The Most In-Demand Hard and Soft Skills of 2019

January 3, 2019

Here’s a not-so-bold prediction: there’s a decent chance you’ll be searching for someone with cloud computing skills in the near future.

No, that's not based on your recruiting horoscope—it’s the fact that cloud computing will be the single most in-demand hard skill in 2019, according to LinkedIn’s latest research. Using a LinkedIn data, we were able to identify both the soft and hard skills companies are working hardest to fill right now. But before we dive into the results, let's recap the meaning of hard skills vs soft skills. 

What are hard and soft skills?

While hard skills concern your ability to do a specific task, soft skills are more about the way you do them, e.g., the way you adapt, collaborate, or make decisions.

Hard skills include specialized knowledge and technical abilities, like software development, tax accounting, or patent law expertise. As such, they’re often easier to define and measure than soft skills.

Soft skills are more about your behavior or thinking—your personal characteristics and cognitive skills. While they’re more difficult to measure, soft skills are often pretty flexible and can help a person thrive in a variety of roles and industries.


Related: Learn to assess soft skills accurately with tips, insights, and case studies in the 2019 Global Talent Trends report


So without further ado, here are the top hard skills followed by the soft skills companies value the most in 2019:

The most in-demand hard skills

  1. Cloud Computing
  2. Artificial Intelligence
  3. Analytical Reasoning
  4. People Management
  5. UX Design
  6. Mobile Application Development
  7. Video Production
  8. Sales Leadership
  9. Translation
  10. Audio Production
  11. Natural Language Processing
  12. Scientific Computing
  13. Game Development
  14. Social Media Marketing
  15. Animation
  16. Business Analysis
  17. Journalism
  18. Digital Marketing
  19. Industrial Design
  20. Competitive Strategies
  21. Customer Service Systems
  22. Software Testing
  23. Data Science
  24. Computer Graphics
  25. Corporate Communications

Unsurprisingly, tech skills dominate this wish list. However, with skills like Journalism, Social Media Marketing, Corporate Communications, and Competitive Strategies making the list, it’s clear companies are looking for new ways to stand out and tell their story in a competitive market.  

But, even candidates with exceptional hard skills need soft skills in order to stand out and succeed in any of the above roles. In fact, 57% of leaders say soft skills are more important than hard skills.

What are the soft skills companies are looking for most in 2019? They are:

The most in-demand soft skills

  1. Creativity
  2. Persuasion
  3. Collaboration
  4. Adaptability
  5. Time Management

Topping the list of desirable soft skills is creativity. And that isn’t surprising – organizations everywhere need people who can innovate and conceive fresh ideas and solutions.

Soft skills can be harder to assess than technical abilities, but there are still dozens of tactics to suss out a candidate’s communication skills and emotional intelligence. For more information, take a look at these handy blog posts:

If there’s one thing that’s constant in the talent landscape, it’s perpetual change. As the business world in general shifts, new skills and new promising jobs are bound to fall in and out of favor. By getting an inside track on the hottest trends, you can out-recruit the competition by getting an early start on the talent attracting the most demand in 2019.

Methodology: “The skills companies need most" was determined by looking at skills that are in high demand relative to their supply. Demand is measured by identifying the skills listed on the LinkedIn profiles of people who are getting hired at the highest rates. Only cities with 100,000 LinkedIn members were included.

*Image by WOCinTech Chat

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