During this Covid-19 pandemic, some buzzwords in the working world seems to be “reskilling” and “upskilling”.
The former refers to learning new skills to do a different job, whilst the latter refers to teaching workers new skills to do their jobs better.
With Singaporeans getting retrenched and fresh graduates being unable to find jobs, the government has been engaging in a massive reskilling and upskilling push.
For instance, the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Support Package provides support for locals aged between 40 and 50 to remain employable and access good jobs.
Many have also taken to platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, or the SkillsFuture portal to learn new skills.
However, not just any skill will land you a new job.
The 2020 LinkedIn Top Startups Singapore list revealed the startups that are emerging and resilient during Covid-19, and also what these startups look out for when hiring.
If you’re looking for a job, here are some of the hottest skills that you should consider learning to stand out from the crowd:
#1: Data Analysis
Data analysis is defined as a process of cleaning, transforming, and modelling data to discover useful information.
Though it sounds straightforward, it has in recent years become evident that data analysis is extremely important in making business decisions.
For example, a business that is not growing might have to look back and analyse data to uncover mistakes. Even if a business is booming, it is still important to identify the areas that are doing well — and what better way to do so than to analyse data?
Data analysis also includes collecting the data using various softwares, cleaning the data, interpreting and visualising it in the form of charts and tables.
According to the Linkedin Top Startups in Singapore list, data analysis is one of the top skills employees in startups like GoBear, Homage, Zenyum, Stashaway and Hmlet possessed.
Where to learn: This skill can be learnt via free online courses, such as those on LinkedIn and Coursera.
#2: Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop has been around for a good 30 years, and has risen up the ranks to become the go-to photo editing tool.
Some of the jobs that require the use of photoshop include graphic designer, photographer, web developer, and artists.
However, in recent years, the list has expanded to include marketing personnels, social media managers, and even public relations executives.
According to the Linkedin Top Startups in Singapore list, Adobe Photoshop is one of the top skills employees in startups like Grain and Hmlet look out for.
Where to learn: Besides learning the skill on YouTube for free, one can also enroll in a course by Singapore Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ), or via Adobe’s learning resources. It is also commonly taught as part of modules in universities and polytechnics.
#3: Social Media Marketing
More than a billion people all over the world, and around 4.6 million people in Singapore, are on social media.
According to the Singapore Business Review, Singaporeans spend an average of seven hours and nine minutes daily online.
That said, social media is a great way for businesses to reach out to the masses to promote their products and services.
Most of the major brands in Singapore — from telcos, banks to food and beverage businesses — have an established presence on social media. Even traditionally offline businesses such as kopitiams have found themselves on social media.
According to the Linkedin Top Startups in Singapore list social media marketing was one of the top skills employees in startups like ShopBack, Secretlab and Zenyum.
Besides startups, most companies also have an in-house marketing team that is likely to require social media marketers.
Where to learn: A quick Google search brings up countless courses on social media marketing, from WSQ to the Digital Marketing Institute and LinkedIn.
SQL stands for Structured Query Language, and is said to be the “first language of data analysis” and a standard programming language for relational databases.
For example, using SQL, one can store data on every client a business has ever worked with, from key contacts to details about sales. They can then use the database to retrieve information instantly.
Despite being older than many other types of code, it is one of the most widely-implemented database language.
It is also said to be easier to learn than other languages, so it’s definitely achievable for beginners to pick up this skill.
Where to learn: W3Schools has various SQL tutorials. Other places to learn programming and SQL include CodeAcademy.
#5: Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is actually an umbrella term, and social media marketing is a subset of the category.
It encompasses all marketing efforts used to build awareness and increase engagement on digital platforms, including blogging, email marketing, SEO optimisation and more.
It can also go beyond the Internet to reach people in the offline world using digital means, such as television and radio ads or billboards.
According to the Linkedin Top Startups in Singapore, digital marketing is one of the top skills employees in startups like ShopBack, Secretlab and Zenyum look out for.
However, like social media marketing, nearly all companies require marketers and are likely to have an in-house team.
Where to learn: SmartAcademy, General Assembly
The coding language is responsible for features on a webpage like dynamically updating content, creating animations and more.
#7: Market Research
Accurate and thorough information of a target market is crucial in the foundation of all business ventures.
Market research thus provides relevant data to help solve business challenges, and allows for strategies such as market segmentation and product differentiation.
The former refers to identifying specific groups within a market, while the latter creates an identity for a product or service that separates it from those of the competitors.
Though some companies hire market research analysts, the skill is typically useful for people in marketing and sales job functions as well.
Where to learn: Reading about qualitative and quantitative research is a good way to begin.
#8: Customer Relationship Manager
Customer relations is typically present in all aspects of a business, but it’s most prevalent in the customer service department.
It considers a company’s ability to react to present issues as well as approaches to bettering future experiences.
It can also extend to marketing and sales, since these departments have a significant influence over the company’s interactions with the customer.
There are also various customer relationship management softwares that companies might utilise. This includes Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce, which are used to gather customer insights, easily pull reports, create workflows, and more.
Where to learn: Linkedin Learning has a handy list of the types of CRM softwares available and their relevant cources.
Python is a general-purpose coding language.
The language can be used for functions such as mobile app development, processing big data and performing mathematical computations and writing scripts (instructions for a computer system).
Some common job titles that use Python include entry-level software developers, data scientists, machine learning engineers are more.
Where to learn: In recent years, Python has been a skill that is highly sought after. Therefore, it can be found on most of the major e-learning sites such as Coursera and Udemy — both options have basic level courses for beginners.
According to React, it makes it “painless to create interactive user interfaces.”
Job scopes that require the use of React include front-end web developers (building user interfaces). Some mobile engineer job listings might also specify the need to have some knowledge in React.
Where to learn: The official React.js website is a good place to start for tutorials on the topic.
Remaining Competitive In The Jobs Market
Besides being aware of what employers are looking out for these days, this list of skills also point to the growing trend of digitalisation in businesses.
Nearly all of the skills on the list are tech related. Even traditionally physical job functions like customer relations have specific softwares to carry them out.
It seems entirely plausible that the jobs available in other organisations — from large MNCs to SMEs will continue to point towards the direction of tech.
This is especially so with the Covid-19 pandemic showing us that in certain unprecedented situations where businesses are unable to reach customers offline, online is the next best alternative.
Featured Image Credit: HRM Asia