What are the hard skills you can develop today that will open more doors of career opportunities for you than most people? What skills will offer you that career advantage in the corporate market and business landscape?
I’m going to answer these questions in this article. Here’s something for you to consider.
If you found yourself on a football pitch with everyone wearing a Green shirt, what is the best way to stand out from the crowd? Here is what most people will do: wear a lighter-Green shirt and hope they get noticed. But this will barely make a difference… To stand out, the smarter thing to do is to wear a Red shirt. That’s how you get noticed.
This simple illustration demonstrates the typical corporate market. The qualifications are mostly the same. But every recruiter and business owner is looking for a candidate that stands out.
If you want to develop hard skills that will land you more career opportunities than most people today, this post is for you.
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Table of Contents
1. Research Skills
A random author once said that “anything you can find within 30 seconds is not worth memorizing”. While this may not apply in every case, your ability to find information quickly is priceless.
If you are looking for a university to study abroad on scholarship, you need to research schools in different countries and available opportunities. If you are looking for a job, nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. You can’t work without good research skills if you are a writer. And if you are planning to learn any skill at all, you need to research to find the best learning materials. With these, we can safely say that research skill is the foundation of all skills in this modern time.
2. Financial Skills
You don’t have to wait until you start managing a company’s accounting, budgeting, financial planning, and cash flow management before you need financial skills.
While you may not need to be an expert at these, you should have a good grasp of them. This is where taking a few online courses in financial management is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously, personally and professionally.
3. Cloud Computing
Simply put, cloud computing is the process of delivering computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence, and more—over the Internet, “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.
There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists and security professionals. Each job has its specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement. This is a skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing, you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.
4. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis
Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon or any large eCommerce website, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…” and it lists 3 to 5 other items? All of that information comes from data mining which involves using large sets of data to look for anomalies and patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.
By examining the millions of sales the business makes they can predict that if you buy item A there is a high chance that you will buy one of the other items too.
This not only increases sales for the business but also serves as a reminder that you may need these additional items. This is precious information and has a wide range of uses. It is a handy tool for maximizing productivity and sales.
5. Data Management
All companies today deal with a ton of data! Managing that data efficiently is not only highly prized but a necessity. Unless we need a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!
However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to ensure that you keep your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This skill comes easily to some people but with others, it will be a skill that needs to be practiced. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.
6. Hard Communication Skills
While effective communication is often viewed as a soft skill, there are several ways that your concrete strengths as a communicator can be demonstrated. Effectively showcasing your communication skills can help you stand out from other candidates. Some hard communication skills you can add to your qualification may include foreign language, digital communication, and copywriting.
7. Marketing Skills
Marketing a company’s products or services has always been a highly sought-after skill. But in today’s world, it can take on several different forms.
Some marketing skills highly sought after today include Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as WordPress is also valuable. Interestingly, most of these marketing skills are focused on the internet and can be self-taught.
8. Network Security Specialist
The amount of data corporations, organizations, and governments store is enormous and significant. If data leaks or is stolen, it can cost millions of dollars in lost revenue and lawsuits. Network Security Specialists’ job is to ensure security and privacy as required. Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But if you are interested in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.
9. Computer Programming
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers will be around for a very long time! The need for computer programming skills will only increase as the hardware and software get more advanced. If you are interested in coding, software programming is one hard skill you want to develop.
10. Graphic Design
With our increasing dependency on screens and what we see on them, there is a growing need for people who can create unique visually appealing content. From websites and social media channels to documents and TV, graphic designers have a lot of work. With a skill in graphic design, you can create your own visually appealing content or offer freelance services to businesses and brands.
In conclusion, the hard skills I’ve mentioned in this video are a mixture of skills that require a great deal of training and those that you can work on and develop by yourself. Not everyone is cut out to become a cloud computing expert, but working on and having good research skills will make anyone a much more desirable candidate!