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Only weeks after the onset of the current COVID-19 pandemic, establishments and businesses across the globe saw extensive changes in their working environments with massive disruptions in their normal functioning. As business leaders were faced with these tough economic challenges, only those who adapted their businesses quickly survived and emerged stronger than ever.

As these challenges continue to persist a year later, there has never been a more pressing need for organizations to optimize their businesses through upskilling. Organizations need to focus their efforts and resources towards teaching their employees essential tech skills that will help them gain stability in this new state of operations. This will help businesses navigate through the financial and functional challenges brought by the pandemic with a new and improved skilled workforce to back them up.

The impact of the current economic crisis completely changed business landscapes as we saw a major increase in the use of valuable tech tools by employees around the world. This suggests that staff members are motivated to adapt to the challenges brought to them in these difficult times. Employees who are well versed in tech skills can prove to be irreplaceable assets for their employers.

Here are 7 of the best tech skills to train your workforce in if you’re looking to upskill amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Data Science

Data science is the process of extracting, organizing, and analyzing large volumes of data sets using algorithms, tools, and machine learning techniques.  As the modern digital world is being engulfed by data science tools, the need for data scientists is burgeoning across every industry. Virtually every organization makes use of data. However, data alone is not enough. Employees need to be able to review this data and identify hidden patterns to effectively predict future trends.

With the massive demand for data science practices comes a striking lack of skills to carry them out. Data-driven businesses looking to gain that upper hand against their competitors need to address these gaps in their workforce’s data fluency skills. Due to rapidly evolving changes in consumer behavior, employees need to be well-versed in data science practices to take on business challenges.

2. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing skills are at the forefront of the recent advancements that are spearheading the IT sector during the COVID crisis. With an increase in the adoption of hybrid cloud solutions, the need for cloud computing professionals has grown exponentially.

Cloud-based training programs are becoming increasingly popular because they help employees stay organized and enhance their productivity. Knowing how to work in a cloud environment also allows different teams to work together conveniently in conjunction with better access to data from different departments. With the pandemic severely affecting the workplace infrastructure, there is an expanding dependency on cloud technology, which helps remote working and improves communication.

3. Blockchain

From real estate to insurance agencies, there is no industry that hasn’t made use of blockchain technology. The evolution of blockchain as a digital ledger has revolutionized the way businesses function. As an emerging technology with many advantages, blockchain has gained a lot of traction and prominence. But, with its rising popularity, the demand for blockchain professionals is also at its peak.

From identity verification to payment processing, blockchain technology can be a valuable asset for HR professionals. Additionally, blockchain overlaps with other skills in AI and popular programming languages such as C++ or Python. This offers blockchain professionals the opportunity to gain versatility and branch out into other demanding tech fields.

4. Cybersecurity

With increased digital threats, cybersecurity skills are in major demand across most sectors. A business’s employees are the most vulnerable to digital threats and breaches. Cybersecurity training will assist your employees in protecting their and your company’s data from cyber-attacks. Providing employees with awareness about security protocols and basic cybersecurity practices should be a significant part of every organization’s security solution.

5. Artificial Intelligence 

As different businesses are progressively using AI-based interfaces in their operations, AI has become one of the most pursued fields of skills. Pursuing the skills of AI can help your employees expand their career opportunities immensely.

While AI is expected to displace several jobs, humans are still expected to play major roles in the working of AI. However, these humans will only be those who are trained in the application of AI skills.

With a significant reduction in the manual workforce due to the pandemic, the need for AI skills has seen an all-time high. Capitalizing on the latest technologies science has to offer, with the right skills, can lead to a more productive method of working, efficient customer service, and enhanced product management.

6. Machine Learning

The innovation of machine learning technology has given birth to a new technological era. Many industries have realized the need for machine learning and have begun investing in training their employees with these skills. In fact, several online organizations leverage machine learning to improve their users’ experience since the success of their business depends on it. As companies harness the power of machine learning, the demand for skilled professionals in this field is rising significantly. However, not enough professionals have the necessary skillsets required. Upskilling through hands-on machine learning projects in this domain is one of the best methods to bridge this growing gap.

7. UX Design 

UX design training provides employees with a wide range of hands-on skills that several companies in the IT sector demand today. A report by Morgan McKinley states that the number of jobs in this field has grown by 320% in the past five years, which suggests that the need for professionals in this field is soaring.

A UX designer is expected to have extensive knowledge and skills regarding user-centered practices, visual designing, consumer behavior, project management, and consumer research. They are also expected to be able to code in languages such as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS to convert their data into a graphical interface in order to implement their designs onto the web. All of these essential skills are used in providing a better experience for your user, which keeps a user loyal to your brand. With proper training, your workforce can become a pro at creating consistent experiences for your user with your system through responsive layouts and user feedback.

Bottom Line

With accelerating digital advancements, employees have always needed to be adaptable and equipped with the latest tech skills, even before the pandemic. The current COVID-19 crisis has only catalyzed the need for upskilling in tech skills, which has renewed its forgotten significance and made it more urgent.

From IT to HR, it’s essential for business leaders to upskill their employees’ technical capabilities and keep them up to date with the latest advancements in technology. This can only be achieved by encouraging the process of continued learning in the workroom and fostering employee engagement.