Top 5 Must-Have Skills You Need to Be Competitive in Today’s Job Market was originally published on Ivy Exec.
More and more companies are prioritizing upskilling, defined as helping workers advance their careers, and reskilling or training workers on new skills they don’t have. They may help their employees with training programs or pay for them to acquire college degrees, credentials, or certificates.
This demonstrates that in-demand skills are ever in flux. As the pandemic has shown us, skills that were once unnecessary (or didn’t even exist!) are now desirable, while other skills that were once imperative are no longer so important.
At the same time, hiring individuals only because of their work experience has also become less common at some of the world’s leading companies. Of course, employees’ work history is less important in a changing workforce than their interest in learning, growing, and adapting.
“Instead, companies are adding more detailed soft-skills requirements in their job postings and testing hard skills through certifications, evaluations, and other methods. The trend raises the question: ‘What skills do you need to thrive in today’s workplace?’” said Morgan Smith of CNBC.
In fact, the Korn Ferry’s “Future of Work Trends 2022” report showed that 69 percent of the world’s most-admired companies hired employees for their curiosity and willingness to learn over individuals with specific experience.
“Clearly, business leaders and professionals are coming to terms with the need to upskill and reskill. They’re also understanding that higher education degrees alone don’t cut it anymore to accelerate their careers. Organizations, too, are taking an active approach to reskilling with a continuous learning mindset,” explained Emeritus.
At the same time, employers have moved to a highly-digitized workforce, with many workers and industries moving online. So, it comes with little surprise that many of the five most in-demand skills to stay competitive in the job market are connected to tech. What’s more, you don’t have to be a tech worker to need these skills.
What are the five most important skills to stay competitive in the job market?
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
In the next few years, more and more human-powered jobs will be replaced by machines, algorithms, and AI. These skills are so important to have, even at senior levels.
“This effectively means everyone from C-Suite leadership to mid and senior professionals will need to become fluent in AI innovations and ML products. Professionals who understand and execute AI and ML technologies are better equipped to deliver customized experiences and innovative products in the organization,” Emeritus writes.
We are creating more and more data, but we also need to understand how to take insights from this information. Leaders want to use data to make decisions, but they also need to know how to understand the information collected and how to use it to improve customer experience.
Data visualization skills – which can be used to make data more visible and easy to understand – are similarly useful here.
Basic Programming Skills
Before the pandemic, we might have thought basic programming skills were only necessary for the computer scientists on our teams. But now, having tech skills can boost careers in various industries.
“Tech-savvy workers are highly suited to most industries, including healthcare and finance. Possessing a technical skill set can lead to a higher-paying position,” said Rebecca Lake for Investopedia.
In-demand programming skills to brush up on include C, Python, Java, C++, and C#.
Consumer-Facing Tech Skills
UI/UX design, a field that designs products and services to boost consumer experiences, is two more important tech skills that are rising to the top of many lists. While you may not want to become a designer, understanding how your company’s products operate can help you in more senior positions.
A related highly-demanded skill is usability testing, where you ensure a product or service works as you want it to by connecting with customers to test it out.
Digital Transformation Skills
The effects of COVID-19 still linger in the world of work, as companies and industries had to rapidly modify their processes during shutdowns beginning in 2020. But that doesn’t mean their digital transformations are complete, far from it. Instead, the pandemic only brought to light some of the struggles to be fully functional as online entities.
“World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020 shares 84% of employers are overseeing a significant expansion of remote work, with a third also implementing new digital tools to enable collaboration and community building,” said Emeritus.
Other reports focus on the non-technical and soft skills that are still valuable to employers. Here are eight more:
- Product and project management
- Account management
- Contract administration
- Business planning
- Critical thinking
- Mental agility
- Communication skills
Update Your Skills to Stay Competitive in the Job Market
The pandemic has brought about a digital revolution in the workforce. From companies to entire sectors moving online, it’s no surprise that tech skills are in-demand, whether or not you have a “tech” job.
At the same time, soft skills like mental flexibility and communication skills are also highly sought-after, as the world of work won’t stop shifting anytime soon, and these abilities demonstrate your adaptability. That means that employees’ ability to be agile, lifelong learners – those willing to take advantage of training programs and stay abreast with new skill developments – will remain desirable.
“Developing your hard and soft skills will boost your marketability to potential employers. It’s almost certain that tech skills will continue to be highly sought after, but other skills like communicating effectively, being mindful of details, and staying organized aren’t likely to go out of style any time soon,” Lake argues.
Interested in learning more about in-demand skills? Read our recent article “11 Skills Every Forward-Looking Executive is Developing in 2022.”