2020 has thrown us a curveball. Although many newsworthy events have happened this year, the most significant has been the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic. It has changed everything about our reality, including how we work. It has also changed the economic environment in the country and, thus, has also altered many career outlooks.

Employers’ needs have also changed a bit under the current situation. Whereas before the pandemic, professionals with leadership skills may have been in high demand, now employers may be giving preference to emotional intelligence or resilience. Here are some skills in high demand that could help you find a new job.

Soft Skills

Soft or interpersonal skills are those that allow you to work, collaborate, and communicate with others. They are hard to quantify, and you develop them throughout your life. Employers look for these skills so they can be sure their new employee will fit well into the team. 

Some of these skills are in higher demand than others, depending on the type of career. They will also help you in other aspects of your life, not only at work. Here are three soft skills in high demand this year.


Creativity is using your imagination to produce results. We generally link creativity with professions like design, the arts, or visual production. But in truth, creativity can be used to help find new solutions to existing problems. With creativity, you will be more likely to come up with innovative ideas. Employers seek out this skill so that their employees will increase the company’s innovation instead of hindering it.


Adaptability is pretty self-explanatory. But in the office, it means the ability to keep up your performance standards amid new, unfamiliar situations. Being alive means constant change. We as humans grow and change throughout life, so being able to adapt to change is an essential skill.

However, some people are better at adapting than others. The ones who can adapt will have better performance results, and thus, a better professional reputation. In the end, it will translate to better job opportunities. This ability also reflects that you will have adapted better to all that changed with the Covid-19 pandemic, so employers will be looking for this soft skill.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and to understand the emotions of others. Bottling emotions only lead to poor mental health, bad moods, and stress. If you know what you are feeling and why you will respond to stressful situations better. After all the uncertainty, frustration, and worry that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought, it’s no wonder that this skill is in high demand.

Hard Skills

Contrary to soft skills, hard skills, or technical skills, are quantifiable and you generally learn them in school and higher education. For example, a second language, programming languages, and analytical thinking are all hard skills. Some can be beneficial to your profession, and others are a career all on their own. Here are some hard skills in high demand.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the dispatch of different services through the Internet. It can be anything from storage and computing power to app development. Having this skill means you know how to use the cloud for any purpose needed. The leading providers of cloud computing are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. 

Cloud computing skills may be necessary even if you’re not in a tech career. Many providers give resources that you can use to learn, and there are free courses online that teach the basics of these platforms.


Blockchain is the technology that was born with Bitcoin. But the technology has much more potential than just cryptocurrency and it stands to change every industry in our world. Just having a basic knowledge of how this technology works would be a plus for an employer. Blockchain is still in its development stages, and many people don’t understand how it works.

Also, because it’s new, not many software developers are specialists in this area. The demand for blockchain technology is high, so there is a shortage of professionals with knowledge in this area. In 2018, there were about 105,000 blockchain developers in the world, and only 27,000 of them are in the US. The average salary for an employee in this field is around $160,000 annually. Overall, this skill will ensure you have a job now and in the future.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is still in its early stages, but it is already controlling industries. Most companies nowadays use AI and machine learning to gather insight from their data. The technology is also powering other tech developments and the applications are endless.

If you enter this niche now, you could be part of the next development that revolutionizes our world. AI is in high demand because companies are rushing to introduce this tech to their operations. Businesses will either hire their own AI specialist or outsource the job; either way, you will benefit from learning artificial intelligence.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing was born after companies start seeing the benefits of social media platforms. People are more likely to buy something if someone they know has recommended it to them. Affiliate marketing is a revenue-sharing model where someone will promote a company’s product to their friends and acquaintances. 

If any of their friends buy the product, then the person promoting it will receive a certain percentage of profits. This is a common practice for influencers, but average people with more than 1,000 followers on their profile can also do this and will see some extra money. Many companies used this as a marketing strategy, so it is in high demand this year.

In Summary

This year has been one of the hardest for people seeking a new job. But learning these skills could make your journey easier. To improve your interpersonal skills, you can work on your creativity, adaptability, and emotional intelligence. And for hard skills, you can learn cloud computing, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and affiliate marketing. All are in high demand and will increase your chances of standing out.

About the author

Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.

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