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What Employers Want: 38 In-Demand Skills

What Employers Want: 38 In-Demand Skills
Credit: Solarseven/Shutterstock

If you have technical expertise, you shouldn't have any trouble finding work: Computer programming and designing skills dominate the list of the skills employers are looking for most in employees, according to three separate recently released rankings from LinkedIn, Upwork and Opportunity.

The most in-demand skill for the second year in a row, according to LinkedIn's data, is cloud and distributed computing.

"These skills are in such high demand because they're at the cutting edge of technology," LinkedIn wrote on its blog. "Employers need employees with cloud and distributed computing, statistical analysis, and data-mining skills to stay competitive."

To develop the rankings, analysts examined all of the hiring and recruiting activity that happened on LinkedIn in the past year and identified the skill categories that belonged to members who were more likely to start new jobs and receive interest from recruiters.

UpWork's data show that machine learning is the hottest skill in 2016. The researchers said that with businesses harvesting enormous amounts of data, the demand for machine-learning specialists who can build adaptive algorithms and extract the value of this new data is increasing.

UpWork's rankings are based on the growth rates of the jobs freelancers are being hired for on the UpWork platform.

"The freelance workforce is the best indicator of new skill trends," Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, said in a statement. "Businesses are turning to freelancers to complete projects requiring skills that aren't available locally."

Those who are not technically savvy shouldn't fret that they lack the skills employers are looking for these days. Social media management, Facebook marketing and content writing were all among UpWork's top skills, too. In addition, a number of sales-related aptitudes ranked highly on this year's most sought-after skills from Opportunity.

Bill Jula, co-founder of Opportunity, said direct sales tops his organization's list because companies are expanding and seizing a chance to grow their businesses in an improved economy.

"I also believe the skill 'direct sales' means much more than in years past (i.e., door to door/cold calling)," Jula told Business News Daily. "So much of direct selling is interwoven into e-commerce, customer support, etc."

Opportunity's rankings were compiled from the skills being hired for among its network of more than 1 million business professionals.

Overall, the 39 most in-demand skills according to the three reports from LinkedIn, UpWork and Opportunity are:

  • Cloud and distributed computing
  • Statistical analysis and data mining
  • Mobile development
  • Storage systems and management
  • User interface design
  • Network and information security
  • Middleware and integration software
  • Web architecture and development framework
  • Algorithm design
  • Java development
  • Machine learning
  • Tableau software
  • User experience design
  • C++ programming
  • MySQL programming
  • Pardot marketing
  • Social media management
  • Project management professional (PMP)
  • Swift development
  • Chat support
  • Android development
  • Unity 3D game development
  • Shopify development
  • Video editing
  • AutoCAD
  • Facebook marketing
  • API development
  • Content writing
  • .NET framework
  • WordPress development
  • Direct sales
  • Sales management
  • Business development
  • Customer service
  • Account management
  • Accounting
  • Salesforce
  • Sales operations
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.