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The 25 skills you won't get hired without

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At the end of 2013, LinkedIn published its definitive list of the most desirable work traits, analysing the skills and work history of over 359 million member profiles to extract the 25 hottest skills.

It should come as no surprise that the computer-minded amongst us are spoiled for choice with occupational avenues. IT skills continue to race up the list of most employable qualities in job seekers, so it’s a great time to be a digital guru.

Here’s the full list of LinkedIn’s 25 hottest skills for 2013 (and how to get them!).

social media

1. Social media marketing

Social media is on the rise as networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are used to raise the profile of organisations as well as provide a cost effective marketing platform. Social media skills often come through practice and natural acumen, however social media skills are becoming more frequently incorporated into marketing courses as educators grow to understand the importance of these skills for future marketing graduates.

mobile development

2. Mobile development

According to a 2013 article published on AdNews, mobile internet access has grown by 208 per cent since 2010, with 76 per cent of users now accessing the internet through mobile devices. This boom has increased the need for mobile developers to optimise sites and create apps to complement these growing access trends, and IT courses are adjusting their courses accordingly.

cloud and distributed computing

3. Cloud and distributed computing

Sometimes when you’re looking for a job, it’s good to have your head in the clouds. Cloud and distributed computing involves coordinating networked computers and devices and is simplifying the way in which we store, share and back up information. IT educators recognise the growth of this skill and specific cloud courses can give you the skillset you need to discover career cloud nine.

Perl Python Ruby

4. Perl/Python/Ruby

If it sounds like I’m talking in code, it’s because I am. Perl, Python and Ruby are all programming languages that allow web developers to speak to the machines and systems they are working with and, as the digital world continues to refresh, so do job opportunities for those that are fluent in the right languages. If you are computer savvy and understand complex systems, a programming or Webmaster course could get you speaking to future employers as well as to computers.

Statistical analysis and data mining

5. Statistical analysis and data mining

LinkedIn cites the current data-driven world as the reason statistical analysis and data mining skills are such hot commodities. This computer science specialisation involves creating IT processes such as algorithms, statistical approaches and practical applications, to sort through mass amounts of data in a minimal amount of time. A course in computer science will provide you with the platform you need to develop these highly desirable skills.

User interface design

6. User interface design

User interface design is a valuable skill because it centres on user experience, which is the driving factor of most businesses and continues to grow in importance. Interface design can involve websites, computers, appliances, software and a range of other devices. It combines the study elements of design and ITto create the best outcome for consumers.

Digital and online marketing

7. Digital and online marketing

Marketing is a broad field with a range of specialisations, including digital and online marketing. With online media and social channels becoming the most efficient way of reaching audiences, those who know how to harness these outlets are in hot demand. Workplace experience is invaluable in this field but a solid study foundation in marketing will help you get your foot in the door.

human resources

8. Recruiting

While the job market is more accessible than ever through websites such as SEEK, recruiters are still in high demand as they assist companies and job seekers alike. In fact, their role has become vital as companies fight to headhunt the cream of each industry crop. Recruitment falls under the banner of human resources and an online course is a great way to get yourself recruited.

Business development

9. Business development/relationship management

Business development, or ‘biz dev’, has become a buzzword in the business world and is centred around acquisition, creating partnerships and essentially anything that will grow business operations. Relationship management is the art of keeping those acquisitions and partners happy. When done well, these skills are a real commodity for any prospective employee in a range of business environments. Of course, you’ve got to start somewhere, and a business course will set you up with the fundamentals.

retail payment

10. Retail payment and information systems

Gone are the days of ringing something up on the till – retail has well and truly moved into the digital age with payment methods becoming easier and systems that automatically record and adjust inventory. As retail outlets continue to search for efficiency and enhance customer experience, retail information systems experts are selling like hot cakes. An IT course will help you hone these skills and a course in retail will give you the knowledge you need to use these systems. 

Business intelligence

11. Business intelligence

Business intelligence involves tools and systems that allow companies to gather, store, access and analyse their data. Basically, those who specialise in business intelligence are database gurus and are highly valuable to any business operation. While many business courses and IT courses will touch on information systems, you may also study a specific business intelligence course to get you those hireable skills sooner.

