The Skills Companies Need Most in 2020

10 February 2020

Katie Davies

LinkedIn recently released some very interesting data that revealed the most in-demand soft and hard skills of 2020.
With many of the ‘in demand’ hard skills not existing 10 years ago, job hunters need to be adaptable and creative if they are to develop their career.
From swatting up on emerging tech to discovering the best ways to collaborate, if you learn some of these in-demand skills it may help you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs.
So, whether you’re currently studying at university or you’re a recent graduate, take a look at some of the top skills that recruiters are looking for.


Soft Skills

When applying for graduate roles, understanding what soft skills companies are looking for can be hugely beneficial.

Soft skills are essential interpersonal skills that will determine your ability to get things done and discover new opportunities.

Take a look at some of the top trending soft skills for 2020…

1. Creativity

Coming in at number one for the second-year running is creativity. Organisations are always looking to employ graduates who can approach problems with creativity and introduce new ideas to the business. Whether you’re a software engineer or a lab-based scientist, being creative plays a large part of working life so if you can showcase this skill, you’re sure to impress recruiters.

2. Persuasion

Perhaps one of the most important soft skills to learn if you are looking to progress your career quickly, having good persuasive skills can help you achieve your goals. Practice your communication and pitching skills so you’re in a good position to introduce new ideas and persuade managers that they are worth taking note of.


3. Collaboration

The third top trending soft skills that companies are looking for from candidates is collaboration. When working on projects or towards goals, collaborative teams will achieve much more than individuals. That’s why this is such an important skill to learn and utilize.


4. Adaptability

One of the best ways to deal with new situations, new challenges and stressful scenarios is to be good at adapting. Employers will be impressed if you can embrace change and learn how to thrive in all sorts of circumstances.

5. Emotional intelligence

The final skill in the top five is all down to your ability to view, evaluate and react to your emotions and the emotions of those around you. Again, it comes down to effective communication and learning how to deal with different personalities.

Hard Skills

As well as soft skills, there are a number of hard skills that are essential to securing certain graduate jobs.

You won’t be surprised that many of these hard skills are vital to careers in the STEM industry. With technology and innovation at the forefront of investment in the UK, there is an ever-growing demand for graduate talent.

1. Blockchain

Linked to cryptocurrency, Blockchain first came into being in 2009. Since then, this emerging tech has allowed for digital assets to be securely stored and sent across the internet. If you have learnt about Blockchain and are looking at careers in tech, you’ll already be in demand.

2. Cloud Computing

Next up is last years number one trending hard skill, cloud computing. Most companies are now built and run on the cloud, so they are always looking for graduates with skills that will help them to innovate and improve their knowledge.


3. Analytical Reasoning

Data is a huge part of everyday business. Companies are constantly on the lookout for candidates who have the skills to understand, interpret and explain data. So, if you’re analytical, you’re off to a good start.


4. Artificial Intelligence

Businesses are always looking to new technology that will help them to innovate and stay ahead of their competitors. Many companies now use AI, machine learning and natural language processing to augment the capabilities of the human workforce.

5. UX DesignThe final hard skill in the top 5 is UX Design.  With companies becoming more and more reliant on online processes, they need to employ teams who can design and build human-centric products and experiences.With the knowledge of some of the main soft and hard skills companies are most looking for in 2020, we hope you can understand what you need to showcase when applying for jobs.

At STEM Graduates, we specialise in placing top talent in STEM roles at some of the best companies in the UK. Take a look at our jobs board for all the current roles available. Either apply online or give us a call on 0151 236 8000 to discuss any of the roles further.

Unsure of what career path you want to take, or maybe you’d like the opportunity to talk to employers face to face? Our sister company STEM Women run a number of events across the UK for female STEM graduates looking to secure a job in a STEM industry. Check out our events page and register your attendance today!

More in Careers Advice

View more