In an increasingly digital economy, many organizations are seeking employees with technology-focused skill sets. However, HR and talent executives, as well as other people managers, agree that “soft” skills, such as critical thinking and communication, are also crucial to an organization’s productivity. Demonstrating competence in both hard and soft skills will positively influence an individual’s career advancement.
Here are some of the top hard and soft skills employers are looking for in the year ahead:
Top Hard Skills:
1. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is the top hard skill that employers are looking for in 2019, according to LinkedIn. From project management to mobile app development, many companies are leveraging cloud technology to streamline their internal processes, or to create new technology solutions for their customers. As a result, cloud computing is becoming an essential skill for many technology professionals, including software engineers, network architects and more.
2. Artificial Intelligence
According to data from LinkedIn, the number of AI-related skills on LinkedIn profiles grew 190% between 2015 and 2017. Many industries have already begun to adopt AI technology to streamline processes and improve business results, including healthcare, software, finance and manufacturing. Companies need skilled technology professionals to spearhead their digital transformation, and those with AI experience are in high demand. A career-focused technology program can help you become more familiar with AI technology and other new advancements you need to stay competitive in the field.
3. Data Science
In today’s business environment, data is more important to companies than ever before. Data-driven insights can help organizations improve efficiencies, identify customer needs and strategize for the future. Companies need professionals who are able to analyze and distill data into actionable steps that they can use to drive their businesses forward.
With a data analytics degree, you can position yourself for some of the most rapidly growing jobs today. Herzing University offers a bachelor’s degree in data analytics and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Data Analytics program to help you start or advance your analytics-focused career.
Top Soft Skills:
Creativity is the number one soft skill that employers are looking for in 2019, according to LinkedIn. Keep in mind that creativity doesn’t always correlate with artistic ability. In a professional setting, being creative can mean having a unique thought process or a new perspective. No matter the industry, companies are always looking for new ways to grow their business and differentiate themselves from their competitors. For example, creative thinkers have helped companies like Apple, Amazon and Google become the prominent industry leaders they are today.
The ability to work in a team is the most valued skill by employers, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Advancements in technology have made companies more connected than ever before, and facilitated greater collaboration with employees around the world. As a result, companies are looking for candidates that demonstrate strong teamwork skills, as well as leaders who promote collaboration and creativity from their team members.
6. Analytical Reasoning
From business and technology to healthcare and nursing, analytical reasoning is one of the most important skills for growing and advancing in your career. Many industries are becoming more data-driven, and companies are looking for employees who can analyze trends and draw conclusions from large sets of data. Strong analysis skills can also help you become a better problem-solver, examining all sides of an issue to arrive at the best, most effective solution.
It can be difficult for companies to keep up with the pace of change when it comes to technology and the needs of their customers. As a result, companies look for employees who can learn and grow at a fast pace. Adaptability is also important when it comes to project management, as you might have to balance multiple tasks and deadlines at once.
8. Time Management
Time management is an essential skill for any working professional. By improving your level of organization, you can increase your productivity, reduce stress and ensure that you are able to complete all of your tasks on time. Planning ahead and prioritizing are important time management skills you can start developing while in college so that you are prepared for the demands of a fast-paced work environment.
9. People Management
Being able to lead, coach and empower people is crucial if you want to become a manager. An MBA program focused on soft skills, such as leadership, communication and problem-solving, can help you develop the people management skills you need to effectively motivate others and advance in your career.
According to a 2018 report by LinkedIn, the number one priority for employers is training for soft skills. Earning your degree or advancing your education through an MBA program can help you develop the critical soft skills needed to succeed in your field, as well as the leadership and managerial knowledge you need to advance your career.