Whether you’re at the beginning of your career or have already made your way to the C-Suite, developing new skills is a must. As the old adage goes: if you’re not growing, you’re dying. The question of course then becomes – which business skills should you be learning? And which are the top business skills in demand?
The answers to these questions vary on your industry and focus. Fields like the arts place a particular emphasis on originality and creativity while engineers focus on technical skills and expertise.
No matter the industry, however, all require soft skills and hard skills to a certain extent. Soft skills are intangible, non-technical abilities, such as creativity, attitude, communication, and leadership. Hard skills can be learned and are measurable abilities, such as computer programming, writing, and speaking foreign languages.
In this article, we’ll be going over some of the most in-demand soft skills and hard skills in the business world today. Additionally we’ll give you steps to take to begin developing them. These skills are based on LinkedIn Learning’s 2019 analysis of the 50,000 skills listed on the professional networking site.
Most In-Demand Hard Skills:
In-Demand Hard Skill #1 – Cloud Computing
In an increasingly digital world, it makes sense that a technical skill like cloud computing tops the list. Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted online to manage, process, and store data. So, rather than storing data on your personal computer or local server, it’s “in the cloud”. Basically every major company in the world uses cloud computing so it’s no surprise that this business skill tops the list. Developing cloud computing capabilities requires technical training and understanding computer networking.
- Edx Cloud Computing Courses
- Coursera Cloud Computing Courses
- Learning Cloud Computing: Networking
- Learning Amazon Web Services (AWS) for Developers
- AWS for Architects: Advanced Security
In-Demand Hard Skill #2 – Artificial Intelligence
Many predict that the next technological revolution will be led by artificial intelligence (AI). There are few industries AI will not touch, making the relatively nascent skill second on LinkedIn’s list. Top firms from Amazon to UPS are aggressively on the search for employees with the technical chops to use AI to fuel the next generation of growth.
- Edx Artificial Intelligence Courses
- Coursera Artificial Intelligence Courses
- Artificial Intelligence Foundations: Neural Networks
- Artificial Intelligence Foundations: Machine Learning
- Machine Learning and AI Foundations: Classification Modeling
Most In-Demand Soft Skills:
In-Demand Soft Skill #1 – Creativity
One of the most important – but incredibly challenging to quantify – business skills is creativity. Though often attributed to the arts, creativity in business is essential in both strategy and operations. Employees who can think outside the box are able to effectively utilize resources, excite colleagues, and ultimately, transform companies, industries, and the world.
- Coursera Creativity Courses
- Udemy Creativity Courses
- Creativity Bootcamp
- The Five-Step Creative Process
- Creativity: Generate Ideas in Greater Quantity and Quality
In-Demand Soft Skill #2 – Persuasion
If you can’t persuade someone about your product, idea, or strategy, then it is as good as useless. Effective persuasion comes in multiple forms, including well-constructed presentations, public speaking, thoughtful listening, and communication skills. Being able to persuade others to take action or give approval is the most essential skill you’ll need to succeed in entrepreneurship or the corporate world.
- PowerPoint for Consulting – storytelling to drive executive action
- Udemy Persuasion Courses
- Skillshare Persuasion Courses
- Persuading Others
- Becoming A Thought Leader
- Advanced Consumer Behavior
- The Pyramid Principle
Just like fashion, there is a constant shifting of trends in the job market. And while it’s true that you’ll need to master a few core skills over the course of your career, learning new skills enables you to remain at the cutting edge of your industry, and ahead of your competition for that new job or promotion.