15 best digital skills to learn in 2021

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The abilities and digital skills needed in today’s world are constantly evolving, and it is easier said than done to stay up to date with the latest technologies and upskilling activities. However, in businesses, irrespective of size and sector, digital experts are urgently needed.

The World Economic Forum in the Future of Jobs Report 2020 also explained that the job market is increasingly changing, with a significant rise in technology-driven careers. This will then result in the emergence of positions that are more suited to the current division of labor between humans, computers, and algorithms.


According to the report, 85 million workers are expected to be replaced by a change in the division of labor between machines and humans by 2025. Data from the Future of Jobs Survey of the Forum indicates that, in reaction to new emerging technologies, more businesses plan to restructure their workforce.

This implies that machines can replace certain roles held by humans and job functions carried out by humans. For people looking for work, this means making deliberate efforts and taking necessary steps in this dynamic work environment to learn these new emerging skills needed. Determining the in-demand skills will help you select a simple and appropriate career path that gives you a competitive advantage over other applicants and job seekers.

Over 100 of the most common digital skills, both soft skills and hard skills, were analyzed by Koleolat, and the data were compared with the LinkedIn ranking of the same name. Therefore, here are some of the best digital skills to learn in 2021 that we think should help you stand out in the current job market:

1.  Digital Project Management

The job of a digital project manager is to make sure that all deliverables needed for a project are completed and delivered on budget and on time. More recently, the duty of project managers is to ensure that their project is in line with business goals. The digital counterpart requires an acute technological understanding of design, programming, and the accompanying technical interfaces, as opposed to a basic project manager.

Digital skills

A digital project manager’s entire area of operation typically includes:

  • Creation and communication of a project schedule, timetable, and budget
  • Assignment of appointments and tasks
  • Having all the data for the smooth running of a project
  • Internal and external resource preparation and distribution
  • Provision of managers’ status reports
  • Documentation of all activities and outcomes of the project
  • Contribution to suggestions and offers from clients
  • Evaluation and assessment of the performance of the project

2.  Cloud computing

Cloud computing is one of the best digital skills to learn in 2021 because it is one of the most searched digital skills. More and more companies are transitioning from traditional server infrastructures to location-independent cloud solutions. In just a few years, no one doubts that this will be the global standard. The public cloud services market is projected to grow by 17 percent in 2020, to a total of EUR 237 billion, according to American market researcher Gartner.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud platform that offers content delivery, storage of databases, networks, and a total of more than 50 services. Cloud architects, engineers, or server managers are typically AWS specialists. IT pros who are approved by AWS earn more than their peers who are not certified. As qualified AWS specialists earn an average of €80,000 a year, this is one of the most lucrative skills an IT professional can gain.

3.  Software development

Software development refers to a series of computer-related tasks devoted to the process of developing, designing, installing, and supporting software, according to IBM research. This is one of the multi-faceted digital skills out there. It includes designing, specifying, designing, scripting, recording, checking, and fixing bugs involved in the creation and maintenance of frameworks, applications, or other components of software (Wikipedia).

The basic types of software development include programming software, system software, and application software. System software involves providing key functions such as operating systems, utilities, disk management, hardware management, and other operational necessities.

Application software includes helping users perform activities on applications such as mobile apps and on the web. Programming software includes the creation of programming tools to be used for other software development. Software development is a wide sector that represents other key fields that will subsequently be addressed.


4.  Artificial intelligence

In over 100 lists, artificial intelligence (AI) was the digital skill most frequently listed. AI (Artificial Intelligence) is changing the work landscape rapidly, making 2021 and beyond an interesting time for programmers. Over the past 5 years, the recruiting growth for AI specialists has risen 74 percent annually. AI experts have earned the best places on different work portals because of the rising prevalence.

As early as 2018, 31 percent of LinkedIn companies said it would be on their agenda for the next 12 months to implement AI. The key use cases are the inclusion of AI in the analysis of data and the experience of users.

