Learning new skills and gaining certifications are essential to growing your career. Not only can you acquire new ways to solve problems, but continuing education helps you better position yourself for promotions or better jobs. LinkedIn Learning cites learning and self-improvement as an important aspect of self-care, right up there with time with family and friends as well as exercising and healthy eating. More than a smart way to refresh one’s résumé, gaining marketable education and expertise makes it easier to transition to new roles.

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LinkedIn Learning has found that there are various reasons driving people to learn at work, including rebounding from a substantial career mistake or after dealing with difficult teammates or managers (see graphic below). Let’s take a deeper dive at the most five desirable soft skills and five most desirable hard skills for 2020.

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5 Soft Skills Companies Need Most in 2020

Soft skills are intangible but vital interpersonal skills that help manage coworkers, bosses, and clients in most situations. While soft skills may be more difficult to single out and develop than more technical or certifiable hard skills, they are nonetheless critical in running successful businesses.

For 2020, creativity is still the most desirable soft skill, just as it was in 2019. Creative individuals find ways to solve problems and create new opportunities. They can make the difference in critical situations, offering innovative solutions to difficult problems.

1. Creativity is still the number one ingredient to disrupting business and creating new models. Some free courses available from LinkedIn Learning until January 31, 2020 to help enhance your creativity include Banish Your Inner Critic to Unleash Creativity, Creativity for All, and Creative Exercises to Spark Original Thinking.

2. Persuasion is the second most in-demand soft skill and factors in various aspects of marketing, sales, leadership, and project management. The ability to communicate effectively and sell a concept or product is key for ambitious startups, small to midsize businesses (SMBs), and larger businesses. Some courses worth considering include Persuading Others, Leading Without Formal Authority, and Persuasive Coaching.

3. Collaboration is a skill that lets individuals accomplish more when they’re a part of high-functioning teams. This skill maintains its position from 2019. Key collaboration courses worth investing some time on include Being an Effective Team Member, Shane Snow on Dream Teams, and Teamwork Foundations.

4. Adaptability is a highly regarded skill in an ever-evolving business landscape. The ability to embrace change with a positive attitude and maintain professionalism in high-stress situations is highly valued. To enhance adaptability, there are various courses worth considering, including Managing Stress for Positive Change, Developing Adaptability as a Manager, and Finding Your Time Management Style.

5. Emotional intelligence is new for 2020. It involves the ability to perceive, evaluate, and respond to your emotions and the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence is critical for managers, and involves cultivating empathy and human understanding. Developing Your Emotional Intelligence, Social Success at Work, and Influencing Ohers are some of the available free courses from LinkedIn Learning.

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5 Hard Skills Companies Need Most in 2020

Hard skills are easier to quantify and less nebulous than soft skills. They can be acquired through training and practice through courses and certifications. For 2020, the five leading hard skills companies need most as per LinkedIn Learning are as follows:

1. Blockchain offers an innovative way to store, validate, authorize, and securely move data across the internet. Knowing your way around it is a very coveted skill that various companies now require. While it originated a decade ago as a means to store and move cryptocurrency, blockchain can be applied to all forms of data. Courses from LinkedIn Learning designed to improve blockchain credentials include Blockchain Basics, Blockchain Beyond the Basics, and Blockchain Learning Solidity, which are all free for the month of January 2020.

2. Cloud computing was the number one hard skill in 2019 and has slipped position to number two. Still, there’s a lot of value tied to cloud computing, especially considering that Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect Certification is the highest-paying IT certification of 2019. Courses that can help bolster your cloud expertise include Learn Cloud Computing: Core Concepts, Azure Administration Essential Training, and Cloud Native Development.

3. Analytical reasoning can be applied to making sense out of all the data businesses have today. Applying analytics and business intelligence (BI) tools to create actionable dashboards and make sense of data. Some free analytical reasoning courses from LinkedIn Learning include Strategic Thinking, Learning Data Analytics, and Power BI Top Skills.

4. Artificial intelligence (AI) has dropped one slot since 2019 but it’s still one of the hottest segments in IT today. AI can be transformative; it branches into various segments like machine learning (ML) and natural language processing that can streamline various proceesses and enhance businesses. Some useful courses to take include Artificial Intelligence Foundations: Machine Learning, Big Data in the Age of AI, and Introducing AI to Your Organization.

5. User experience/design is one of the unsung skills in business but it’s still a critical component that can be applied to most facets of a business. User experience (UX) makes products, services, and experiences more intuitive and engaging. It brings efficiency to systems while building UXes and branding with which customers enjoy interacting. Key courses to consider for UX design include Getting Started in User Experience, Learning Adobe XD, and Interaction Design: Software and Web Design Patterns.

Top Seven Skills in Demand for 2020

Visualizing Data

    Yes, you can get data or process data. That’s easy. But do you know how to read that data? Or how to explain it to others so they can use it? If you can visualize the data, you’ll be able to, and that’s what employers want you to be able to do. You’ll be able to tell the CEO and the public what your findings mean – and that’s invaluable.

Creativity

    Gone are the days when business and creativity didn’t mix. Now, everyone wants the free-thinking creative force on their team to be able to look at problems in new, unique ways to solve them with fresh perspectives. Employers also find this a skill in demand because it helps them find people who can dream up fresh ideas for products and services.

Emotional Intelligence

    Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, refers to how we relate emotionally to people. A high EQ shows you can relate to your own and clients’ emotions and respond accordingly. This, again, shows you’re more capable of relating to people well, instead of being cold and robotic.

Complex Problem-Solving

    Here are other professional skills employers find humanity students are better at solving problems. This relates to creativity, yes, but also to how we process factors such as conversion and argumentative dialogue into our reactions to issues. Playing video games and solving crossword puzzles can help improve your complex problem-solving skills, too.

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Cognitive Flexibility

   This one doesn’t refer to your gymnastic prowess but rather your ability to tailor your conversational approach to the people you interact with. In other words, do you know how to speak and conduct yourself differently with the CEO than with the custodian? Do you customize your sales approach to each client? You must, as employers consider this an in-demand skill.

People Management

    Gone are the days of computer management. Employers want to know you can deal with people. Really talk to and motivate them. Get them going, producing and contributing. Feeling wonderful about their teammates, you and the company. Do you comprehend how to do these things? Great! You have this professional skill everyone wants this year and in the future. If you can create happy employees, you’ll be a happy employee to your superiors!

Negotiation

    Other people have skills like emotional intelligence that robots lack, negotiation is at the heart of business deals, so it’s vital professional skill employers look for. Negotiation requires excellent communication and debating skills, so brush up on your interpersonal skills.

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