Valuable skills come and go in today’s fast-paced job market. Students and job seekers have to keep up.
LinkedIn, the online career marketplace, recently listed the skills and experience most in demand on its site.
We asked Sue Harbour, senior associate director at the University of California-Berkeley’s Career Center, to talk about the skills that LinkedIn ranks highest. In an email interview, she discussed jobs that can make use of these skills.
1. Aptitude in cloud computing
You’ve probably heard of cloud computing — storing and accessing data and programs through the internet and on demand, using servers instead of a computer’s hard drive.
Skill in creating and using cloud-based applications relies on expertise in programming, database, quality assurance, Linux and DevOps (practices involving software development and IT team operations).
Jobs you might hold include platform developer, cloud software design engineer, cloud architect, information systems engineer and data engineer.
2. Experience in artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence sounds like something out of a “Terminator” movie. But, really, it’s the ability of a computer program or technology to think and learn by making predictions based on past use. Some call this “machine learning.”
To work in AI, your background should include expertise in big data, data visualization and Java, Python, Spark and SAS computer languages, Harbour says.
3. Analytical reasoning
In career terms, analytical reasoning means the ability to look at either quantitative or qualitative data and find patterns, Harbour says.
“Strong analytical reasoning skills will not only help you on the SAT test, but will benefit you greatly in careers that require problem solving,” she says.
Careers requiring analytical reasoning include budgeting and finance, consulting, operations, logistics, information security and actuarial science.
4. People management
Maybe someone has praised your people-management skills. Or perhaps you’ve worked under a boss who could use training in this vital area.
Managing people “requires an individual to create a work environment for others to thrive in,” Harbour says.
You need a strong leadership capacity and the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people. It helps if you are a role model in the workplace and can support others as they grow and develop so they can succeed, Harbour adds.
Nail this skill, and you can work in many fields.
Knowing which jobs to shun can be as helpful as knowing which to pursue. Check out “Avoid These Dead-End Careers: 7 Jobs That Ask Too Much and Pay Too Little.”
5. UX design
If you’ve ever been frustrated by an online form that’s unclear, you’ve tangled with bad UX design.
User experience design (UX design) is “the process of improving user satisfaction with a product by making it more appealing, easy to navigate, accessible or — in simplest terms — making the user want to use the product more,” Harbour says.
You’ll need to study computer software coding, UX research, logic and reasoning, visual design and communication.
“Additionally, it helps if you take feedback well,” she adds. These jobs exist across most industries and will grow with our reliance on technology.
6. Mobile application development
Mobile apps are software that you use on a mobile device. Apps are created with software, followed by beta testing before they are launched in the marketplace.
To acquire skill in mobile app development, you’ll need a foundation in computer programming and coding (a specific type of programming).
Mobile app skills give you plenty of flexibility. You may work for a large company, on the tech side, for a startup or as a freelance app developer, Harbour says.
7. Video production
Do you have dreams of becoming the next YouTube star? The field of video production, which is the process of creating video content, may be for you.
“Most video content today is in digital form, but the basis is capturing moving objects to create content for film, television and other media outlets,” Harbour explains.
You’ll need skill using video-editing programs. “Fortunately, you can learn these on your own if you have the desire and interest,” she adds.
8. Sales leadership
While some of us struggled to meet a sales quota selling Girl Scout cookies, others seem to be natural salespeople.
The latter “view everything as an opportunity — the opportunity to run a stronger program, build a better product, reach a greater amount of clients,” Harbour says.
Sales leadership includes the drive to bring business to the organization, she says. A good salesperson has a world of opportunities in many fields.
For more tips, check out “3 Keys to Switching Careers After Age 50.”
What skills are crucial to success in today’s economy, in your opinion? Tell us in a comment below or at MoneyTalksNews’ page on Facebook.
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