LinkedIn reveals the top skills Canadian employers are looking for
An employee types on a computer keyboard (Pressmaster/shutterstock.com)
Emily Chan, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, February 1, 2016 6:30AM EST
Looking for a new job in 2016?
You might want to top up your statistical analysis and data mining skills, a new analysis suggests.
According to data from LinkedIn, "statistical analysis and data mining" was the most sought-after skill in Canada in 2015, followed by "middleware and integration software," and "storage systems and management."
The professional networking site released the rankings as part of their 2015 list of the world's "25 Hottest Skills."
To rank the skills, LinkedIn analyzed which skills users chose to put on their online profiles, and then looked at the hiring and recruiting activity that took place on the site between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 1, 2015.
The results revealed information on in-demand skills in 15 different countries.
Globally, "cloud and distributed computing" emerged as the most sought-after skill of 2015.
That was followed by "statistical analysis and data mining" and then "marketing campaign management."
Those looking for work in China, however, would be better off brushing up on their "network and information security" knowledge.
LinkedIn spokesperson Joe Roualdes says the Canadian results closely resemble the other results from around the world, with one key exception.
"The most notable difference is that fewer Canadians are listing cloud and distributed computing as a skill on their profiles, leaving it outside of the country's top 25 skills," Roualdes said in an email to CTVNews.ca.
Notable trends in the data
According to a LinkedIn blog post, this year's survey revealed a number of key trends when compared to last year's results.
For example, LinkedIn researcher Sohan Murthy notes, cloud technology came to the forefront.
"In many ways, 2015 could be seen as the year cloud and distributed computing graduated from a niche skillset to a more prominent skillset in the global workforce," Murthy wrote in the LinkedIn blog post.
In 2014, cloud-related skills were so uncommon that they weren't even recorded in the annual results.
But this year, they shot to the number one skillset, globally.
Roualdes said the rise in demand for cloud and distributed computing abilities matched a rise in demand for engineers able to construct systems to store "huge" volumes of data.
"Besides retaining the number one spot in the US, India and France in 2015, you'll see cloud and distributed computing is ranked first in Germany, Ireland, Singapore, and China," Roualdes said.
In his blog post, Murthy also notes that data has remained strongly in-demand. Last year, data analysis skills ranked first globally and this year they held onto second around the world.
And in Canada, statistical analysis and data mining remained the top skill, both in 2014 and 2015.
Meanwhile, other skills lost popularity and dropped out of the top 25 entirely.
Game development, for example, slipped from 24th to 29th, and computer graphics and animation dropped from 17th to 37th.
In Canada specifically, Roualdes noted that many skills that were not registered in 2014 have entered the 2015 list.
He attributes this to a growing demand for STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math, skills worldwide.
"These skills include software revision control systems, shell scripting languages, software modeling and process and more," he said. "Likewise, employers are looking less for skills like recruiting and foreign language translation."
Learning new skills
So does that mean there's reason to panic if your resume doesn't match up with LinkedIn's 2015 list? Not necessarily.
LlinkedIn recommends learning a new skill on its online learning site, Lynda, and there are plenty of other online and in-person courses available for anybody interested in learning about statistical analysis and data mining or cloud and distributed computing.
"We hope this data will help workers acquire the skills they need to get the jobs they want," Roualdes said.
And there's one other reassuring fact.
As Murthy notes in his blog, the results of the analysis are restricted to LinkedIn data, so it only offers insight into employers and job seekers who are active on the site.
"It is influenced by how members choose to use the site, which can vary based on professional, social, and regional culture, as well as overall site availability and accessibility," Murthy writes.
Historically, Roualdes added, LinkedIn's membership has tended to include workers with advanced degrees, a factor that could influence the overall results.
"Our membership has skewed toward professionals with more advanced degrees and are more highly skilled," he said. "But as our network grows, we are reaching a broader segment of the working population.