The most in-demand skills Employers are looking for post-Covid

Sep 30, 2021

With the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is now imperative to invest not just in innovations but also in people who understand the Technology of the times. With AI and Automation on the rise, developing software is just as important as understanding them. Many employees have had to reskill and rigorously upskill their abilities based on their job requirements to stay market relevant post the pandemic.

COVID-19 saw mass layoffs and many feared jobs security. While some industries were firing, some were also hiring; especially tech professionals. After the shift of a large number of businesses online, along with software developers, the cybersecurity, cloud & infrastructure, and data science fields were also hiring. Even before COVID-19, the skill requirements of major companies were also changing. The pandemic had forced employees to evaluate their business models and the skills expected by their employers for future business proposals and to accelerate digitization.

According to a recent McKinsey report, employees need certain broad skill sets that can help lay a business foundation. They are digital, cognitive, social, emotional, and adaptability, and resilience skills. The pandemic had escalated the desperate need for digital professional skill sets to help companies integrate themselves with the various technologies and platforms of today. Companies are also looking for people who can take initiatives, look at the broader picture, and sustain the business from any part of the world. Since in-person meetings are limited and remote and hybrid working has emerged as the new working culture, virtual team management is major skill organizations are looking for right now. 

Many businesses have moved into the digital space, and hence, the employability of candidates with digital skills seems to be the highest. But it is not the only skill employers are looking for, they want candidates with leadership skills, creativity, innovation, tech knowledge, and adaptability. Because of the inability to conduct personal interviews, the ability to articulate and express themselves makes communication an important ability. With most of the companies now adapted to a hybrid remote-working future, these skills are most in-demand.

According to an article in Forbes, the work assigned to the employees must be as independent as possible because Work From Home does not ideally mean standard working hours, and it also needs a good connection and a WFH setup. So, the most essential skills that are required are basic technical skills, leadership, and communication skills. Digitization has increased the demand for technical skills and analytical skills, as the consumers now prefer online products and services rather than offline experiences and hence, more data is available for the analysis.

Demand for both ‘digital’ and ‘human’ factors drive growth in potential occupations. These represent, on the one hand, the adoption of emerging technologies — increasing demand for green economy jobs, leading positions in the data and AI economy, as well as new roles in engineering, cloud computing, and product growth. On the other hand, the ongoing importance of human interaction in the modern economy is also expressed in developing occupations, giving rise to greater demand for employment in the care economy; positions in marketing, sales, and content production; as well as positions at the forefront of people and culture. Indeed, the future of work highlights the need for a wide range of skills to complement these career opportunities, including both disruptive technological skills, but also advanced industry skills and core business skills.

In the post-COVID scenario, the highest-demand skills include both technological and cross-functional skills. Growing demand for high-growth careers has further driven the value of a range of distinctive skill sets which promise growth and prosperity in the new economy. While some technical clusters, such as Data, AI, Engineering and Cloud Computing, require strong expertise in digital technology, other high-growth careers place greater focus on business skills or specific industry skills. These in-demand skills can be categorized into five distinct skill clusters: Business Skills, Specialized Industry Skills, General and Soft Skills, Tech Baseline Skills, and Tech Disruptive Skills.