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LinkedIn Reveals The Top 25 Job Skills Of The Year

Looks like 2014 was the year of the data scientist, judging by LinkedIn’s “25 Hottest Professional Skills of 2014” report. 

The social network people use to impress their peers and future bosses, LinkedIn knows very well what skills recruiters search for on its site and which particular talents get people hired. So it analyzed the data in more than 330 million member profiles to figure out which skill was the most in-demand.

Globally, the winner is—drumroll, please—statistical analysis and data mining.

That makes perfect sense, if you take into account the other big trends this year and the intense load of data they’ll accumulate about us.

Data, Data Everywhere—But What Does It Mean?

This year, several emerging technologies got their sea legs.

Smart homes got some juice, thanks to acquisitions by Samsung and Google, and Apple’s splashy HomeKit announcement. Wearable devices, and their continually evolving health and fitness tracking features, also leapt to the foreground this year. Meanwhile, TV streaming officially graduated from geek hobby to a mainstream obsession—so much so that the TV tracking experts at Nielsen decided to monitor online television viewing too.

That’s just for starters. All of these innovations and more will lead to a new high in data aggregation, the likes of which we have not seen before. And someone has to make sense of it all. So companies have been vying for the folks who can do just that. Big, sexy articles by the likes of Forbes, Harvard and Time magazine probably helped the cause, ratcheting up the profile and appeal of occupations that, until now, remained largely behind the scenes. 

Of course, that’s not the only area to ponder. LinkedIn also singled out 24 other “hot” skills in its list.

The 25 Hottest Professional Skills Of 2014  

  1. Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
  2. Middleware and Integration Software
  3. Storage Systems and Management
  4. Network and Information Security
  5. SEO/SEM Marketing
  6. Business Intelligence
  7. Mobile Development
  8. Web Architecture and Development Framework
  9. Algorithm Design
  10. Perl/Python/Ruby
  11. Data Engineering and Data Warehousing
  12. Marketing Campaign Management
  13. Mac, Linux and Unix Systems
  14. User Interface Design
  15. Recruiting
  16. Digital and Online Marketing
  17. Computer Graphics and Animation
  18. Economics
  19. Java Development
  20. Channel Marketing
  21. SAP ERP Systems
  22. Integrated Circuit (IC) Design
  23. Shell Scripting Languages
  24. Game Development
  25. Virtualization

My, how times change. Last year, LinkedIn reported that the top skill in 2013 was social media marketing, followed by mobile development. Now, last year’s winner doesn’t even appear on the chart, and mobile development fell to #7.

Also, take note, developers: While programming skills remain important to employers, the Perl, Python and Ruby coding languages took a tumble, from #4 to #10 now.

But The U.S. Has Its Head In The Clouds

The LinkedIn report also offers a country-by-country breakdown of its report. Notably, statistical analysis and data mining came in second on the U.S. list, beat out by cloud and distributed computing.

Other trends LinkedIn spotted:

  • Recruiters are in demand globally. Recruiting was in the top 20 across most of the countries we examined. In Brazil, it even came up as the 2nd hottest skill….
  • STEM specialties dominate hiring priorities. It’s hard not to notice that most of the skills that made the list are related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)….
  • Marketing is back in vogue. Interestingly, another quite popular profession on the list is marketing. The focus this year was on SEO/SEM specialists, campaign managers and digital marketers….

Consider this a capsule view on the recruitment year that was, and a preview of what employers will clamor for as the new year arrives. 

Lead image by smi23le

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