Set yourself apart from the rest by developing these skills. Source: Shutterstock

LinkedIn recently published its findings for the top skills that employers are looking for in 2020. It provides much-needed guidance for students and graduates in an increasingly disruptive world riddled with job security fears.

By analysing data from their network of over 660 million professionals and 20 million jobs, they were able to identify the 15 most in-demand soft and hard skills of 2020.

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world also have their own set of challenges as they worry about their skills and knowledge becoming obsolete and outdated.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 LinkedIn Learning

Here are the top three hard and soft skills for 2020, according to LinkedIn.

Hard skills

1. Blockchain

Still can’t grasp the complexities of blockchain? Unfortunately, it’s not going anywhere in the near future and is being touted as the number one skill to learn. Specialists with blockchain knowledge are currently high in demand.

Even though it was first conceptualised back in 2009, blockchain is now gaining immense popularity in the increasingly digital world and with the rise of cryptocurrency. For starters, here’s a step-by-step guide to understanding blockchain.

2. Cloud computing

Another fast-growing sector in digital technology is cloud-based computing. Since everything is now stored on the cloud, talented professionals are increasingly needed to drive technical architecture, design and delivery of cloud systems.

3. Analytical reasoning

In the age of Big Data, it will be valuable to develop one’s analytical thinking and reasoning. Experts are needed to make sense of it all and use their skills to make informed decisions for businesses.

Soft skills

1. Creativity

Once only associated with creative professions, creativity is now seen as one of the most valuable soft skills across all sectors , from engineering to business to HR.

This is because organisations increasingly need individuals who can think outside the box and take a creative approach to problems and tasks.

2. Persuasion

There’s a reason why they call it ‘the power of persuasion’, as it’s a powerful way to gain influence and turn a big idea into success in a competitive world.

According to Deanna (Lazzaroni) Pate in LinkedIn The Learning Blog, individuals who can explain the “why” are valued by employers. It would be wise to improve upon your ability to effectively communicate ideas so you can persuade your colleagues and stakeholders to follow your lead.

3. Collaboration

You may dread group projects, but the reason many universities today are offering students with more group work is because working effectively in teams is a crucial aspect of any successful organisation.

By collaborating with others, you get to bounce off ideas, problem-solve, share expertise and come up with innovative solutions together.

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