The 5 most in-demand job skills Companies need beyond COVID-19, and how you can learn them.

CareerApril 29, 2020 17:06

Photo by Simon Migaj from Pexels

Written by Max Loong, Senior Career Advisor

It is beyond doubt that the unprecedented arrival of the COVID-19 Pandemic will drive a big change on how the world works. It is also a call for a paradigm shift for companies; in terms of business continuity planning, digital transformation, as well as workforce management.

In fact, an article by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company indicated that we are moving towards the “next normal”, highlighting that “we will witness a dramatic restructuring of the economic and social order in which business and society have traditionally operated.”

These potential changes will also mean the change in demands of skill a company will require. For employees, these changes signify an opportunity to reassess their current career skills and competencies to remain competitive in the workforce after this pandemic. With more time on our hands staying at home, here are a five most in-demand for job skills that you can learn to keep yourself relevant beyond these times.

Hard skills:

  1. Data Literacy

Moving into the age of massive digital transformation, data has become a critical asset for every company. The ability to efficiently analyze data and provide insights will be one of the most important skill set that employees at all levels should cultivate.

Knowing the right data means that you can help companies better predict the impact of future business disruptions, identify business trends, and customer needs so that they can make better business decisions based on it. Hence data literacy is a necessary skill to be competitive in the workforce.

  1. Tech savviness

Like it or not, innovation in technologies will take over how businesses operate. Businesses can only survive if they keep up with the pace of technology innovation. Likewise, as digital tools becomes more common, technical skills for it will be required by employees regardless what job title they hold.

Current technological advances such as Artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), robotics, blockchain and more will become an integral part of business operations, whether the workplace is a consulting firm or a manufacturing plant. In order to have an edge, you will not only need to get comfortable around these tools, but also develop skills to work with them.

  1. Digital/Social Media Marketing

Based on a recent report from the World Economic Forum, many Digital Marketing related skills are listed as in demand skills among large businesses. The prevalence of Digital/Social media has changed how advertising and branding works. Coincidentally at times of limited mobility, attention in Digital/Social media is at an all-time high.

Whether you are a business owner or an employee, knowing where consumer attention is and having the ability to capture them will benefit you in many ways.

Soft skills:

  1. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (also known as EQ) is the ability to be aware of, manage, and respond to your own emotions and the emotion of others. In a time where traditional and routine tasks can soon be replaced by automation and AI, large companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are increasingly aware of the need for social and emotional skills to be instilled to people in their organization; to enhance human interaction and collaboration.  Data from LinkedIn also shown that individuals with high EQ are getting hired and promoted at a faster rate.

While EQ is a in-demand job skill, it is also a good opportunity to strengthen your EQ in your social life if you want to work on fostering better relationships with people you care about.

  1. Critical Thinking

A report from McKinsey Global Institute listed “Higher Cognitive skills” as one of the top three most in-demand skill by 2030.

We are experiencing changes rapidly, especially unprecedented ones at times like these. At the same time, "information overload" also pose a challenge for companies to make effective business decisions based on it. Individuals who can embrace such reality, be objective in their assessments, think critically, and find solutions to business problems are likely to stand out among others.

Commit to lifelong learning

According to the World Economic Forum, it is said that 35 percent of job skills considered essential today will change in the next 5 years. The only way we can be relevant in the "new normal" post COVID-19 is to commit to lifelong learning. People with “crisis-proof” skills and mindsets are less likely to struggle and find career progression.

With an abundance of resources available online, it is now even easier to pick up or improve in-demand career skills.

Here are some popular sites that offers cheap (or even free) online learning courses to the skills mentioned above:

As the saying goes: "It doesn't matter how slowly you go so long as you don't stop.". Enjoy the learning process and soar to greater heights!

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