The Top Skills Wanted in 2021 (And How to Develop Them)

Aug 3, 2021

Let’s be honest, COVID-19 has not made things easy for students. On a global scale, the coronavirus has affected so many aspects of our lives, including changing the way we live to prevent the virus from spreading. 

Employment is one aspect that has been affected significantly. COVID-19 has made it clear that certain skills will always be needed at uncertain times. 

Bearing this in mind, I would like to outline the top skills wanted by employers in 2021. This guide will highlight the skills, the reason they are highly required and how to develop them.

Why 2021 Is a Bustling Year For Careers

The UK Government lifted lockdown restrictions on July 19th, 2021. Due to the effects of the vaccination and their protection against the virus, it seems like things (at least in the UK) are starting to look positive.

This is the main reason why jobs are set to rise exponentially. According to this article from This Is Money, the job market sees a large number of industries and sectors looking to hire, which means great opportunities for graduates like YOU!

But, challenges exist nonetheless, and the number of competitors that you will be fighting against will be large. With that said, we believe that knowing what skills are wanted will make you stand out from the crowd, so here are some of the practical skills we found that are highly popular and needed in 2021.

Foreign Languages

Now, more than ever, a second or third language has become an important part of standing out when it comes to job applications. Your ability to speak a foreign language will boost your chances of getting to the next stage of your job application due to the limitations that language barriers hold (According to Bilingual).

Learning a language is no easy task but the reward it can provide you can be monumental. Even learning just above the basics can make you stand out.

The language you choose, your time management and your patience are just a few factors that determine how your course will progress. Graduate Coach has created a recent blog regarding motivation while studying, which gives tools and guidance on how to stay motivated while learning. Check it out!

Digital Marketing/Analysis

Almost everything in our world is becoming digital. From the way we order food to the way we do our shopping. One of the reasons digital is becoming so popular is the convenience it brings to its users. It’s so much easier to buy online than to drive all the way to town or your nearest city to purchase whatever you need.

Depending on what type of digital skill you want to progress in, there are many tools you can use to strengthen your development. Google has a variety of courses you can utilise in order to learn about digital marketing – such as Google Search Console, for example.

It is all a matter of looking into what types of courses or learning resources are available online.

Creative Skills

Creative skills have always been a wanted skill by lots of employers. In addition to thinking creatively, people that are proficient in creativity are able to make decisions faster, think of ideas more proficiently and manage their work more carefully.

It’s no wonder employers look for creative skills, since it comes with other skills that will be helpful for them too!

Developing creative thinking is no easy task. In a similar notion to learning a new language, honing your creativity can be just as overwhelming if not done correctly.

There are a lot of resources available online to help with this. A popular creative writing exercise is to utilise a writing prompt (which you can get online, here is an example) and then write a story, article, or opinion piece based on this writing prompt. It allows you to train your brain to think about different perspectives regarding a specific topic. Top Universities has also compiled a list of helpful ways to stimulate your creativity

Management Skills

Even before the coronavirus hit, team management and the ability to train others in a specific field was a popular skill that employers wanted within their company. The skill to train staff into doing the job correctly, or better yet, to do a better job than what they are currently doing, is crucial for a company to thrive, and will always be important for companies.

Cultivating various skills altogether can strengthen your management ability. Skills such as decision-making, communication and the ability to build trust are just some of the skills you need to become an effective manager.

Of course, there are alternative ways to develop your management skill set. Oxford Homestudy offers a free, comprehensive course for management that could prove useful.

IT/Computer Skills

Similar to the digital section of this post, IT and computer skills are becoming more and more prominent – the difference between digital and IT/computer skills is that there is a stark distinction regarding difficulty. IT skills are quite hard to come by. Many aspects of IT skills, such as coding, for example, have been outlined as one of the most difficult skills to learn, yet globally employability for coding is very high.

In a similar notion to a lot of these entries, resources online are the best ways to learn IT skills. A popular resource used would be Reed and their free guide to learning essential IT skills.


The skills highlighted above are the most sought-after skills wanted in 2021. Whether it is a direct reaction against the virus, or simply a skill that is essential for a company to have, these hard and soft skills are deemed to be the most sought-after features wanted by employers.

Do you want to up your job application game? If so, consider applying or developing the skills outlined above! 

Graduate Coach helps students and graduates land graduate-level jobs through courses, workshops, one-to-one coaching, interviewing coaching and much more.

This post was written on behalf of Armstrong & Oxford, a graduation gown hire service. Graduation is coming soon, so why not get your looking spectacular with Armstrong & Oxford? Check their services today!

Author Bio

Hi there! I’m Karlo, and I’m a Content Writer, writing about subjects ranging from graduation and employment to nightlife and travelling. I am currently working to write more content about jobs and employment at an international level, and hope to help those currently looking for their next career.

Featured photo by from Pexels

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