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7 skills worth learning during back-to-school September

4 Sep 2020

From coding languages to confidence, here are some skills you could work on as we start into September.

Students across the country are heading back to school this month, but it might be time for the rest of us to follow suit. Something the pandemic has taught us is that change will always happen and we’re well able to adapt. So, why not keep that learning streak going?

This week in Careers, we discovered some of the skills that could come in handy for work. After all, businesses are always on the lookout for new candidates – Regeneron announced 400 new jobs for its pharma base in Limerick last week and Peak6 just revealed plans to hire 160 at its new site in Belfast.

1. Resilience

BetterUp’s Shonna Waters sees resilience as a critical skill that should be learned by everyone. Getting into the right mindset is crucial to mastering it, she explains here, focusing on cognitive agility and emotional regulation.

2. Branding

Employer branding is an important skill, especially today when there’s a lot of noise to break through. Doing it remotely becomes even trickier, but it’s certainly doable. In this piece, Hays’ Gaelle Blake outlines eight different ways to bring your company’s brand to life remotely, from hosting virtual tours to incorporating videos into your hiring.

3. Coding

If you’re looking for a more technical skill to pick up, coding skills are always in huge demand. Some of the world’s biggest companies draw on a whole host of different languages, as software company Flyaps highlights in this infographic.

Freelancing platform Upwork also revealed the 15 highest-paying programming languages on its site in the first half of the year. Among them were Objective-C, Golang, Windows PowerShell, Excel VBA and Kotlin. Check out the full list here.

4. Self-confidence

Something that many of us struggle with is confidence in ourselves, particularly in the work that we do. When Kelly McConville began her career in Philips, imposter syndrome led her to ask, “How is a wee girl from Belfast here?” Now, however, she is the global director of content, social media, brand and campaigns at mobile banking company N26. Read more about her journey here.

5. Robotic process automation

Covid-19 has brought massive opportunities for individuals with robotic process automation (RPA) skills, according to software company UiPath. It surveyed 1,500 RPA professionals around the world, 70pc of which said their company will be hiring more developers in the next year. More than half (60pc) said the pandemic has accelerated demand for RPA skills, and 92pc said they believe the RPA industry has a high potential for growth over the next five years

6. Creativity

Laura Sinnott, a data scientist at Aon’s Centre for Innovation and Analytics, has been working on more creative skills recently while working from home, rediscovering her love for art and drawing. “I think creativity goes hand-in-hand with innovation, which is a critical trait of a successful data scientist,” she told us in this article.

7. Crossing borders

The ability to “cross borders and interact with people on all levels” can pave the way for a rewarding career, according to Johnson & Johnson’s Brendan Cosgrave. He’s a solutions architect at the company and heads up its CareAdvantage programme, seeing him bridge pharma with patient care in tangible ways.

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Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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