The Skills Companies Need Most in the Turn of the New Decade

Simon Gitau | 27th March 2020

The Skills Companies Need Most in the Turn of the New Decade

The Skills Companies Need Most in the Turn of the New Decade

Simon Gitau | 27th March 2020


I came across an article by Deanne Pate (a Marketing Leader for LinkedIn Learning) that gave highlights on a very important subject that every professional would find interesting: skills. What skills does the workforce value most? This is a question that every job seeker or professional should ask themselves as a wake-up call. Whatever your goals are for 2020— to take on a bigger project, start a new job, lead a team— learning these skills can help you stand out for that next opportunity. The writer used data harnessed by LinkedIn Learning from over 660+ million professionals and 20+ million jobs to reveal the 15 most in-demand soft and hard skills of 2020. 

The Soft Skills Companies Need Most in 2020

Soft skills are the essential interpersonal skills that make or break our ability to get things done in our current jobs and take on new opportunities ahead.

Topping the list are creativity, collaboration, persuasion, and emotional intelligence—all skills that demonstrate how we work with others and bring new ideas to the table.  Four of the five most in-demand soft skills remain in their top spots year over year, further reinforcing that these skills are evergreen—they’re likely to remain the top skills that companies want in star employees.   

The one variation in the most in-demand soft skills list indicates that companies are gravitating toward talent with interpersonal and people-oriented skills. ‘Time management’, a more task oriented skill, fell off the top list while ‘Emotional intelligence’ took its place. While task-oriented skills remain critical to our success at work, the data shows that employers value our ability to work well with colleagues. 

The most in-demand soft skills are: 


Organizations need people who can creatively approach problems and tasks across all business roles, from software engineering to HR. Focus on honing your ability to bring new ideas to the table in 2020. 


Leaders and hiring managers value individuals who can explain the “why.” To advance your career, brush up on your ability to effectively communicate ideas and persuade your colleagues and stakeholders that it’s in their best interest to follow your lead. 


High-functioning teams can accomplish more than any individual—and organizations know it. Learn how your strengths can complement those of your colleagues to reach a common goal.


The only constant in life—and in business—is change. To stand out in 2020, embrace that reality and make sure to show up with a positive attitude and open-minded professionalism, especially in stressful situations. 

Emotional Intelligence 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, evaluate, and respond to your own emotions and the emotions of others. New to the most in-demand skills list this year, the need for emotional intelligence underscores the importance of effectively responding to and interacting with our colleagues. 

The Hard Skills Companies Need Most in 2020

While the most in-demand soft skills are all about how we work together, the most in-demand hard skills are the ones changing what we’re working on. Trending data also reveals that data-driven decision-making skills like business analysis are essential in today’s workforce. As companies continue to collect and analyze more data than ever before, they need people who can help interpret and take action on that data to drive growth for their business. 

The most in-demand hard skills are: 

Cloud Computing 

Today, companies are built and run on the cloud. They need talents who have the skills to help them drive technical architecture, design, and delivery of cloud systems like Microsoft Azure. 

Analytical Reasoning 

Data has become the foundation of every single business. Organizations want talent who can make sense of it and uncover insights that drive the best decisions for the business.

Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial intelligence (AI) augments the capabilities of the human workforce. The people who can harness the power of AI, machine learning, and natural language processing are the ones who will help organizations deliver more relevant, personalized, and innovative products and services.  

Business Analysis 

Business analysis made the most significant jump of any skill on our list. It's one of the few hard skills every professional should have, as most roles require some level of business analysis to make decisions.

Affiliate Marketing 

With the decline of traditional advertising and the rise of social media, affiliate marketing is rapidly rising as a must-have hard skill. Affiliate marketing leverages company partnerships or influencers that are hyper-targeted to a particular audience. 


You’d be hard pressed to find a company that doesn’t need great sales people—those who can effectively manage a sales team, understand the sales funnel, work with cross-functional partners, and sell into the highest levels of the business.

Scientific Computing 

Scientific computing skills are held by data science professionals, engineers, and software architects, and others. Companies need more professionals that can develop machine learning models and apply statistical and analytical approaches to large data sets using programs like Python, MATLAB, and others. 

Video Production 

Consumers have an insatiable appetite for video content, so it makes sense that video production continues to be a priority for companies. Cisco, an American multinational technology conglomerate estimates that video will account for 82% of global internet traffic in 2022.

With insight into what companies need today, we hope that you feel ready to cultivate the essential soft skills and hard skills, and empowered to own your career.

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