Whether you are looking to land a heavy job in a multinational or become a big-time entrepreneur, this exclusive guide to skills you really need after school can help you reach your goal.
You’ve paid your dues, you’ve worked hard in school and have graduated with a satisfactory Grade Point Average, ready to venture into the world – the next level.
In this complex, technology-driven market, you may find that what you learnt at school may not even cut you a job in teaching in some new generation schools, you know, the kind that are likely to pay you the salary you deserve. How much more to stand on your own.
You need an edge. And the surest one these days is to have certain skills that are most in demand in your field that help you/your employer keep up with the technological, economic and social forces that are transforming so many industries.
Before going on about valuable skills, there’s always the confusion a fresh graduate has in choosing a particular ‘field’ to venture into After School. There’s no one right way to answer this for every single graduate who is as indecisive as the next graduate.
However, here are 4 ground rules to help you skip the confusion and choose your field/career path.
Life experiences: an interesting or challenging event that has happened in your lifetime and has stuck with you, possibly changed your outlook on life.
Natural Talent: what comes to you naturally. This is what people call passion.
Nurtured Talent: what you have learnt to do after some time.
Degree: What you studied in school. It could be a branch-off of your course or exactly what you graduated with. Your degree certificate helps to prove you are somewhat qualified.
The key is to convert any of these ways or a combination of them to choose the most rewarding career path for you. You must also identify the skills needed to clearly navigate this chosen field.
Some of the most valuable skills today have nothing to do with science and technology. They are skills that require just deep thinking. So you don’t have to pay a fortune or go on a break from life trying to learn a skill these days.
13 of these skills most companies need now have been identified and written in this post. Of course reading this post and agreeing with it does not give you the skills. Knowing the skills is just the first step, the rest is up to you.
SEO is now a basic skill. You must have it or Have it. Search Engine Optimization, as well as the ability to write good copy, are essential skills and have become very important in the last few years. The idea of SEO is to make your website more visible to search engines. This has become very necessary that companies spend millions to maintain visibility on the internet. Learning SEO is the big advantage your business may have over its close competitors.
2. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is hot. Being able to reach thousands to millions of people on social media and various other online platforms will boost business at any time of the day.
3. Interpersonal Communication
Interesting conversation is now a game changer in business. Gone are the days of boring, stick-to-the rules, conservative relationship. People with interpersonal communication skills always find a connection with those they come in contact with and are very quick in making people trust them. Leaders or students, every business needs this skill to flourish.
Business communication is as important as interpersonal communication. In fact, both go hand in hand under different circumstances. In essence, networking doesn’t only involve distributing call cards. It’s getting the right people to want to be associated with your business as well as with you. How well can you sell yourself?
5. Computer-Aided Design(CAD)
This is the skill needed to design an image, audio, video, infographics, buildings, body organs and a variety of other structures, often in 3D. This digital product design skill often pays off in choice fields; from healthcare to engineering to marketing.
6. Data Breakdown/Analysis
Every time you click on a website, shop online, watch a video, or do pretty much anything else, you leave behind crumbs of information. There are companies that need this information of the customers who visit their sites to be broken down into simple language to sell to a customised audience. This is big business in recent times.
Programming skills are the hottest of all skillset today and there is no end in sight. If you are looking for a secure job that can give the opportunity to work from anywhere, programming is the way to go. One of the best things about the field of programming is that the most popular programming languages can be learned online for free.
8. Contract Negotiation
These days, it’s no more about what your cv says. A lot of people have talked their way into great deals because of how they presented their case. This skill requires you to learn how to be witty in speaking, embodied with facts/figures and solid in body language and you might ace any deal of your own.
9. Software Development
From the sciences to engineering, people who can build new apps and customize online tools earn a bigger paycheck than their counterparts. Because smart phones are here to stay, the need for software for these phones will become increasingly in need.
10. Online Customer Service
There are a handful of companies who don’t see any reason to be online. Many other companies overlooked social media as a means of reaching their customers for a long time until it became almost late. Startups that are focused on how to best serve a customer for a repeat business usually hire people who can track user satisfaction and foresee their needs. If you want to become an entrepreneur, do not overlook this skill.
11. Business Analysis
If you seek to be employed by a big multinational, you should have a catch on what is going on in your field, how it’s affecting/ going to affect your company’s business, how businesses can come out of an ongoing drought, how a business can make a solid impact and profit at the same time. Deep insights and an intelligent business sense (not textbook sense) will help you ace that interview.
12. IT Security
With a wave of hacks going around, companies are after people and tools that can prevent these hacks or restore their websites. The trick is that it’s usually a simple tweak that is needed but the fear of loss makes it look technical. So the big bucks goes to you for being able to safeguard a website.
With all these skills in place and the inability to make sales, a business crumbles to the ground. No matter what industry, all businesses thrive on sales. And the ability to solve a problem, influence a person to buy a product, raise profit while minimising costs are what makes you a sales expert.
There are Four Tips to add more skills to your skillset in a very easy way:
Follow up on Online Courses: A very fantastic way of acquiring a skill today is by letting real professionals teach you in a virtual class, taking a test and getting scored, all on video. More people are now embracing sites like Coursera and Udemy, which offer hundreds of online classes. Most of these classes are free or low-cost. These sites are best for people who can learn well on their own and who are willing take up a new skill. Want to be able to understand your customers better? Coursera has a four-week Customer Analytics course, created by IESE Business School, that will take up to five hours a week.
Volunteer for a Project: Being directly involved in something makes you learn a skill faster. Pick up skills by volunteering at a nonprofit organisation or taking up an internship. Either way, you can make use of the small part you play when you are at a negotiation meeting or a networking event. Watching and learning will later evolve into directly playing the part.
Get Certified: If you’re entering the job market or a new industry, you may find your CV lacking in skills and experience, especially if you just graduated from the university. It’s tempting to lie, but if a new employer ever asked you to use any of those fake skills on your CV, then you are in hot water. For some skills, particularly those tied to software, recruiters and hiring managers seek out formal certifications. So going ahead to learn skills that employers require certification for, makes you more eligible for a job than someone who isn’t certified.
Find a Mentor: Get close to an influential person, someone already in a position to give you advice and grade your performance. Most often, your mentor’s approach to business and situations raises your own response to issues to become more developed and strategic. Ideally, you want to work under someone who’s really good at it.