Data warehousing

12. Data engineering and data warehousing

Data engineering and data warehousing both centre on the managing and development of data processes to streamline business practices. The idea of data management continues to be a theme throughout LinkedIn’s 25 hottest skills of 2013 and an IT course [can get you up to speed and capitalising on this hot and hireable trend.

web programming

13. Web programming

It’s hard to imagine that the World Wide Web is only in its mid 20s, after going live to the world on 6 August 1991. Since then, the browser experience has gone from this to something much easier on the eye, like this. Web programmers are the architects of the internet and a good web programmer is vital to the all important user experience. An IT or computer science course will give you a comprehensive skillset but you can also choose to study a specific programming course to fast track your career path. 

Algorithm design

14. Algorithm design

While many of us cringe at the thought of mathematics, having a knack for numbers can get you hired faster than you can count to ten. Algorithm design is used for a range of IT functions including database management and software development and an online IT course for the mathematically minded should be as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Database management

15. Database management and software

Databases are like digital reference libraries, and database management involves the building and maintenance of every record. If you’re computer savvy and want to get into database management and software then the good news is you won’t have trouble finding a job. The other good news is that you can study a tailored course to get you in front of employers even faster. 

Computer graphics and animation

16. Computer graphics and animation

As computer graphics and animation become more impressive, audiences become harder to impress. This is just one of the reasons why computer graphics and animation skills continue to equal employment. Digital media is an exciting industry to be a part of and a course in animation or graphics will help you design the perfect career.


17. C/C++

C/C++ is an intermediate-level programming language. It has influenced other languages such as Java (see below), and your ability to speak this language will certainly influence companies to put you on their payroll. IT courses such as a Bachelor of Computer Science will give you a comprehensive skillset including the highly sought after C/C++ knowledge.


18. Middleware and integration software

Middleware and integration software have been described as ‘software glue’ and are crucial to businesses when sharing information across different products and devices. Whether you’re working for an IT company or within the IT department of an organisation, integration software skills will get you noticed.

Java development

19. Java development

Java is a programming language and involves code that can run from one platform to the next. It is one of the more commonly known languages and continues to rank on hireable skills lists, like many of its language counterparts. Certain programming courses offer specific Java skills which are great for first timers and those looking to refresh their skills to score a thumbs up from IT recruiters.

Software quality assurance

20. Software QA and user testing

Software quality assurance and user testing are, as the names suggest, the processes ensuring that software meets the required standards and tick all the boxes. Without quality assurance, companies are at risk of fines, poor products and software glitches so it’s no wonder that skills in this field are considered top quality. A qualification in computer science will offer you an impressive knowledge base that includes this hot-listed skill.

PR and communications

21. PR and communications

Companies and individuals channel a lot of time and effort into projecting the ideal image out to the public. Public relations (PR) and communications professionals ensure that the message is consistent, on brand and continues to reach the right people. You can take a broad approach through studying a communications course to make sure that PR companies get the right message – that you’re ready to work for them!

Software engineering

22. Software engineering management

The list of LinkedIn’s 25 hottest skills of 2013 is thick with software-related abilities and software engineering management is yet another example of how digital skills are a one-way ticket to employment. You can gain software engineering skills through studying a range of IT courses.

23. Information security

With so much information now floating around in cyberspace, it’s unsurprising that the monitoring and security of information makes it onto the list of desirable traits in an employee. A career in this field can lead to high profile roles in government and military settings as well as private organisations and institutions, and a trusty IT course will get you on all the right radars.

24. Strategy and strategic planning

As industries become more competitive, organisations and employees alike become more accountable for business outcomes. As a result, strategy and strategic planning continues to be seen favourably by employers and recruiters in a multitude of fields. If you are strategically minded, a business course can build on your natural acumen and give you a good job-seeking strategy in return.

Storage systems

25. Storage systems and management

Last but not least (actually, it is, ‘cause it’s a ranked list) is storage systems and management. This skill is yet another example of how data is a key player in so many industries and how the proper storage, management and security of it continue to be highly valued. A course in IT can prepare you for any number of data-related roles including storage systems and management, so you can prepare for the offers to start rolling in.

As you can see, the job market is riddled with skills that will get you noticed. Need to bring your skillset into 2014? Become a recruiter's dream by studying an online IT course or one of the other industry-specific courses on offer.

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