Learn These In-Demand Technical Skills to Land a Better Job

Apr 13, 2015 - Joe Matar
What are the most sought-after skills right now? What are the skills that you need if you want to get hired? These are the questions everybody who’s looking for a job is asking. A deep dive into LinkedIn profiles revealed that the top five most desirable employee skills are:
  • Programming (coding)
  • Mobile application development
  • Operations and systems analysis
  • Sales and marketing
  • SEO and analytics
Technological advancement and the adoption of mobile tech at all levels of business operations have dramatically changed the playing field, and the above list comes as no surprise. Analytical and tech-centric skills have always been in high demand, but now more than ever, these are the skills that will help you secure a job. (Click here to tweet this quote.) What if you don’t possess this particular set of technical skills? The Internet is about to come to your rescue. Here are ways that you can learn the skills needed in today’s top areas. With a little time and determination, you can work your way to the top of any applicant pile.

Coding

Nowadays, everything requires some sort of programming, so it’s no surprise that coding is a top skill in demand. In fact, the ability to write code and program are so important that there have been several campaigns to encourage people to take up computer science. One great way to learn to code is through Code.org. The website offers a number of interactive tutorials in different programming languages, games to help you learn, and a wealth of inspiration and useful tips. So go ahead! Write your first line of code!

Mobile app development

An increasing number of first-time mobile app developers are also first-time developers. Mobile is the hot, new platform, and the barrier entry is low. Let’s be clear: developing an app for Android and developing an app for iOS are two different skills. For the Android lover inside you, the place to get started is (drumroll...) Google. Google's Android Developers Portal has tons of useful information, guides and tools. If you are leaning towards iOS app development, the the Apple mothership is the place to go. The iOS Dev Center is hands-down the best resource on the Internet if you want to learn how to develop apps for iOS. You’ll find a vast and in-depth resource library, reference list, sample code library as well as a forum where you can join conversations and ask questions.

Operations and systems analysis

Determining how a system or operation should work, and how changes in conditions, operations and environments will affect outcomes, is must-have skill. Any business you join will have a certain systems, or way of doing things. Understanding those processes and how they impact each other will help you improve the systems, enhance them or fix any existing issues. Think of a sales funnel or pipeline. It describes the individual steps salespeople take from initial contact with a potential customer, or prospect, to qualifying that prospect into a lead, and further validating that lead into a sales opportunity followed through the different stages until closed. Like the butterfly effect, a simple tweak at a single stage of the process can determine whether you make a sale or lose a deal. The best way to learn those processes? Read! Every company has different processes and operations, but learning the basics will give you the fundamental knowledge to succeed. There are many that focus on sales processes, logistics and distribution processes, or internal business processes. The more you read on those topics, the better informed you will be when the time comes for you to make changes to operations and evaluate systems.

Sales and marketing

There is a saying in the business circles that every employee is a marketer and every employee is a sales person. In a more figurative sense, this means that everyone in the business should be enthusiastic about what they are selling — from the IT people to the bookkeepers. It also means that everyone should have an understanding of sales and marketing processes. To pick up the basics you can either subscribe to one of the many many sales and marketing blog newsletters out there, or you can sign up for an online course. Alison is a website that offers a wide range of free online courses and covers areas such as social media marketing, ecommerce and marketing strategies. A course like this coupled with regular reading of marketing blogs is a sure fire way to get a grasp of the basics and keep up-to-date with industry news and trends.

SEO and analytics

SEO and analytics skills look good on every resume, and employers at most companies now expect that job candidates have a basic understanding of SEO. Why? Because the better everyone at your company understands SEO, the better your entire staff can garner more attention for the business. The best way to learn is to get sucked in. My favorite place to cover the basics is undoubtedly Moz. Moz guides are useful, easy to read, and jam-packed with instructions and applicable tips. Those guide will not only help you wrap your head around SEO and analytics, but also gain enough knowledge to add your two cents in a business environment. Most job-seekers wish they could unlock the secret formula to winning the hearts and minds of employers. What, they wonder, is that unique combination of skills and values that make employers salivate with excitement? Acquiring a few of these five skills will certainly place you at the top of the applicant pile. So start learning for a better chance of getting that dream job! What new skill have you added to your resume? Didi Zheleva is a content and digital marketing executive at InTouch CRM, a web-based sales and marketing software provider. She is committed to helping small businesses grow, and passionate about all things digital.