The 8 most valuable career skills of 2019

Valuable skills come and go in today’s fast-paced job market. Students and job seekers have to keep up.

LinkedIn, the career marketplace, recently listed the skills and experience most in demand on its site.

We asked Sue Harbour, senior associate director at the University of California-Berkeley’s Career Center, to talk about the skills LinkedIn ranked highest. In an email interview, she discussed jobs that can make use of these skills. 

1. Aptitude in cloud computing 

You’ve probably heard of cloud computing — storing and accessing data and programs through the internet and on demand, using servers instead of a computer’s hard drive.

Skill in creating and using cloud-based applications relies on expertise in programming, database, quality assurance, Linux and DevOps (practices involving software development and IT team operations).

Jobs you might hold include platform developer, cloud software design engineer, cloud architect, information systems engineer and data engineer. 

2. Experience in artificial intelligence 

Artificial intelligence sounds like something out of a “Terminator” movie. But, really, it’s the ability of a computer program or technology to think and learn by making predictions based on past use. Some call this machine learning.

To work in AI, your background should include expertise in big data, data visualization and Java, Python, Spark and SAS computer languages, Harbour says. 

3. Analytical reasoning 

In career terms, analytical reasoning means the ability to look at either quantitative or qualitative data and find patterns, Harbour says.

“Strong analytical reasoning skills will not only help you on the SAT test, but will benefit you greatly in careers that require problem solving,” she says.

Careers requiring analytical reasoning include budgeting and finance, consulting, operations, logistics, information security and actuarial science. 

4. People management 

Maybe someone has praised your people-management skills. Or perhaps you’ve worked under a boss who could use training in this vital area.

Managing people “requires an individual to create a work environment for others to thrive in,” Harbour says.

You’ll need a strong leadership capacity, the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people. It helps if you are a role model in the workplace and can support others as they grow and develop so they can succeed, she adds.

Nail this skill, and you can work in many fields.

Knowing which jobs to shun can be as helpful as knowing which to pursue: “Avoid These Dead-End Careers: 7 Jobs That Ask Too Much and Pay Too Little.”  

RELATED: Take a look at the best places to work in 2019, according to Glassdoor: 

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2019 best place to work, according to Glassdoor
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2019 best place to work, according to Glassdoor
15. Power Home Remodeling
14. Slalom
13. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
12. Intuitive Surgical

11. Salesforce 

(Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

10. Southwest Airlines 

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

9. Lululemon 

(Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

8. Google

7. Facebook

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

6. Linkedin

(Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

5. Boston Consulting Group

4. Procore Technologies

(Instagram)

3. In-N-Out  Burger

(Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

2. Zoom Video Communications

(Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

1. Brain & Company

(Glassdoor)

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5. UX design 

If you’ve ever been frustrated by an online form that’s unclear, you’ve tangled with bad UX design.

User experience design (UX design) is “the process of improving user satisfaction with a product by making it more appealing, easy to navigate, accessible or in simplest terms, making the user want to use the product more,” Harbour says.

You’ll need to study computer software coding, UX research, logic and reasoning, visual design and communication.

“Additionally, it helps if you take feedback well,” she adds. These jobs exist across most industries and will grow with our reliance on technology.

Don’t stay stuck in a dead-end job: “3 Keys to Switching Careers After Age 50.” 

6. Mobile application development 

Mobile apps are software that you use on a mobile device. Apps are created with software, followed by beta testing before they are launched in the marketplace.

To acquire skill in mobile app development, you’ll need a foundation in computer programming and coding (a specific type of programming).

Mobile app skills give you plenty of flexibility. You may work for a large company, on the tech side, for a startup or as a freelance app developer, Harbour says. 

7. Video production 

Do you have dreams of becoming the next YouTube star? The field of video production, which is the process of creating video content, may be for you.

“Most video content today is in digital form, but the basis is capturing moving objects to create content for film, television and other media outlets,” Harbour explains.

You’ll need skill using video-editing programs. “Fortunately, you can learn these on your own if you have the desire and interest,” she adds. 

8. Sales leadership 

While some of us struggled to meet a sales quota selling Girl Scout cookies, others seem to be natural salespeople.

They “view everything as an opportunity — the opportunity to run a stronger program, build a better product, reach a greater amount of clients,” Harbour says.

Sales leadership include the drive to bring business to the organization, she says. A good salesperson has a world of opportunities in many fields.

What skills are crucial to success in today’s economy, in your opinion? Tell us in a comment below or at MoneyTalksNews’ page on Facebook

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