5 Essential Skills to Expand Your Job Prospects After Coronavirus

If you work from home or are looking for a new position, reviewing the areas where you can "retrain" and "improve" will improve your chances when employers start hiring.

5 Essential Skills to Expand Your Job Prospects After Coronavirus


5 Essential Skills to Expand Your Job Prospects After Coronavirus


In the last four weeks alone, 15 million people, or 10% of the workforce, have lost their jobs due to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, more than 26 million people have applied for unemployment benefits since the start of the crisis, a staggering number that is only expected to grow in the coming weeks. Millions will now be forced to deal with how to stay healthy and pay their bills.

While meeting basic needs is paramount, laid-off workers should use this interruption in their careers to develop new skills, which will dramatically help them find their next opportunity in an unpredictable job market after the coronavirus.

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Even before the crisis, the world of work was undergoing a "digital transformation," in which technologies, such as automation and artificial intelligence, were changing the way people work and the skills necessary to do their jobs.

As director of reskilling at my global talent solutions company, I work closely with companies to help identify skill gaps in their organizations, including how best to "reskill" or "upskill" their employees to meet the changing demands for talent. However, despite the importance of this area, the practice of improving skills falls short.

A recent survey of human capital leaders conducted by our company found that while 91% of companies felt they should be providing upgrade opportunities, only one in five was doing so. Many cited productivity demands or lack of time as obstacles.

I understand that the possibility of retraining can be intimidating. Many of the most in-demand skills and jobs are found in the tech sector in areas like artificial intelligence, data analytics, and cloud computing, but there are ways for non-technical people to improve. My company has seen research on the need for "soft skills" that cannot be replicated by robots or AI, such as emotional intelligence, problem solving, and communication skills. Additionally, resources like Skillshare, Simplilearn, edX, Coursera, Codeacademy, and Udemy offer a combination of zero or low-cost training options for a variety of skills across multiple disciplines.

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While learning new skills at home may not be the top priority for unemployed workers, proactive use of online courses to acquire new skill sets, in a remote and socially distant capacity, could make a dramatic difference in post-pandemic skills to return to work or start a new career.

Interested in improving your skills? These are the five most in-demand skills that workers should look for in order to retrain or improve.


Artificial intelligence


Artificial intelligence

The World Economic Forum identified artificial intelligence specialists as the number one emerging data job in the future. According to LinkedIn's online education website LinkedIn Learning, artificial intelligence is a great skill by 2020, adding an additional level of efficiency to the human workforce.


Analysis of data


Analysis of data

Jobs related to data science and machine learning, together, account for 5 of the top 15 growing jobs in America today. Data scientists and workers who can analyze raw data to find trends and answer questions will be crucial for companies, as technology provides them with more data and information than ever.


Digital / Social Media Marketing


Digital / Social Media Marketing

Expert specialists in search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and email campaigns are in high demand. Applicants with marketing and digital skills who can help companies build their brands will be highly attractive to employers for years to come.

The coming months will not be easy for millions of Americans, and retraining through online courses will not be the top priority. But as unemployed workers begin to think about their next role and return to work during this period of refuge, they should consider evaluating their current skills and using online courses to develop new ones.

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While employers will have a large pool of talents to choose from once the pandemic ends, applicants should do their best to retrain themselves to be as attractive to employers as possible.


Emotional Intelligence


Emotional Intelligence

Employers look for staff who possess emotional intelligence, or the ability to identify and manage their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.

A McKinsey study found that the demand for emotional skills in all industries in the United States will grow by 26% between 2016 and 2030. This soft skill enables workers to relate to others, recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, and also understand what a company customers are going through, making those with high emotional intelligence an asset to employers.


Problem Solving / Critical Thinking


Problem Solving / Critical Thinking

A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 37% of employers named problem solving and critical thinking among the top soft skills candidates lacked. Applicants who can demonstrate that they are able to think critically and find solutions to business problems will have a much better chance of being hired.

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