5 Skills That Will Make You More Valuable in 2017

— December 27, 2016


When employers look hire new additions for their team, younger candidates, particularly those in Generation Z (younger than 20) tend to get overlooked since they are associated with being under-qualified in terms of needed skills.

In order to ensure future success, the best course of action for any young person hoping to become an entrepreneur or work in an office, is to focus on developing skills.

With 2017 around the corner these are the skills that will be most in demand and beneficial for young people to hone.

1. Statistical Analysis

Almost everything requires an understanding of logic and statistics in order to be done well and in an era of computers and software accomplishing tasks better than humans ever could, being able to understand statistical analysis will take any young professional far.

With the abundance of fake news pouring around the Internet, there are plenty of examples of logical fallacies, improperly executed studies, and misinterpreted research. Falling into the massive group of people who does not understand statistics enough to call out these egregious errors will lead to costly assumptions within the business world.

Furthermore, with machine learning, artificial intelligence, and general computer software on the rise, being able to understand and execute prediction models is key for most industries.

If you are wondering how a computer can conduct facial recognition, know what you are telling Siri, or predict the value of a house this all heavily relies on creating statistical models and fine-tuning them to consistently become better.

If you want to get started in developing your statistical analysis it is best to start taking statistics, computer science, and game theory classes in addition to becoming better with statistical software such as “R”.

2. Public Speaking

More people are scared of public speaking than of death. Yet almost everything requires some level of public speaking, whether addressing a team of 10 members, presenting to a boardroom, or speaking in front of a few hundred or thousand people.

Improving your public speaking skills will improve your self-confidence, articulation, and help you with most verbal interactions.

Improving public speaking just takes a good amount of practice and a bit of coaching. Most people figure public speaking is either natural or takes time, but even if you spend a couple hundred hours speaking on a stage, unless you have someone experienced in the nuances of speaking, you will never know what your biggest mistakes are.

To overcome this hurdle, try joining a Toastmasters club, which is a public speaking organization and will help you improve and fine-tuning all of your public speaking techniques.

From here try speaking in front of a camera and noticing all of the little errors you make. Public speaking is equal parts courage and noticing the fine details.

3. Web Development

It should be fairly obvious by this point in time that we have become a digital society and Generation Z in particular will always turn to the Internet or their iPhones for information first. This habit means that more than ever it is important to have a beautiful and thorough online presence.

Both for personal reasons and making yourself a more appealing hire, being able to do web development is a critical skill. Consultants can charge thousands of dollars to build simple websites, which means if you need a nice site made you will either be doing it yourself and paying someone a good chunk of change.

Improving your web dev skills is a matter of time and commitment. Using online resources such as Codeacademy and W3 can help you get started, but only implementation will really craft your skills.

Also, most of the time online resources are not good enough in quality to really teach you everything you need to know and so looking towards college programs can be a good idea.

4. Advertising

With platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat rolling out advertising platforms, some of the biggest buzzwords among consultants right now are “Generation Z ad specialists.”

Being able to utilize these new and relatively cheap alternatives to Google AdWords that have much higher conversion allows businesses to push sales in ways they never before imagined.

In order to utilize these opportunities, you again will either need to learn how to use them or pay someone thousands of dollars to do so for you. Picking up experience here will just take trial and error to perfect good campaigns, understand what demographics are best suited for the campaigns, and overall just learning how to A/B test on them well.

5. Data Scraping

There is loads of data on the Internet and most of it has a decent amount of structure to it. Imagine if you had a restaurant wholesale company and you could get all of the contact info for every restaurant in the world?

This would likely be worth thousands of dollars in sales to your business. Well “scraping” Yelp could be a great way to get all of this data in a file for you.

Data scraping is a process of taking information from website pages and putting it in a structured file for you to use. Doing so simply requires a basic understanding of coding and finding sites structured properly (not every site is able to be scraped).

Taking a few tutorials in the coding language Python and some specific tutorials for scraping will get you on the right path to start scraping either for yourself personally or for customers.

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Author: Deep Patel

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