If there’s one thing that recent years have shown, it’s that nothing is set in stone.
The COVID-19 pandemic ravaged some industries while giving others a much-needed boost. Meanwhile, the rise of Tik Tok as the next social media giant created countless new jobs and opportunities. Things are always changing, industries are constantly getting disrupted, and we need to prepare our students for that.
In this article, we discuss the top 10 technical skills every student needs to learn in order to thrive in an increasingly uncertain world. But first, let’s talk about how we derive this list.
How did we identify the different types of skills students need to learn?
When coming up with our list, we asked ourselves a few questions
What skills are highly sought after in today’s technological age? What are the skills necessary to help students stay relevant in the future? And what are the practical skills based on the workforce’s future demands?
Without going into too many details, here is a quick preview of the skills we think students need to learn:
- Data analytics
- Data science
- Microsoft Excel
- UX design
- UI design
Here are the top 10 technical skills that every good student needs to learn
1) Data analytics
Data today is the world’s most ubiquitous and valuable resource.
Media buyers use it to make informed ad bidding decisions. Academics use them to draw scientific conclusions. HR managers use it to make promotion decisions.
But raw data is not helpful at all. It needs to be processed and analysed to derive any form of insight. This is why data analysts are in such high demand.
Signing up for data analytics courses can help students learn valuable technical skills and provide them with an added edge and stand out in a sea of job seekers.
2) Data science
While data analytics is focused on analysing datasets to derive insights, data science is involved in creating and organising that very set of data points.
Becoming a data scientist is an increasingly popular career path as more companies seek to utilise the vast amount of data available. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of jobs will increase by about 28% by 2026.
Taking up data science courses in Singapore can definitely give our students a competitive edge on the global stage.
3) Structured Query Language (SQL)
SQL is a programming language that communicates with relational databases. It is used to extract, edit and add information to databases. SQL can also be used to create, combine, and delete data tables.
It’s an important programming language that you should learn regardless of your job, especially if some form of data analysis is involved. Most companies have an online presence and are keeping their data in their database.
The more you know how to communicate with the databases and extract important data points, the better you can be at your job. Especially if you are in a more analytical role, such as marketing specialists, sales managers, and data scientists.
Many people who have signed up for our government-subsidised data science course have emerged from it with a brand-new competency. Check out the various projects our students have completed as part of the course.
4) Microsoft Excel
Excel is perhaps one of the most reliable data management tools available. It is used by professionals in various fields from different industries across the world.
It helps users to calculate, evaluate and organise quantitative data sets. The data is later then used by business managers to make informed decisions.
Those in accounting use it to record all daily, monthly and yearly transactions. Others in HR use it to sort worked hours and organise employee profiles and expenses.
Learning excel as a new skill and becoming proficient in it can help provide students with a boost in competitive advantage in the job market.
For a deeper look into what UI/UX design is, do check out our blog post here.
As a programming language often used to build websites and software, automate tasks, and conduct data analysis, are we really surprised?
We live in the age of data and technology where some form of competency in tech-related skills is necessary. Even the Singapore government is aware of the importance of learning programming languages. It recently mandated that all upper primary students take coding enrichment classes to learn this skill.
So why not take up some Python courses and help yourself stay relevant in an increasingly uncertain world?
Tableau is a data visualisation and business intelligence tool used for analysing and reporting huge amounts of data. It helps simplify raw data into easily understandable formats to help management make informed decisions.
And unlike many other data visualisation tools out there, the reports generated by Tableau are way more aesthetically pleasing. This makes reading the charts and graphs a lot easier. Check out some of the beautiful data visualisation charts and graphs created by Tableau users.
As you can see in the Google Trends graph above, interest in Tableau-related jobs has been exponentially increasing. This is a strong indicator of the growing demand for those with proficiency in this skill.
Having competency in Tableau can grant students a big competitive edge in the workforce of the future.
7) User experience (UX) design
With the growing tech startup scene in Singapore, the growing demand for UX designers is inevitable.
Designing a product that not only satisfies user needs but is aesthetically pleasing is an essential skill if you want to thrive in the SaaS world. A study by Adobe revealed that 73% of surveyed organisations would prioritise hiring UX designers in the next five years.
It’s a great idea for students to take UX courses to give themselves an idea of what the field is like. They may even end up liking it and joining the field.
8) User interface (UI) design
Not to be confused with UX design, UI design is the process designers use to build interfaces in software, apps and or computerised devices. While it has a heavy emphasis on aesthetics, functionality and intuitiveness of the product interface’s layout are important as well.
For example, a UI designer will design an interface for a payment page to have the ‘pay now’ button located at the bottom right of the screen because most user testing participants find that it’s the most conspicuous spot.
Many tech companies need to hire UI designers to ensure that their products are user-friendly. In that regard, it’s not hard to see how this is an increasingly valuable skill as more and more tech companies are starting each year.
Figma is a vector graphics editor and prototyping tool used heavily by UI and UX designers.
It can be used to complete a large variety of design tasks ranging from wireframing websites, designing mobile app interfaces, prototyping designs, crafting social media posts, and every other design task under the sun.
One of its best features is its ability to allow for real-time collaboration in which multiple people can share, open, and edit Figma files concurrently. With the rising demand for UI and UX designers, knowing how to use Figma is a technical skill that students can learn to help them stay relevant in the digital age.
Understanding basic concepts in statistics is an underrated skill.
Too many times have we seen people saying or believing irrational things just because ‘a study said so’. Having a deeper knowledge of statistics like mean and median and the skill to interpret them helps our students critique the content they read from various sources.
These concepts form the foundation of many scientific studies, and knowing how to interpret them helps develop critical thinking and prevents blind consumption of information.
Learning new things helps students better prepare for the future!
And there you have it!
We hope this list has provided you with some ideas on the different types of skills for students to learn to help them thrive in an increasingly uncertain world.
If there’s one thing that’s constant in this world, it’s change. And these technical skills will help prepare our students to stay relevant for whatever’s about to come.
About Vertical Institute
Vertical Institute prepares individuals for the jobs of tomorrow. We specialize in teaching in-demand skills, building the next generation of changemakers and inventors through our world-class tech courses and certifications.
Singaporeans and PRs can receive up to 90% IBF Subsidy off their course fees with Vertical Institute. The remaining fees can be claimable with SkillsFuture Credits or NTUC UTAP.