As much as degrees, doctorates, and PhDs do have their place, there are important skills you must acquire too. The rapid digitization of the world has opened up limitless opportunities. There are skills now that did not even exist some years back. The digital economy is now one of the most lucrative domains today. If you want to increase your value nowadays, be it for employability or otherwise, there are skills you must focus on. Let me point you in the right direction by telling you 12 top skills currently in high demand.
The mere fact that you are reading this article right now is because of copywriting. I am a copywriter and this has become one of the most sought-after skills in the world. It does not matter what industry you are in, copywriting is needed. Copywriting is essential to content for websites (e.g. blogging), social media platforms, official communiques (e.g. press releases), publications (e.g. newsletters), and much more. Possessing impeccable language and writing skills is gold; many people are making thousands (even millions) of dollars annually these days from copywriting.
It can be Project Management or Project Monitoring and Evaluation. There are also other associated learning options you can settle for in this area. This is yet another skill that applies to any industry. Any company, organization, or institution always has goals it will be pursuing. Those goals are pursued through activities packaged as projects. That is why people with project management skills are always being looked for. Even when being considered for a job opening, having this skill can separate you from the rest. A basic certificate in this field can be enough to treble your prospects.
Recently I did an article discussing a Zimbabwean startup called Age-X. They have developed over 50 edu-tech mobile apps being used in 8 African countries. Many people now know there is no point in avoiding adopting digital approaches. That is why the demand for digital products or services is surging. One of such is mobile apps and this is because most people use mobile smart devices. Businesses or startups are aware that if you want to effectively capture people, you need to engage them on mobile. By acquiring app development skills you will become eligible for countless gigs globally.
Just like copywriting, public speaking is now gold. The power to convince people using spoken words is vital these days. This is a skill that every business person or entrepreneur must acquire. Plus anyone who serves in any leadership capacity must study public speaking. Public speaking is a science and an art; there are so many things to be learnt. If you are serious about appealing to a global audience you must become proficient in public speaking.
Facebook is one of the most used social media platforms in Zimbabwe. No wonder why most Zimbabwean enterprises are active more on Facebook than anywhere else. Most people just know the basic stuff i.e. posting, liking, sharing, commenting, and so forth. Beyond that, there are technical and specialist areas such as Facebook Ads. They are instrumental in building and effectively engaging with your target audience. Since it is a somewhat technical area people tend to look for those who are well-versed in the area. This dynamic has led to the high demand for people with Facebook Ads skills.
UX And UI Design
I am planning soon to formally enrol on a certified learning programme in this area. It is of utmost interest to me but more importantly, it is now highly sought after. Almost daily, be it on Twitter or LinkedIn, I see job ads looking for people possessing skills in UX and UI Design. Go for this skill and become a part of this interesting community of UX or UI designers.
I mentioned this because this is the basic level i.e. that is where you start. Otherwise, the broader field in question is Data Science which includes Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and so on. Usually, in Data Analytics you start with Microsoft Excel. You must note though that Excel on its own is so broad that you can solely make a career out of it. Data is now being considered the new oil. Data or information is also now considered the most valuable asset. That is why the demand for skills in data collection, cleaning, analysis, and modelling continues to spike. Start with Microsoft Excel and work your way up to other areas e.g. Power BI, Tableau, SQL, and more.
I am not going to suggest which programming languages to major in; they are too many. The basic idea is to do your homework to find out which programming languages have higher prospects. By having coding skills you can easily become many other things. For example, you can easily become an app developer, software developer, or web developer, just to mention a few.
Social Media Management
I have extensively covered the area of social media management before. If you diligently take the time to go through all the articles I have ever done on the subject you can start social media management. Anyways, many prospective clients are looking for someone to manage their social media accounts. Having the skills to do that can bring in money for you without even breaking your back.
Due to the realization that having an online presence is needed, the demand for websites is increasing. The lucrativeness of being a web developer is so alluring. You can live a comfortable life just by having at least 3 clients per month. The bonus is that the more clients you get the easier it becomes. You will just be repeating basic things and doing what you love. This is almost like easy money for passionate web developers. In taking up learning programmes in this area there are several options to consider too.
SEO Or Google Analytics
Content is now king; everyone is making and propagating content. This has and still is creating so much competition amongst content creators to get noticed. The internet and social media platforms operate on AI-driven platforms. You need to know exactly what to do to make your content stand out. This is where SEO and Google Analytics – possessing skills in these areas are highly sought after.
This is because this is mostly the software that is used in graphic design. This means the broad focus here is to acquire skills in graphic design. Focusing exclusively on Adobe Photoshop widens your flexibility and prospects too. Clients or employers often want graphic designers proficient in Adobe Photoshop. Plus, with Adobe Photoshop you can do virtually anything needed in multimedia production.
These skills are relevant this year and will continue to be in the coming years. Take advantage of online learning to acquire these skills. You can even establish yourself as self-taught by using platforms such as YouTube. I have studied (and am still studying) and been certified in more than half of the skills I discussed in this article. I cannot tell enough how that has opened up doors for me. Make it your goal to acquire some of these skills; you will surely thank me later. You will enjoy so much freedom and flexibility as you get to freelance once you possess these skills.