The beginning of a new year is always a good time to evaluate your career goals and analyze what you’ll need to take the next steps. As the career landscape evolves, it’s good to make sure that your skills are evolving as well!

As technology and culture evolve and employers need to meet new demands and challenges, companies will continue to seek new skill sets. We took a look at what career experts believe are some of the most in-demand skills for 2024. You can get ahead of the competition by honing these valuable skills early!

Project management

Whether you’re working with people or machines, the ability to manage complex factors to keep a project on track is a massively valuable skill. With globalization and the growth of remote teams, balancing different groups of humans becomes even more of a challenge. Those who can balance decision-making, resource management, and teamwork are in high demand. Project management is a complicated but rewarding skill to master.

A lot of soft skills play into strong project management skills, but those looking to fully dive in need to be aware of PM methodologies like Agile and Scrum and tools like Asana and Trello according to Vancouver Island Works Project.

Cybersecurity

Technology can make our lives better, and there are always exciting new projects in development. But for every new development, there is someone trying to use new technology at someone else’s expense. In order to counter ne’er-do-wells, cybersecurity skills are more desirable than ever.

Forbes’ Jack Kelly says that this skillset will be particularly in demand in the financial, healthcare, and resources sectors—industries commonly dealing with sensitive data. Forbes’ Bernard Marr points to the penalties for failing to protect consumer data and compares cybersecurity to a digital arms race. Companies need to protect sensitive data to maintain trust and profits, so this is a valuable career field to look into.

Research

That sensitive data is the core of most industries. Information is power in every industry, so knowing how to filter out valuable nuggets of knowledge from the drivel is a useful skill set.

Digital literacy isn’t always a widespread skill. Go Skills’ Corrisa Peterson states that employers want to be confident that the information being gathered is accurate, relevant, and from a reliable source. Practice verifying your research and comparing the results to other sources to gain a key eye on what’s worthwhile and what isn’t.

“Practical research skills are vital for staying informed and making well-informed decisions. Employers highly value people who can gather, analyse, and interpret information. Whether you’re in marketing, finance, healthcare, or any other field, research is an essential skill.” –Medium

Data management

If digital data is the norm, understanding how to analyze and use that data is crucial to stay ahead of competitors. Data is becoming more complex and being used in more and more niche ways, so knowing how to wrangle those numbers and see the forest for the trees is valuable in any industry.

Emeritus’ Siddhesh Shinde highlights that proficiency in data analysis allows you to make evidence-based decisions in real time. Where others might struggle to understand the data or know what to do with said data, a savvy analyst can quickly make judgment calls leading toward results.

“As organizations increasingly rely on data to make informed decisions, skills in data analysis and visualization will be in high demand. This includes the ability to collect, clean, and analyze large datasets, as well as the ability to present findings in a clear and compelling way using tools like Tableau or Power BI.” – Vancouver Island Works Project

Problem-solving and autonomy

Thanks to a growing reliance on technology and the emergence of artificial intelligence, hard technology skills are highly sought after, but transferable soft skills are still vital in every industry. Whether it’s working with technology or people, the ability to quickly and independently solve problems helps everyone.

A good candidate won’t simply be viewed as a cog in the machine according to Corissa Peterson. Smart managers want to hire someone they can rely on for innovative solutions. Those who can autonomously take charge, attack problems, and make quick decisions will go far.

“Helping employees build confidence in all areas of their job can lead them to make better decisions. The more employees who can make decisions on their own in a timely manner, the more efficient and competitive your company can be.” –Coursera

Wrap up

Employers need a mix of transferable soft skills and technical know-how from their employees to navigate the complexity of a global economy and ever-evolving technological growth. The AI emergence means that even those in non-technical roles can benefit from some deeper technical skills, while the ability to work and communicate with remote teams is always in demand. Other skills are, of course, in demand as well, but this should give you a great starting point as you take your career to the next level.

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