New age skills required to be on top of the game

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With Work from Home a reality for the next few months, this is the perfect opportunity for us to learn & acquire new skills which which can accelerate our growth personally and professionally. With a fast changing business landscape, It is important to keep ourselves updated on the new trends.

I think all of us should embrace the learning spirit in a positive way. Years back, learning was restricted to college and post graduation days, today even a 60 year old should take the initiative and keep learning. Currently all of us can can take out an hour and skill ourselves for the future.

I have noted down certain skills that we can acquire to accelerate our career on the path to growth.

  1. Digital marketing – The explosive use of smart phones for routine activities coupled with the growth of the internet has opened up a plethora of opportunities for every company – big or small. Every organization aspires to be a part of the digital growth and look at ways to monetise this new medium. There are plenty of courses which teaches the fundamentals of digital marketing. If you are new to digital marketing, start off with the Google courses which are free and provide valuable insights into the basics of digital marketing. Once you have grasped the basics, look out for advanced online courses. There are a lot of companies who provide various courses which you can learn during your free time.

2. Content writing – If you are the type of person who loves to write on different topics, do fine tune this habit. Content writing is a hot job with almost all sectors requiring creative people for explaining the products to their target audience in a simple manner.  And it does not stop there, content writing has diversified across varied online platforms where you can utilise the skills effectively. It includes writing a blog (personal / clients), Email newsletters, Video scripts, Social media posts etc.

3. Data Science – One of the new kids on the block, Data scientists are very much in demand. Statistics indicate there has been an uptick of app. 35% – 40% in the demand for data scientists in the last 1 year. Today data is the new oil and expertise in the science of managing data is precisely what every organisation is seriously exploring. If you are the person who loves analysing data, then you should look at upgrading your skill. The good part here is it is not compulsory to be an IT engineer. Even a graduate can explore this skill by subscribing to online courses.

4. Machine learning (ML) – Another hot shot career, it is a branch of Artificial intelligence which is widely used across industries like IT, Retail, BFSI etc. Simply put ML is an application of Artificial Intelligence which provides systems with the capability to learn and improve from their own experience without being programmed. It is similar to how we humans learn from our own experiences in everyday life. For a beginner, you should have a good understanding of statistics and algorithms. Also start learning languages like Python and R. Once you are able to grasp these topics , go for a simple course and gradually keep moving forward to higher level concepts in Machine Learning.

5. Consultant – If you love solving problems, consider the option of being a consultant in a field that you specialise. Organisations depend on consultants to solve problems & improve performance internally. Bottom line is increased efficiency & productivity. A person with an MBA / PG Diploma in Marketing coupled with relevant experience of say 5-6 years can look at the role of a consultant. There are companies like KPMG, PWC, Accenture etc who hire consultants with a good pay structure. If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, try being an independent consultant. You can leverage your contacts developed over your working years and start work with a few known acquaintances.

6. Sales / Business Development – This is one profile that will never go out of fashion. As long as there are needs and wants, organizations will require sales people to sell their products. So if you have basic qualities like being a good listener, enjoy interacting with people, ability to handle failures & optimistic you can look at joining courses which can sharpen these talents. Different sectors like BFSI, Real estate, IT, Pharma have traditionally been major recruiters in sales. Additionally we have new sectors like digital marketing companies, E-commerce companies, Fintech who keep hiring for sales positions. 

If you plan to venture into entrepreneurship, sales is a very important component in your armoury. You may have the best product but if you don’t know how to explain the benefits to prospective customers / investors & establish a connect with them, your venture is doomed. 

The above are some of the skills you can look to acquire. It will help you to grow and enrich yourself in all aspects- Personal, Professional & Financial. In today’s age, we should be clued in to trends & developments, opportunities will present itself and we should be ready to identify and adapt ourselves to embrace the new change.