The Best Professional Skills to Learn Today

See also: Transferable Skills

The shift in employer and employee expectations is quickly changing skill requirements in the job market. To remain competitive, you must be willing to learn new skills. You may need to learn hard or soft skills - or both.

The good news is you can learn most of these skills for free online. Here are the best skills to learn that will give you an edge in the job market.

Man holding a laptop.

1. Digital Skills

In our digital era, it’s not enough to learn basic computer skills. Tech companies and most organizations are looking for employees with skills such as digital marketing and business data analytics. They want cross-disciplined employees who have both hard and soft skills. Whatever job you are interviewing for, recruiters will be looking for a wider skill set.

For example, if you want to get hired as a project manager, you may need to know your way around a Gmail shared inbox. Some projects may require your team to use a shared inbox for better collaboration.

2. Change Management

The world is rapidly changing, and coping with many changes at once can make workers feel overwhelmed. Change management is becoming an essential skill in many organizations today. It’s all about dealing with the transformation or transition of an organization's goals, processes, or technologies. Employees who can help others successfully adapt to change will become nearly irreplaceable this year and beyond.

3. Artificial Intelligence

We live in an automation age when more people are becoming concerned about robots taking their jobs. While we’ve always relied on computers to do most of our work, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become popular in recent years because it relieves humans of repetitive tasks.

AI allows machines to learn from experience, perform human-like tasks, and adjust to new inputs. The machines rely heavily on deep learning and natural language processing. These days, employers are looking for employees with solid knowledge of AI applications.

4. Resilience

Resilience is best tested in times of adversity. Many people discovered their level of resilience when the pandemic struck as they had to make difficult lifestyle changes. Those who will learn this vital skill will bounce back from setbacks more quickly and keep trying out new things that will set them up for success in the future. Studies also show that employers prefer resilient workers who can endure hardships and quickly overcome challenges.

5. Adaptability

The world is changing faster than ever before. Technological innovations are transforming industries and old ways of doing things are quickly becoming obsolete. To cope with all these changes and remain competitive in the job market, you must learn to adapt. Embrace new technology, philosophies, concepts, and methods.

6. Project Management

The Project Management Institute predicts that by the end of 2021, there will be a demand for 88 million project managers. You can gain invaluable skills in times of uncertainty through taking on a project management role, and doing so can be tremendously rewarding. In general, leading and managing teams is a key skill for project managers while maintaining focus on the goals set. The skills you develop in project management can be applied to many other fields in the future if you wish to move on.

7. Cloud Computing

The cloud is still a relatively new phenomenon, and the demand for professionals who are proficient in cloud computing is set to rise. New cloud technologies like Amazon Web Services create many opportunities for job seekers with the right skills. The demand for cloud skills is expected to increase in the future because of the benefits that cloud solutions offer, such as cost-effectiveness and security. Technojobs saw over 100% growth in cloud engineer openings from 2016-2019, which is an indication of what we can expect going forward.

8. Machine learning

Among the most popular skills for people in the technology world is machine learning, a subset of artificial intelligence. Machine learning is useful for programmers and data professionals. Coursework on machine learning can provide you with the basics.

9. Design

No matter where you are on the design spectrum, learning the basics is beneficial. Your presentations will look better...or your Instagram posts will be more interesting. You will be able to communicate with designers much easier if you work with them.

10. Foreign Languages and Translation

Interacting in a foreign language is always beneficial in winning the first round of a business deal! Even if English dominates the global market, you can always succeed when you communicate with others in their native tongue! Furthermore, it enhances interpersonal skills to a great extent as well as making communication easier. This is why being bilingual is always a good idea!

Despite always being fun, learning a new language can make a significant difference to your career prospects, admission to schools and colleges, emigration, etc.

While it might be tempting to pick up many languages, choose a language that will be useful to you in the future, both as an education and career prospect. Make sure the language you learn will help you in the longer run.

Having a second language significantly increase your earning power? In an age of social distance, where can you learn a new language?

You can find help through various online resources! You can choose from such applications as Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, Babbel, Tandem, etc. There is an array of great language learning features available in all of these, some of which may even be free!

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Personal Development

Learn how to set yourself effective personal goals and find the motivation you need to achieve them. This is the essence of personal development, a set of skills designed to help you reach your full potential, at work, in study and in your personal life.

The second edition of or bestselling eBook is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their skills and learning potential, and it is full of easy-to-follow, practical information.

To sum up

The Covid-19 pandemic has made adaptability an essential skill in almost every part of life. The skill can be learned or developed through overcoming challenges. Those who learn this vital skill have a good chance of succeeding in the future. The world is changing fast, and only those who keep learning new skills will remain relevant.

The 'soft skills' you possess determine your future, according to research! There are many areas that need improvement, including time management, creativity, business communication, verbal communication, etc. With them, you'll have an extra edge over other profiles and be more liked.

Why wait? This is the perfect time to pick up some new skills and shake up your resume as the 'work-from-home' culture dominates the market and impending lockdowns loom large.

About the Author

Rafia is a content writing guru at Contentrist. She loves to write on different topics and is adept at IT as well. In her free time, she likes to travel and explore different parts of the world.