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10 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities Than Most People Today


If you found yourself in 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; most people will wear a lighter-Green shirt and hope they get noticed. But this will barely make a difference… The smarter thing to do to stand out is to wear a Red shirt. That’s how you get noticed.

This simple illustration demonstrates the typical labor market. The qualifications are mostly the same. But every recruiter and business owner is looking for that candidate that stands out.

If you are looking to develop hard skills that will land you more career opportunities than most people today, this post is for you. If you are new here, this post is also in video (on Youtube). Consider subscribing to After School Africa on Youtube for more videos like this below:

“Tell Us About Yourself” The Smartest Way To Answer This Interview Question

  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. If you are a writer, you can’t work without good research skill. 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.

  • 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 all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few online courses of financial management is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously both personally and professionally.

  • Cloud Computing

Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of 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, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement. This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

  • 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 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining which involves using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other 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 likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too.

This not only increases sales for the business, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. It is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

  • Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manner is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

Unless there is a need for 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 make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. 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 copy writing.

  • 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 of the marketing skills that are 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 are also valuable. Interestingly, most of these marketing skills are focused on the internet and can be self taught.

  • Network Security Specialist

The amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits. It’s the job of Network Security Specialists to ensure security and privacy as required. Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

  • Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a long while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase. If you have a thing for coding, this is one hard skill you want to develop.

  1. Graphic Design

With our increasing dependency on screens and what we see on them, there is the growing need for people who can create unique visually appealing content. From websites, social media channels to documents, graphic designers have a load of work to do. With a skill in graphic designing, 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 is a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones 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! As usual, we hope you found this video both enjoyable and informative. If you did, we’ll appreciate it if you’ll thumb up and share this video with friends. If you are yet to subscribe to our channel, this is likely a good time to subscribe. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!

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