5.  Web Development

The process of developing and maintaining a website for the Internet (World Wide Web) or an intranet (a private network) is known as web development. The design of the website does not involve web development but rather the programming and coding that allows the website to function.

There are three basic functional areas for web development: client-side coding (frontend), database technology, and server-side coding (backend).

  • Client-side coding (Frontend development): This applies to anything with which the user interacts. It involves converting data using CSS, HTML, and JavaScript to a graphical interface so that users can see and interact with the data.
  • Server-side coding (Backend development): The backend development is essentially the actions behind the scenes that guarantee smooth running on the client-side. It is responsible for data collection and organization and for ensuring that everything runs smoothly on the client side. It does so by interacting with the front end.
  • Database technology: This takes information, organizes, stores, and processes it in a way that allows users to easily and intuitively go back and search, update, organize, and save data that they are looking for.

In order to develop and operate a fully functioning application or website, the frontend, backend, and database technology all operate together, and these three layers form the basis of web development.

Web development is a skill in demand today, thanks to the advent of modern web technologies and application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow websites to “plug in” to other useful features.

6.  Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is also one of the best digital skills to learn in 2021. It is a form of marketing that promotes goods and services by using the internet and other digital media channels and devices. In order to help companies communicate with their target customers in all possible areas, digital marketing takes full advantage of popular digital media platforms like social media, search engines, and email.

Many companies are trying to sell their goods and services online as the age of word-of-mouth marketing is rapidly getting out of place, and this is where digital marketing is useful. Digital marketing aims to offer online products, services, and goods. Digital marketing is a skill that is quickly becoming an in-demand skill, as many brands shift their companies online.

7.  Data Science & Analytics

Data analytics is the process of data analysis to define valuable information, to inform conclusions, and finally to facilitate decision-making (Wikipedia). As brands no longer depend on intuition in making informed business decisions, the role of a digital marketer has grown.

As a consequence of the availability of tools for measuring and monitoring data, brands have become much more data-driven in the decision-making process. The skill required by digital marketers has grown with this data-driven mindset, becoming a mixture of a data strategist and a creative enthusiast. Since data science has been identified as one of the most in-demand skills, marketers now need to realize the influence analytics can have on their day-to-day tasks.

8.  Affiliate Marketing

If you don’t like to stress much, this is one of the best digital skills for you. Affiliate marketing is an advertising strategy in which a fixed commission for generating traffic for the goods or services of a company is awarded to third parties. Amazon, as a pioneer, was essential to its growth.

The online marketplace has made the practice public that bloggers and websites place links to Amazon pages for an item or product that has been tested or mentioned in order to collect advertisement fees when it is purchased. With all these in mind, affiliate marketing is basically a marketing program for pay-for-performance where revenues are outsourced across a broad network.

The rise of marketing in digital and social media has further opened the way for affiliate marketing and formed the new standard of digital advertising. Affiliate marketing takes advantage of the power of corporate partnerships and influencers to achieve hyper-goal-oriented audiences in the social media context.

9.  Machine learning

There are innumerable use cases for this futuristic technology in all sectors, from voice assistants to data analysis to self-driving vehicles. In fact, for greater effectiveness, almost all of the other digital skills mentioned here have machine learning or can be used.

The AI/machine learning environment, however, is very broad and is mainly used for research at present. Therefore, understanding the current state of machine learning in the corporate sector is critical because it is worth investing in acquiring the requisite skilled resources only when the benefits for your business are presented.

10.  UI/UX Design

The “UI” in UI design refers to “User Interface.” A user interface, like a smartphone’s touchpad, is the point of contact between a digital device (or product) and a user. The user interface considers the feel, look, and interactivity of the product in relation to applications and websites. The user interface is an application’s graphical layout.

