The global world economy has, over the past two decades, undergone major restructuring that has tremendously affected the jobs market.
Over the last five years, numerous corporates have announced layoffs - some due to tough economic times, while others have done so after changing their business models. In the media business, for instance, nearly all leading media houses in Kenya have had annual layoffs for the past three years.
While these organisations have significantly reduced their staff, they have also actively hired - and continue to do so. The reality is that around the world, the jobs market is undergoing a revolution that is affecting the skills that employers consider valuable. The same applies to individual skills - outside of employment - that present great financial benefits, even without the need for employment.
Money254 researched industry trends and came up with the ten most valuable skills that will be highly in demand in 2023.
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Coding is a general term that relates to programming languages that computers and smart devices such as phones can decipher. There are various coding languages that programmers use for different tasks, which can include building websites, mobile apps, an algorithm for a robot, etc.
There is often a general misconception that computer scientists can only do coding or computer programming. However, anyone can be a code developer as long as they become conversant with a programming language.
Indeed, developers with a unique disciplinary background have the advantage of understanding another field better than computer scientists – and can develop better codes through enhanced creativity.
Consider the example of a mobile or computer application that is intended to help kids with online learning. A teacher who understands coding would be in a better position to develop such an application than a computer scientist with no classroom experience.
The good thing is that once you learn one programming language, it becomes easier to add on new languages – and there are many of them, examples include python, java, HTML, swift, and drupal, among others.
Because of the great demand for their services, developers are some of the highest professionals locally and in the global economy. In 2023, it can only get better as more companies seek to digitize and automate their operations.
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SEO and web development are common skills that have been around over the past two decades as part of the internet revolution. Web development is a skill required to build websites for an intranet or for the internet.
It is an old skill, but as the world has advanced digitally, there is more demand for web developers who can meet current markets for fast-efficient web pages that can take in complex information.
Web development is also a great skill to have as an individual. For instance, you can make a small website for your small business – rather than outsource. You could also make some extra cash on the site building websites for your friends and acquaintances – as more people move to the web.
Web development is closely tied to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – an equally old skill in the internet age – but which has evolved greatly and continues to do so. SEO involves making a website more visible when users make a search on search engines – an example being Google.
If you were to Google “best insurance company in Kenya” – there would be hundreds of results on Google as most companies have an internet presence. SEO involves leveraging certain parameters that search engines use to rank prominence, including keywords, and user-friendliness, among others.
As more websites are built, search engine companies such as Google are ever-changing their ranking algorithms, making SEO a great skill to have in 2023.
Markets around the world are becoming increasingly competitive, and the trend is likely to persist in 2023. Amid the competition, one of the most important areas for companies to get a competitive advantage is sales. In most industries, higher sales result in higher market size, higher revenues, and ultimately, more profits.
Unlike most of the skills listed here, sales is a traditional skill that has existed for centuries. However, it is expected to change in the coming years – and will be particularly valuable in 2023 as companies seek to boost sales to survive the harsh economic environment.
Notably, the relevance of sales is likely to change from one salesman/woman selling everything to nearly every employee in the organization being required to have sales skills. In other words, sales is advancing to focus more on expertise as opposed to the convince-me language in the traditional sense of the profession.
For example, more companies are employing professionals who understand and have expertise in their product or service – and then training for sales skills. As companies seek to restructure, one of the areas they look at is additional skills on top of the primary professional skill, say a human resource professional who can also do sales when called upon.
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Like sales, marketing is a traditional skill that has existed for centuries. However, content marketing is a relatively new concept that is part of the internet revolution.
Content marketing involves the strategic creation and distribution of content that serves a specific target audience and ultimately encourages the purchase of a product or service.
An example of content marketing is a company that sells real estate; offering you content that is informative and valuable on the steps to consider when buying land. It could also market surveys on the best areas to invest in – even if they may not have a product there. The end goal is as you rely on them for valuable information, it becomes easier to buy from them when you eventually decide to buy real estate.
It is also a skill that can benefit you at a personal level if you are a good storyteller. Once you have built an audience, brands will pay to tie their brand to your personal experiences and stories.
Investing has traditionally been seen as an activity – even though it is a skill. One of the biggest misconceptions is that investing is a reserve of the rich. However, investment, at the heart of it, is about analysing the present and planning for the future.
As the cost of living continues to escalate into a near-global recession – one of the major advantages of a basic understanding of investing is learning how to plan your finances better – reducing expenditure, increasing savings, and using them in a way that they offer the maximum benefits.
Various investing courses are available for free on the internet. They range from the basics f personal finances to more complex skills such as understanding the stock market, forex, and international commodities training.
This is another old skill that is still relevant due to a number of factors. Kenya continues to be a hub for non-governmental organisations operating in the East and Central African region. It has also attracted a number of foreign start-ups, charities, and social enterprises that seek to do good in the region.
Some of these organisations are highly reliant on grants from foundations and from governments. Writing a great grant proposal is a rare skill that organizations are willing to pay top dollar for.
Read Also: 5 Shunned Jobs Where Kenyans Make Good Money
Graphics design is a skill that involves communication through strategic visuals such as typography and illustration.
The skill is increasingly important because of the value of great visuals that have become critical in the era of social media. For advanced projects, graphics work may require a dedicated professional. However, basic graphics can be done by an amateur through some free short online courses or using online tools such as Canva.
Video editing is a skill that involves the use of software to process or manipulate video footage to create new work. A few years back, you would need two full independent professionals if you needed to have basic graphics and video editing work done.
However, as technology has evolved, a number of online tools make it possible for you to develop both skills without necessarily studying them in college as complete courses.
Other small tasks would best be done by one person who has earned the two basic skills. For example, if you have a small vlog and require a catchy thumbnail design and a one-minute video edit, hiring two professionals may not be feasible. The level of skills required in such a case would best be individually learned, and 2023 is the year to obtain them if you haven’t already.
Photography is a great hobby and an invaluable skill to improve your chances of getting a job or earning passive income. One of the realities of the digital world is the great value attached to great visuals.
Companies want to have the best photos that tell their everyday stories, politicians have photography crews who update their websites and social media pages daily – same to influencers, bloggers, media houses, etc.
To be a great photographer, you do not necessarily need to have studied it in college. Many of the skills that give you an edge are self-taught, while the basic training can be done through online tutorials or mentorship from established photographers.
You do not need to work in these areas to benefit financially. Even when you are employed full-time in other professions, photography, as a side hustle, can be highly lucrative. You could work part-time at events such as weddings, birthdays, and dinners – to offer your photography services at a fee.
Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that allows a digital database where data is stored in blocks and chained together in a manner that is impossible to duplicate or delete – but all transactions are visible to multiple computers.
The most common use of blockchain is in cryptocurrencies – although it can be used in various platforms, including managing elections, managing business supplies, selling digital arts, etc.
A LinkedIn survey found that most employers struggle with hiring blockchain programmers, making it an invaluable skill to have in 2023 and the years to come.