Graduation cap and scroll against yellow background. Results of Udemy survey into the most in-demand skills for 2018.
Image: LightField Studios/Shutterstock

These are the most in-demand skills for 2018, according to Udemy

13 Jun 2018

Are you prepared for the reskilling revolution? If you don’t feel like you’re ready to ride the crest of the wave of one of the biggest changes to the jobs market since the industrial revolution, read on.

The tech world has been abuzz in the last few years talking about how technological disruption could impact the jobs market and the future of work, but the worry has come into sharp relief of late.

According to research conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute, 70pc of executives at large companies (defined as those with more than $500m in annual revenue) anticipate that the march of technological progress could affect as much as a quarter of their workforce over the next five years.

Meanwhile, a 2016 study co-piloted by the MIT Sloan School of Management and Deloitte concluded that while 90pc of companies are aware that massive change in the digital sphere is just around the corner, only 44pc feel they are adequately prepared for it.

So, it seems that businesses and workers alike feel a little like sitting ducks, watching massive change taking place but slightly at a loss as to how to cope with it. How about you? Do you feel prepared for the ‘reskilling revolution’?

If you’re finding that there is a ball of anxiety forming in the pit of your stomach about how the skills you currently have will fare in this ever-changing market, you can put your fears to rest – you just need to keep calm and retrain. This raises another question, however: how do you determine what is best to train in?

Online learning platform Udemy for Business has released a brand new report detailing some of the most in-demand tech and soft skills for 2018. It analysed the skills that its 20m users are learning on both Udemy and Udemy for Business, and determined the ‘trending’ ones.

The top tech skills

In terms of tech skills, programming language Kotlin topped the charts. First released in February 2016 as an alternative to Java, Kotlin helps streamline Android app development. According to Udemy for Business, learning on Kotlin courses spiked by a factor of 95 since last year.

Kotlin addresses some of the issues with Java, namely that the language is verbose, error-prone and generally sluggish to modernise. When Google announced formal support for Kotlin in May 2017, consumption of courses skyrocketed.

Coming in at second place was neural networks, also known as deep learning. Udemy for Business saw growth by a factor of 58 in the number of learners in this field compared to last year, and it’s easy to see why. The potential of automation technologies has become clear and an array of industries – such as online retail, finance and healthcare – and all of the biggest players in the business world are keen to capitalise.

In third place came project management, which saw growth by a factor of 42. According to the Project Management Institute, the demand for qualified talent within this profession is huge, and the talent shortage can pose a risk to companies – failure to meet this demand could result in a loss of $207.9bn in gross domestic product through to 2027.

Artificial intelligence was ranked the eight-hottest tech skill for 2018, seeing an uptick in demand by a factor of 31 for courses related to it.

Ethereum and blockchain, GraphQL, and Apache Kafka were among the others that saw a huge swell in demand.


Image: Udemy for Business

Emotional intelligence needed

As well as listing the most in-demand ‘hard’ skills, Udemy for Business also compiled the ‘soft’ skills that saw the greatest increase in number of learners.

SkillSurvey states that as much as 77pc of employers now believe that soft skills are as important as hard skills.

Leadership and manager training came in at number one on the soft skills list, which is unsurprising, as these kinds of skills always have been, and will continue to be, critical to the success of any organisation. This was followed by emotional intelligence, a vital attribute both in fostering more collaborative workplace cultures and being generally useful to those working in fields such as sales, customer service and management.

Business writing was ranked at number three, with 44pc of managers reporting that writing was the skill most sorely lacking in college graduates.

Image: Udemy

Image: Udemy for Business

To view the results of the Udemy for Business report in full, the e-book can be downloaded by clicking here.

Updated, 8.23am, 14 June 2018: This article was updated to attribute the report findings to Udemy for Business.

Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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