A degree or professional qualification can lead you to your dream career, but to flourish in it you need certain skill sets in your kitty. There are broadheads under which skills can be classified-Hard Skills and Soft Skills. While soft skills define the way in which you can achieve a certain task, hard skills are the actual expertise required to do it. 

Hard skills are the specialized set of technical abilities and in-depth knowledge which helps you to understand a particular task and define the roadmap to achieve results. Accounting, Taxation, Software programming, Data Analytics, Financial Modelling, Content Marketing are a few of the skills that are indispensable in today’s fiercely competitive world. It is relatively easier to measure and judge the efficacy of Hard Skills as compared to soft skills.

It is very important to mention relevant ‘Hard Skills” on your resumes and highlight them. It is through these hard skills that the recruiter will be able to assess your acumen towards a particular job. Hard skills are very industry-specific. They vary according to the nature of the industry, whereas Soft Skills are common and can be used across industries.

Based on the current environment, there are different Hard Skills that are critical to success. Here is a list of 10 most in-demand skills that can propel your career prospects to greater highs.

  1. Professional writing abilities

You do not have to be a professional writer to hone your writing skills. This is a skill that you will require across industries and you need to polish it. Whether you are into Accounting, Taxation, Banking, Analytics or Finance, you need to communicate your ideas to your teammates and clients. If you cannot communicate your thoughts in an articulate manner it affects your credibility. Good professional writing abilities helps others to recognize you as someone who knows how to organize your thoughts and convey them well. Business Writing is a skill that can be learned through professional training or through practice over a period. Reading multiple business journals and listening to expert talks can also help you to acquire a writing style and build vocabulary.

2.Data Analytics

Data Analytics had become a buzzword for the past couple of years and it has now an established career field. Data Analytics empowers you to apply the knowledge of certain specialized tools on a humongous data set to derive insights about a problem. Data Analytics involves technical tools as well as other techniques to make sense of the data. Problems like “How many products were sold last year?”, “How many employees resigned in a particular fiscal?”, “ What is the pattern of goods movement?” can be solved through Data Analytics. It can be quantitative as well as qualitative demanding solid statistical and interpretation techniques

2.Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is a specialized branch of software development. It enables programmers to create, host and execute applications that have the capacity to handle large volumes of data. To be a top-notch software professional you must possess skills like learning database querying language such as SQL, Hadoop, MongoDB, etc., knowledge of cloud computing platforms like Azure & AWS, Quality Assurance, DevOps, Linux, etc. 

3. SEO/SEM Marketing

When you talk about Digital Marketing, SEO and SEM are the skills that will take you places. SEO is a part of SEM. The latter involves marketing through the use of search engines for marketing. This can be achieved via organic traffic through SEO as well as paid traffic results. For sharpening your SEO/SEM marketing skills, you must have a thorough understanding of search engine rankings, optimizing different marketing campaigns, keyword research and focus on increasing the RoI. 

4. Data Presentation skills

The role of an analyst is not just restricted to Data Analytics. After your analytics, you must also present your data well to enable its right usage. The key essence of Data Analytics is to implement more graphics and lesser numbers. Proper color coding is also essential for presentation. You must also pay attention not to clutter your presentation and be very crisp and precise. 

5. Database management

Database management is useful for leveraging data, improving programs, studying patterns and making presentations. It involves a wide array of tasks which include data modeling, application programming and use of relational algebra. You must have knowledge of languages like SQL, Python, Java, XML, and Pearl. To be adept at Database Management you need a blend of programming, business and communication skills. 

6. Financial Modelling

Financial Modelling is the task of building a representation based on assumptions for a real-life business scenario. This is a simulated model that represents how a company or investment would perform financially. Though there is software that builds end-to-end financial models, companies still lookout for professionals with excellent modeling skills because they bring a unique judgment and fair practices which software cannot. Knowledge of accounting, mastery over spreadsheets and excellent analytical skills sum up to determine good financial modeling skills.

8. Project Management

Project Management is the act of planning, executing and monitoring a specific task for a specific goal. As a Project Manager, you have to meet the challenge of fulfilling the task within given constraints like budget and timeline. After soft-skills involving management, Project Management also involves technical skills like risk management, resource allocation, budgeting, and project monitoring. Most people opt for certification in project management from institutions like the International Project Management Association. You can pick up the skills during the due course of employment or through networking. 

9. Designing

Website designing is a hot profession for the past few years. Similarly Visual designer, user interface (UI designer) and User Experience (UX) designer are some of the other designing skills in demand. For becoming a successful designer, you must have an understanding of responsive designing, information architecture and have a grip on designing software and user modeling. 

10. App Development

As per Build fire, mobile apps contribute 57% of digital media usage. Mobile Apps are likely to generate $189 billion in revenue by 2020. As per LinkedIn mobile App development is one of the top 10 skills in demand.  Hence, companies are increasingly looking for candidates who have expertise like Java, C++, Kotlin, Python, HTML-5, etc. Developers with UI/UX skills are also in high demand. 

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