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Industry News

The ten most valuable skills in today’s business market — and how you can take advantage

Companies are looking for particularly valuable skillsets.

Companies are looking for particularly valuable skillsets.

If you're thinking about how to incorporate your business and what field is best to enter, it helps to know the market. LinkedIn analyzed the both the employment history of its over 250 million members, and the hiring patterns of the companies that were looking to recruit them. Here are the ten most commonly sought after skills — and how you can start a company to take advantage of the demand.

10. Retail payment and information systems

It's clear that many companies are looking to modernize the way that they handle transactions. If you have an idea to improve this process, there's a strong market for it. 

9. Business development/relationship management

An overburdened staff doesn't always have the bandwidth to properly scope out business development. A company that helps standardize those practices across industries would be a welcome help to a taxed workforce.

8. Recruiting

Recruiting is all about leveraging existing connections. If you're well-linked in a number of related fields, it could be time to put those skills to use.

7. Digital and online marketing

No doubt about it, the internet is a huge part of our lives. However, trends can shift fast, and not every company has the time to stay on top of them, along with handling its regular workflow. Specializing in helping business navigate tricky online waters could be a lucrative online endeavor.

6. User interface design

No matter how good your product is, it won't sell if it's hard to understand visually. A good freelance designer can help show a product in the best possible light. 

5. Statistical analysis and data mining

Big Data is the future, with more and more companies seeking to understand the ways in which they can use analytics to help better identify their customer bases. However, it's not always easy to lay out those processes. Being able to ease the transition from traditional information management to more modern systems is a valuable business model.

4. Perl/Python/Ruby

Many companies have programming needs, but not enough to warrant a full-time position. Offering coding a la carte is a mutually beneficial solution. 

3. Cloud and distributed computing

Rows and rows of file cabinets are outdated and unwieldy. Establishing a company that offers solutions for updating file management systems so that business runs more smoothly could pique a lot of interest. 

2. Mobile development

There are a lot of app-friendly companies that don't have apps yet. If you can code well, the market is clearly interested.

1. Social media marketing

In many ways, it's unsurprising that social media tops the list — more and more, it's how we both get our information and help to process it. Many traditional companies struggle with their social media presence, since it's fundamentally different from the way they're used to doing business. An intelligent curation service can be a valuable asset, here. For example, Storyful, an Irish startup that aggregates social media stories, just got acquired for $25 million by media giant News Corp. Less than a month ago, another old media titan, Scripps, paid $35 million for video curation service Newsy. 

The message is clear — companies need help in these areas, and they're interested in businesses that can provide it.