A survey showing what skills you need to promote your career

A survey showing what skills you need to promote your career

Companies have a constant need to train staff as new skills are needed to develop the company and to stay competitive in fast-developing market. Training consultancy Udemy Business has made a survey showing what type of skills markets demand the coming years and it also serves as a guideline for people looking to find courses and other forms of training to promote their careers.

“The most in-demand skills aren’t just about staying ahead of the technical curve. Skills related to leadership, teamwork, communication, productivity, and wellness are critical to every employee’s performance. This is why it no longer makes sense to call them “soft skills,” as if they represent a less important set of skills in the workplace. These skills aren’t just nice to have. They’re essential for changing the workplace”, the survey says.

“The priorities of leaders for the year ahead must shift to ensuring top talent not only stays with the company, but that their skills can evolve quickly enough to stay competitive.”

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“Power skills are the key to future-proofing your company. Udemy Business data shows us just how in-demand these skills are. We’ve seen triple-digit growth in categories like office productivity, leadership and management, and personal growth over the past year.”

“It’s worth noting that demand in topics like diversity and inclusion, strategic thinking, listening skills, and time management skyrocketed in the past four years. While these topics earned some extra time in the spotlight during the pandemic, we believe their four-year growth indicates a much larger trend.”

These are trending skills measured in percentage consumption compared from 2020 to 2021:

Communication and teamwork

Regardless of how the company works – at the office, remote or hybrid — the fundamentals of communication and teamwork skills remain paramount.

Top 5 surging communication & teamwork skills, 2021.

  • Assertiveness 250%
  • Facilitation 148%
  • Team building 129%
  • Business writing 104%
  • Critical thinking 96%

Leadership and management

In the year-over-year view of topic consumption, diversity and inclusion again see growth as employees voice their need to leaders to work in an inclusive company.

Top 5 surging leadership and management skills, 2021

  • Diversity and inclusion 205%
  • OKR 184%
  • Strategic thinking 119%
  • Problem solving 108%
  • Management coaching 108%

Productivity and collaboration

Time management is a popular skill that employees revisit when they feel their productivity lag.

Top 5 management and collaboration skills 2021:

  • Computer skills 169%
  • Time management 86%
  • Windows 10 77%
  • SharePoint 76%
  • PowerPoint 70

Personal development and wellness

For L&D leaders, personal development and wellness means offering employees opportunities to learn subjects beyond their day-to-day job functions.

Tip 5 personal development and wellness skills 2021:

  • English language (IELTS) 150%
  • Interior design 115%
  • Music theory 79%
  • Piano 79%
  • Fitness 52%

Business intelligence

In the last year, consumption of courses related to Tableau and data visualization software increase as organizations grow their employees’ data literacy.

Top 5 surging business intelligence skills 2021:

  • Excel analytics 195%
  • Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification (foundational Tableau skills) 148%
  • Tableau Desktop Certified Associate Certification (comprehensive Tableau expertise) 78%
  • Business analytics 76%
  • Statistics 73%

Design and UX

Web accessibility is now such an important part of information design, that it’s become policy for many global government agencies.

Top 5 surging design and UX skills 2021:

  • Graphic Design 227%
  • Product Design 195%
  • Adobe Premiere 112%
  • Web Design 104%
  • Mobile app design 99%

Finance and accounting

Traditional finance topics like bookkeeping and financial markets saw steady growth over the last four years, showing that the foundations of finance remain importance for organizations.

Top 5 surging financial skills 2021:

  • Cryptocurrency 331%
  • Algorithmic trading 317%
  • Day trading 271%
  • Bookkeeping 147%
  • Solidity 127%

HR and talent development

While HR professionals are expanding their expertise, Udemy Business consumption shows they’re continuing to prioritize key skills like compliance, health and safety, and HR analytics.

Top 5 surging HR and talent development skills 2021:

  • Online course creation 86%
  • Human resources 84%
  • Manager training 56%
  • Instructional design 49%
  • Employee performance management 24%


As consumers gain greater control over their digital data footprint, marketing teams are recalibrating their strategies and finding new ways to tie the results seen in marketing analytics to customer behavior.

Top 5 surging skills in marketing 2021:

  • Marketing analytics 185%
  • Marketing strategy 119%
  • Content marketing 72%
  • Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) 65%
  • Facebook ads 54%

Project management

The increasing complexity of work projects — plus the challenges of working remotely — mean project management is an in-demand skill.

Top 5 surging project management skills 2021:

  • PSPO (Professional Scrum Product Owner) certification 419%
  • PSM (Professional Scrum Master) certification 167%
  • Quality management 134%
  • PMI (Project Management Institute) certification 128%
  • PMP (Project Management Professional) certification 126%

Sales and customer experience

Persuasion and negotiation are key skills when it comes to influencing someone to buy a product. These skills are always in demand and need regular refinement.

Top 5 surging sales and customer experience skills 2021:

  • Persuasion 78%
  • Negotiation 67%
  • B2B Sales 27%
  • Customer success management 25%
  • Sales skills 6%

Cloud computing

From cybersecurity specialists to data scientists, cloud computing knowledge helps cross-functional technical teams work efficiently and within an agile process that ships products quickly.

Top 5 surging cloud computing skills 2021:

  • Google Cloud certification 645%
  • Microsoft AZ-500 393%
  • Microsoft Azure 264%
  • Amazon AWS 155%
  • Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect 134%


Cybersecurity and corporate infrastructure are especially critical concerns as employees working away from their office networks or on personal devices increase the risk of hackers infiltrating a seemingly secure system.

  • Top 5 surging cybersecurity skills 2021:
  • CompTIA CySA+ certification 155%
  • CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) 135%
  • CompTIA PenTest+ certification 111%
  • CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) 76%
  • Wireshark 48%

Data science

Data teams are evolving to build the data architecture for customer products and internal systems that use machine learning capabilities and AI-powered analytics.

Top 5 surging data science skills 2021:

  • Amazon Sagemaker 219%
  • AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialty 212%
  • Apache Airflow 178%
  • Apache Spark 128%
  • SAS Certified Specialist: Base Programming 104%

IT Operations

The IT teams of four years ago have few similarities to the IT teams of 2022 and beyond.

Top 5 surging IT operation skills 2021:

  • Database management 475%
  • IT Service management 278%
  • Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) 137%
  • Storage area network 112%
  • Oracle GoldenGate 105%

Software development

Coding experience is becoming a required skill in tech functions regardless of the job description. It’s a trend helping teams bring products to market faster.

Top 5 surging software development skills 2021:

  • Terraform 372%
  • Python scripting 314%
  • React hooks 295%
  • Prometheus 248%
  • SwiftUI 234%
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