LinkedIn’s list of the 15 most in-demand skills includes business analysis and many skills that are critical to your success.

Show Notes

Earlier this month, LinkedIn came out with their list of skills companies need most in 2020.  The article lists the most in-demand soft and hard skills organizations will be looking for this year.

Not surprisingly, skills needed for success as a Business Analyst topped the list and the hard skill of Business Analysis jumped forward to the number 6 spot on the list.

Whether you’re looking for a new job or trying to boost your career, having several of the skills on the list will help you succeed.

Let’s look at these skills that companies are looking for this year.

Hard Skills

The LinkedIn article mentions the 10 hard skills that companies are looking for most.  Many of the top skills are in the area of data-driven decision making.

Top Hard Skills for 2020:

  1. Blockchain
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Analytical Reasoning
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. UX Design
  6. Business Analysis
  7. Affiliate Marketing
  8. Sales
  9. Scientific Computing
  10. Video Production

While some of these like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, affiliate marketing, scientific computing, and video production depend on your role and the type of company you work for, these are growing areas and you may want to develop at least a passing knowledge about these concepts.

Certainly some level of knowledge about cloud computing, AI, and scientific computing are important because they all involve using and maintaining information in a way that it can be used to perform processes or make better decisions.  Scientific computing relates to data and machine learning, which many organizations are using to drive better decision making.  If you’re working with an organization using or exploring these approaches, you’ll need to build your skills and knowledge to be able to be effective regardless of your role title.

Number three on the list is analytical reasoning.  This skill includes strategic thinking and using data to discover new insights.  This is a key skill for Business Analysts as we should base our recommendations on data think strategically to see the big picture and all of the moving parts.

At number five is UX design.  We’ve discussed the need for UX design and its value as a skill for Business Analysts in prior episodes.  This skill gives us the tools to develop solutions that customers will love.  When we take a human-centric approach, we discover the right problem to solve and then create a product that’s easy to use and is the right fit for our customers.

As I mentioned earlier, the skill of business analysis jumped up 10 spots to number 6 on the list.  It made the most significant leap of all of the skills and it’s a skill that LinkedIn says is a skill all professionals should have.  Good business analysis leads to better decision making and when organizations make better decisions, they develop better solutions and increase their revenues.

You can develop your business analysis skills through training, joining a professional organization such as the IIBA, reading and listening to podcasts, and by sharing ideas with others in your network.  It’s a skill that’s valuable to everyone from the individual software engineer up to C level executives.

There’s one more hard skill on the list that I didn’t mention and that’s number eight, sales.  While your role might not be in sales, this skill is essential because we all need to be able to sell.  We sell our ideas when we influence decision making.  We sell ourselves when we’re looking for a new job.  Sales is all about presenting a compelling offer, and that’s critical to persuade others to make the right decisions.

Soft Skills

In addition to the 10 hard skills, the LinkedIn article lists five soft skills that are in-demand.  Like the hard skills, these soft skills are crucial for your success and all of them are needed for Business Analysts.  The top five soft skills are:

  1. Creativity
  2. Persuasion
  3. Collaboration
  4. Adaptability
  5. Emotional Intelligence

Creativity is important because it allow us to solve problems more effectively and come up with novel solutions.  Without creativity, there would be no innovation and the flow of great products would be severely limited.  Denise Jacobs discussed the importance of creativity and how to unleash your creativity in episode 143.

Next up is persuasion.  We need this skill to be able to influence decision making and lead lasting change in our organizations.  This skill involves effective communication and the ability to influence without authority.  It’s critical for all change agents to have this skill.

The third soft skill is collaboration; our ability to work well with others.  To me, collaboration goes beyond teamwork.  It’s about forming high functioning teams and aligning people toward a common goal.  It requires facilitation, good listening skills, and an understanding of your personal strengths and weaknesses.

The fourth skill, adaptability, allows us to adapt to change.  That could mean seeking and responding to customer or peer feedback as well as organizational and process change.  The more quickly we can sense and respond, the better able we are to change in a positive way and deal with stressful situations.

The last skill and new to the list is emotional intelligence.  This is the awareness of and ability to manage your own emotions as well as the ability to sense the emotions of others and respond appropriately.  This skill is closely tied to and boosts our collaboration, adaptability, and persuasion skills.

Remember that soft skills are hard to develop.  You can’t simply take a class or read a book and expect everything to change.  It begins with an awareness and understanding of these skills and then development through continuous practice and feedback.

Now’s the time for action.  Pick one of these in-demand skills and work on it.  Once you feel you’d developed the skill to an appropriate level and put it into practice, pick another skill.  Never stop learning and developing.

Do you have these top skills companies are looking for?

To help you on your skill building journey, below are some episodes that provide information to support your skill development.


MBA143: Banishing Your Inner Critic to Unleash Your Creativity


MBA170: Persuasion – Get Buy-In for Your Ideas

MBA098: The Art and Science of Influence

MBA140: Improve Influence with NLP


MBA037: The Key to Better Collaboration

MBA079: Effective Collaboration


MBA197: Making Change Fun

MBA154: Change Leadership

Emotional Intelligence

MBA149: The Power of EQ

Analytical Reasoning

MBA059: Problem Solving for Business Analysts

MBA054: Strategy and its Role in Business Analysis

MBA157: The Importance of Good Data Analysis

UX Design

MBA031: UX – Are you Experienced?

MBA038: Use Cases, CX, and UX: Putting it all together

MBA112: User Centered Design

Scientific Computing

MBA190: Business Data Analytics

MBA039: The Big Deal with Big Data