Need a leg up on the competition finding your first or next position this upcoming year? Be warned: the top professional skills desired these days are less science- and tech-oriented, and more liberal arts-oriented. With AI and machine learning becoming a big part of the work-life along with social media and the likes taking over the personal, employers note a lack of interpersonal and humanity-based professional skills they find imperative in today’s job market. Hence, the shift from the highly technical skills to the more flexible one.

Top Seven Professional Skills in Demand for 2021

  1. Visualizing Data

    Yes, you can get data or process data. That’s easy. But do you know how to read that data? Or to how to explain it to others so they can use it? If you can visualize the data, you’ll be able to, and that’s what employers want you to be able to do. You’ll be able to tell the CEO and the public what your findings mean – and that’s invaluable.
  2. Creativity

    Gone are the days when business and creativity didn’t mix. Now, everyone wants the free-thinking creative force on their team to be able to look at problems in new, unique ways to solve them with fresh perspectives. Employers also find this a great professional skill in demand because it helps them find people who can dream up fresh ideas for products and services.
  3. Emotional Intelligence

    Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, refers to how we relate emotionally to people. A high EQ shows you can relate to your own and clients’ emotions and respond accordingly. This, again, shows you’re more capable of relating to people well, instead of being cold and robotic.
  4. Complex Problem-Solving

    Here are other professional skill employers find humanity students are better at solving problems. This relates to creativity, yes, but also to how we process factors such as conversion and argumentative dialogue into our reactions to issues. Playing video games and solving crossword puzzles can help improve your complex problem-solving skills, too.
  5. Cognitive Flexibility

    This one doesn’t refer to your gymnastic prowess but rather your ability to tailor your conversational approach to the people you interact with. In other words, do you know how to speak and conduct yourself differently with the CEO than with the custodian? Do you customize your sales approach to each client? You must, as employers consider this an in-demand skill.
  6. People Management

    Gone are the days of computer management. Employers want to know you can deal with people. Really talk to and motivate them. Get them going, producing and contributing. Feeling wonderful about their teammates, you and the company. Do you comprehend how to do these things? Great! You have this professional skill everyone wants this year and in the future. If you can create happy employees, you’ll be a happy employee to your superiors!
  7. Negotiation

    Another people skill like emotional intelligence that robots lack, negotiation is at the heart of business deals, so it’s vital professional skill employers look for. Negotiation requires excellent communication and debating skills, so brush up on your interpersonal skills.

2021 and the time ahead will have a significant shift in the skills in demand hiring managers and employers seek for. Interpersonal skills top the list, while and visualization skills rank highly as well. These changes arise as our society becomes more dependent upon AI and robots – these professional skills all remain needed by people since their computerized coworkers can’t do them. Ensure you have these skills in your arsenal as you embark upon your new career this year.

About the Author

Nikita DuggalNikita Duggal

Nikita Duggal is a passionate digital nomad with a major in English language and literature, a word connoisseur who loves writing about raging technologies, digital marketing, and career conundrums.

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