The most important skill to acquire now is learning how to learn.

John Naisbitt

We are all painfully aware of the big elephant in the room – the self-quarantine. And yes, we know, everyone is saying that you should stop wasting your time on Netflix, gaming and aimless scrolling, and use this time for self-improvement: grab a book, start exercising,  acquire a new skill, etc. It is easier said than done, though. There are so many online courses, trainings and one simply doesn’t know where to start and what to trust. Because we don’t want you to end up in the situation as the person below

We have done some research and chose TOP 5 soft and TOP 5 hard skills ( if you are some tech whizz-kid you probably will find some valuable tips too) that you could learn this quarantine. So, let’s dive into our guide of the skills  to acquire in 2020. 

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are also known as “people skills” or “interpersonal 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. And believe me, it is not just some millennial thing, simply because employers are not looking for robots but they are seeking for human beings who are flexible and can help with the company’s growth.

Top 5 soft skills to learn in 2020

  1. Self-motivation. This is one of the most essential skills to have. Why? None of the businesses want a person who has to be always supervised and constantly motivated. And especially now, when the majority of the jobs are remote, you simply, have to find that motivational juice inside you that would drive you to keep going even in the face of set-back and show commitment to what you want to achieve. 
  2. Creative thinking. It is still the number one ingredient to make sustainable and innovative business. Organizations are starving for people who can creatively approach problems and tasks across all business roles. It is crucial from HR to engineering roles since it helps to bring new ideas in every field of expertise. PS, there are some brilliant courses offered by Linkedin.
  3. Emotional intelligence. All previously mentioned skills are crucial and you have heard about them many times. But this one is not so common. It can be described as the ability to perceive, evaluate, and respond to your own emotions and the emotions of others.  Emotional intelligence is critical for managers and involves cultivating empathy and human understanding. There is no doubt that the key to the team’s success is good communication and understanding and this quality is crucial to master. Here is a course about it.
  4. Collaboration. As we have mentioned, organizations that have effective teams achieve more. No matter how good you are working solo. You can achieve more by incorporating other talents into your working process.
  5. Problem-solving. It is an extremely important skill to have for both individuals and organizations. This ability enables us to exert control over our environment. And not only that, it provides us with the ability to quickly analyze a situation and figure out what is broken and why; determine a course of actions and how to fix it in an efficient manner. 

What are the hard skills?

If soft skills are all about how we work (like organization, management, or creativity), hard skills are about the work itself—what we work on and what tools we use.  Hard skills are specific skills that allow people to do specific tasks. For example, being able to analyze data with Python is a hard skill.

Usually, hard skills are skills to learn while attending some classes or courses. Using the data analysis example, you can build this competence by going to CS Bootcamp or taking some web-based courses. Once you learn it you can demonstrate it in a concrete way.

Top 5 Hard skills to learn in 2020

  1. Blockchain technology. It offers an innovative way to store, validate, authorize, and securely move data across the internet. It is not yet a super-common skill—but for those who have it, it’s immensely valuable. To build your blockchain skills, you’ll also need a solid base of coding and software development skills. There are courses online that can help you develop those base needs; then you can move on to blockchain-specific coding skills.
  1. Artificial intelligence. Companies look for ways to support and refine their workforce with machine learning and data analysis and it makes AI one of the most valuable skills to learn. This skill also needs solid coding knowledge but there is plenty of material on the internet. And if you will gain some expertise in this skill there is no doubt that every startup in your community will want you. Just look at the table down below.

100%

Clearly, the demand is higher than supply.

  1. Business intelligence. If you are not so interested in all AI and coding mumbo jumbo but you still got powerful logical thinking this one could suit you perfectly. In this world full of data this expertise helps businesses to find helpful insights in large datasets and make predictions about the future. Well, you need some coding there, but languages like Python are notoriously easy to learn and have beginner-friendly syntax so there will be no problem to gain this competence.
  2. Cloud computing. Nowadays companies are built and run on the cloud.  There is a lot of value tied to cloud computing, especially considering that Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect Certification is the highest-paying IT certification of 2019 so no doubt that made it to our list of skills to learn in 2020. And yes, there is plenty of info online for gaining this competence.
  3. Learn a new language. And for those who are not that super into tech, we suggest you to learn that language that you have always wanted to, or brush-on a language that you have once learned and are slowly forgetting. Not motivated enough? Did you know that bilingual pay differentials range between 5 and 20 percent per hour more than the position’s base rate. Are you already cleaning the dust of that Italian grammar workbook? Good.

Learning is crucial

In this fast-paced world, we see tremendous growth of technology and it reshapes the global labor market. If you want to be wanted by employers you need to adapt to these changes really fast. In our opinion, a professional nowadays needs to find new valuable skills to learn each year to improve its position in the job market. And learning should last your whole life since it fulfills existence and helps to have a successful career. So our advice: spend your spare time wisely and consider mastering these skills to learn to land your dream job at a cool startup.

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