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Australia’s 15 most in-demand job skills – and where to learn them for free

Man and woman with laptop
This is your ultimate guide to upskilling in 2020. (Source: Getty)

Experts have unanimously agreed that you’ll have to skill up to stay relevant in the job market in 2020.

But your next question might be: where should I upskill?

Professional networking platform LinkedIn has released 15 skills that are in high demand, and they’re not just hard skills: five of them are increasingly sought-after soft skills such as creativity, adaptability, and persuasion.

Australian and global business leaders have spoken about the value of creativity as a core driver of profit, as well as the capacity to react to the inevitability of change.

And as manual skills gradually fall out of favour, different kinds of technological skills are rising in demand – and the areas of artificial intelligence, UX design and cloud computing will require experienced and skilled technicians.

“With the rate of technological advancement, and so many important skills to learn, it can be challenging to know where to start,” said LinkedIn Learning Solutions senior director, Asia Pacific Jason Laufer.

Alongside the list of in-demand skills, LinkedIn is also making their corresponding learning courses free just for the month of January.

So if you’re looking to be job-ready for the employment market this decade, here’s what you need to brush up on, as well as where you can learn the skills for free:

The top 10 in-demand hard skills, according to LinkedIn

1. Blockchain

Although it’s most associated with cryptocurrency, blockchain’s uses including storing, validating, authorising and moving data securely across the internet. Not many people are experts in it, so those who are, are highly sought after, said Laufer.

Where to learn it:

2. Analytical reasoning

Data is only going to become more and more important, and those who can make sense of data and turn it into insights will become important business decision-makers.

Where to learn it:

3. Cloud computing

Speaking of data, much of it now lives on the cloud. Those who can build the infrastructure, design and delivery for cloud systems like Microsoft Azure have an edge in the jobs market.

Where to learn it:

4. Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence has far-reaching implications for nearly every single industry, and humans will have to learn to work alongside AI in the workforce of the future. “The people who can harness the power of AI, machine learning, and natural language processing, are the ones who can help organisations deliver more relevant, personalised, and innovative products and services,” Laufer said.

Where to learn it:

5. Translation

Don’t speak the language? No problems. These days, lightning-fast online translation services can do all the heavy lifting for you, which is why translation skills are in such high demand.

Where to learn it:

6. Scientific computing

Those who have scientific computing skills include data science professionals, engineers and software architects.

“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,” said Laufer.

Where to learn it:

7. Investor relations

This area combines finance, communication and marketing to manage and handle information between a company and its stakeholders. This skill is critical to the growth of a company.

Where to learn it:

8. Customer service systems

Customer service is becoming more important than ever, with customers demanding a higher standard of experience than ever before – so it pays to know your way around it.

Where to learn it:

9. UX design

Hand-in-hand with great customer service is excellently designed products that are easy to use for customers. Organisations will continue to need professionals who can create a great user experience.

Where to learn it:

10. Competitive strategies

Competition is fierce out there – and so businesses will be dedicated to finding ways to out-compete their competitors.

Where to learn it:

Top 5 in-demand soft skills

1. Creativity

No matter what position or role you’re in, there’s always room to approach problems more creatively.

Where to learn it:

2. Teamwork

Multiple heads are better than one – and you’ll have to work with people in some capacity or another, so it’s a great idea to play to your and your colleagues’ strengths.

Where to learn it:

3. Persuasion

For salespeople, this skill is vital, but every worker will ultimately need to have this skill.

“To advance your career, hone your ability to effectively communicate ideas and persuade your colleagues that it’s in their best interest to follow your lead,” said Laufer.

Where to learn it:

4. Adaptability

As the philosopher Heraclitus said, the only constant in life is change.

In 2020, it’s all about being comfortable with change, adapting quickly, and being professional in stressful situations.

Where to learn it:

5. Time management

Time management skills will stay with you your entire career and help you prioritise tasks as well as get them done efficiently.

Where to learn it:

LinkedIn Learning’s courses will be free until the end of January 2020.

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