It consists of click-on buttons, the text they read, sliders, photos, text-entry fields, and any other item users interact with, such as the layout of the screen, transitions, and any sort of visual feature. UI (User Interface) designers are like graphic designers, dealing with aesthetics and ensuring that the application’s interface is visually pleasing to consumers.

On the other hand, the word “User Experience” attributed to Don Norman, a cognitive scientist and co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group Design Consultancy, applies to the interaction between a user and service (or product).

Basically, User Experience (UX) is concerned with the experience of a user with an application. Is the experience confusing or smooth? Is it simple and clear to navigate the app, or does it feel like a struggle? User experience is defined by how simple or difficult it is for users to communicate with the interface elements that have been developed by the UI designers.

Many companies have had to migrate their businesses online with advances in technology and an introduction to remote work. This creates a need to develop products that will make this change effective and feasible.

To help them build and design more people-centric experiences and products, organizations need more knowledge and therefore create job opportunities for candidates with the necessary skills. It is essential to seize this opportunity as a job seeker by developing and expanding your skills.

11.  Video Animation

Video animation is the process of taking sequential, static images and pictures and playing them in rapid succession. In order to make them appear as moving pictures, animation essentially manipulates figures.

Currently, video animation is quickly becoming one of the best digital skills to learn in 2021, and it is highly in demand. When many people get bored with video advertisements, advertisers infuse cartoons and comic videos into advertisement videos to create a twist on advertising.

This increased demand results from the rising need for visual effects in movies, television, online outlets, and video games. For technical and creative occupations, such as multimedia artists, computer software engineers, web developers, and graphic designers, animation skills are most commonly needed.

12. SEO/SEM Marketing

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are two wide areas under digital marketing.

Search Engine Optimization includes optimizing a web page in order to improve its visibility for related searches on different search engines such as Google. It is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of website traffic, as well as visibility by non-paid search engine results to your company or brand.

The greater a page’s visibility in search results, the more likely it is to gain interest and attract the company’s prospective clients. By editing its texts, videos, and images, SEO is concerned with making the content of a web page appealing. The entire concept of optimizing the search engine is to generate relevant content that will maximize the total traffic to the website.

On the other hand, Search Engine Marketing is a paid SEO technique used to improve a company’s popularity so that the brand can appear on search engines in the top positions.

As many companies are moving online, brands prioritize digital platforms to connect with target clients and drive their company’s bottom-line growth. As a result, the demand for high-quality digital marketing expertise has continuously become more popular, including search engine marketing and search engine optimization.

13.  Video Production/Editing

Video production is essentially the process of generating video content for the production of films, news production, or video advertisement. Consumers have an insatiable desire for video content, and video production remains a priority for businesses as a result.

The essence of the modern world of the media is to create and edit videos. This skill will definitely improve your career, as it is one of the best digital skills to learn in 2021. Also, Video production/Editing is one of Nigeria’s most in-demand skills.

A priceless modern skill is the ability to edit, record,  and produce a video. With a computer, a camera, video editing software, and a decent microphone, you can learn video editing fundamentals at home. Many professionals use paid software, but if you are just beginning, you can also pick from several free services.

14.  Mobile App Development

Mobile apps development includes the creation of applications that can run on mobile devices, such as iPhones, Android devices, and the Windows 10 platform. Mobile development includes developing phone applications, smartwatches, tablets, and all other forms of wearable devices running a mobile operating system of some kind.

Mobile Development is undoubtedly the future of mobile technology as mobile devices are becoming a big part of our lives, and job applicants should take full advantage of this and learn a skill in mobile development.

15.  Business Analysis

Business analysis is a research approach in which business needs are defined and evaluated, and solutions to business problems are provided. Companies are continually searching for candidates to make good strategic decisions with solid investigation and problem-solving skills. It is one of the tough skills any applicant should have. As hard as it may seem, it is also one of the best digital skills to learn in 2021.

Source (s)

Top Skills Employers Want in 2021 – myjobmag

10 Digital Skills You Need in 2021 – talentgarden

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