20 of the most in-demand skills that will help you get a job in the next five years

Online course provider Coursera has published its industry skills report for 2022, detailing the most in-demand skills across the world right now.

The list of skills has been created using data drawn from Coursera’s 92 million learners, 2,000 business customers, 3,000 higher education institutions, and 230 government entities.

Specific focus has been given to 10 ‘digital skills’ which are likely to become more prominent as technology in the workforce evolves. These are typically seen as ‘hard skills’ which will require additional training and upskilling of the workforce

Coursera also outlined a separate set of 10 ‘human’ or ‘soft’ skills which are seen as necessary for organisational success. They include a range of cognitive, social, and emotional skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, information interpretation, decision-making, and communication.

“A double disruption, led by automation and Covid-19, is reshaping work and the skills it requires across industries and markets. By 2025, 85 million jobs are estimated to be displaced by the rapid automation of jobs and 40% of core skills will change for workers,” the group said.

“Yet research suggests that new roles will, in fact, outpace those lost to automation, with the global workforce being offered 149 million2 new technology-oriented jobs by 2025.”

In short, the opportunity presented by technology to the global job landscape can offset risks of automation – but only if companies and governments scale skills development, it said.

This challenge has been compounded by the ‘Great Resignation’ creating countless vacancies in skilled roles, it said.

Digital skills 

Ranking Skills
1 Product Design
2 Plotting Data
3 User Experience Design
4 Statistical Visualisation
5 Security Strategy
6 Cloud Infrastructure
7 Supply Chain Systems
8 Social Media
9 Operations Management
10 Business Process Management

Product design tops the ranking of the fastest-growing digital skills in 2021, with user experience design in third place.

Both skills speak to the growing value that businesses are placing on digital interactions in 2021 and 2022 and the need to differentiate in saturated markets, Coursera said.

“Several trends are likely accelerating the growth of product and user experience design skills. Digital experiences are key to driving revenue across industries, with e-commerce sales surpassing $4.2 trillion worldwide across two billion consumers alongside a parallel reduction in physical brick and mortar stores.

Meanwhile, the software market has become increasingly saturated, leading to a trend toward ‘product-led growth,’ which emphasizes the product as the main driver to acquire, activate, and retain customers, Coursera said.

“Product-led growth is being driven by a competitive and mature market for business software and end-users expectations of polished digital experiences at work. It is now beginning to displace marketing – which has dominated business strategies since the early 2000s – as the primary driver of business growth.”


Human skills 

Ranking Skills
1 Communication
2 Change Management
3 Professional Development
4 Storytelling
5 Planning
6 Influencing
7 Decision Making
8 Problem Solving
9 People Development
10 Human Resources

More effective sharing of information between people is at the heart of many of the fastest-growing human skills, including communication (1st place), storytelling (4th), and problem-solving (8th), Coursera said.

These often relate to digital skill trends, particularly the emphasis on the need for clear and compelling narratives seen in both data visualisation (digital) and storytelling (human), it said.

“Storytelling has become a key ingredient in modern marketing. The desire to create engagement between brands and their customers through stories has come to be seen as a powerful advertising technique.

“Content that may elicit empathy and educate those who view or hear it will be more desired than traditional advertising techniques in order to pique people’s interest in purchasing certain goods.”

As each of these trends continues into 2022 and beyond, likely accelerated by a demand for more compassionate workplace cultures, flexible working and technological innovation, the urgent demand for human skills centred around communication, storytelling, and problem-solving is only likely to grow, it said.


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20 of the most in-demand skills that will help you get a job in the next five years