Shantanu Rooj

The pandemic-induced lockdown has triggered a global recession, which has, in turn, created an uncertain outlook for the job market. It has, in fact, accelerated the disruption that had already started in several sectors due to automation and arrival of AI. However, history is witness to the fact that all such mass disruptions finally end up creating a new set of opportunities and several new job roles. According to The Future of Jobs Report 2020 by the World Economic Forum, the number of jobs lost will be surpassed by the number of ‘jobs of tomorrow’ created; and evidently, these new jobs shall require the workforce to have a new set of skills. While this may take some time, one thing that remains clear is – reskilling will become the need of the hour. Therefore, to stay relevant and agile, one will have to adopt new skill sets, unlearn the old, and learn the new.

Here are some top courses that we think will be in demand in 2021. Choose one of these to reboot, rewind, and reestablish yourself

Digital Marketing

With businesses going online, understanding the digital algorithm is no longer an advantage but a necessity! If you are a marketing professional, being well versed with the nitty-gritty of digital space will help you find a unique spot for yourself. In this day-and-age, the role of a digital marketer can’t be underestimated; Therefore, it is necessary to adopt this skill at the earliest. Top courses in demand are:

Inbound Digital Marketing (Hub-spot Academy)

Digital Marketing Specialization (Coursera)

Digital Marketing Course (Google)

Digital Marketing eLearning Certificate Modules (American Marketing Association)

Artificial Intelligence

According to LinkedIn Learning, AI is one of the top five most in-demand hard skills in 2020. AI is used to analyze a large volume of data and find interesting insights. Much in demand, the AI ​​skillset is not only limited to the technical division of any organization, and it caters to other segments like research, marketing, etc. The co-founder of Coursera launched a course called AI for Everyone. This course offers a great introduction to AI, giving you an insightful peek into how to collaborate with developers on data science projects.

Top courses in demand are:

  • Deep Learning by Andrew Ng (Coursera)
  • Artificial Intelligence for Business by Columbia Engineering Executive Education (Emeritus)
  • Machine Learning AI Certification by Stanford University (Coursera)
  • AI for Everyone by Andrew Ng (Coursera)
  • Artificial Intelligence Certification by Columbia University (edX)

Design Thinking

Gone are the days when design thinking was solely associated with designers. Today, design thinking is being used by innovators in literature, music, engineering, and business. Brands like Apple, Google, Samsung, etc., have rapidly adopted the “Design thinking Approach!” They need employees who can systematically extract, teach, learn, and apply these techniques to solve problems creatively and innovatively. It revolves around a deep interest in developing an understanding of the consumer. A certificate course in design thinking will give your career the much-needed edge.

Top courses in demand are:

  • Design Thinking for Innovation by University of Virginia (Coursera)
  • Design Thinking and Predictive Analytics for Data Products by University of California (Coursera)
  • Human Centred Design: An Introduction by University of California (Coursera)
  • Mastering Design Thinking (MIT Management Executive Education)

Market Research

As we are at the cusp of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the dynamics of markets are changing at a very rapid pace. In the coming times, the role of research and the capability to conduct research through multiple modes and datasets, analyze research data, manage suppliers performing specialized research, and deliver recommendations will have a significant role to play. Companies are looking at understanding their customers to design products and services accordingly. Whether one is working in strategy, growth hacking, sales, business development, product development, or marketing, a course on market research would be relevant and much in trend.

Top courses in demand are:

  • Market Research and Consumer Behavior by IE Business School (Coursera)
  • Market Research Certification by UC Davis (Coursera)
  • Market Research and Analysis (Cornell University)
  • Market Research Online Classes (Udemy)


According to a report by Oxford Economics, “the robotics revolution is rapidly accelerating in the next few years, and many traditional employees will be replaced by robots.” Such disruption might not happen in fields that require human intervention or social skills. Therefore, learning the art and science of negotiation will be required.

One might think that negotiation skills are confined to non-technical employees, the notion falls flat for itself as in years to come, people in purely technical fields will have to show interpersonal skills as well. They will also be required to negotiate with their managers, clients, and colleagues.

Some of the courses that are in demand are:

  • Negotiation and Influence (MIT Management Executive Education)
  • Negotiation Strategies (Yale School of Management)
  • Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills (Coursera)
  • Negotiation Mastery (Harvard Business School Online)

Jeff Bezos once made an interesting quip, ‘I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying’. There has been a continuous debate on the impact of Covid (temporary disruption of businesses owing to lesser demand and de-globalization) and technology (digitization, automation and artificial intelligence) on the current job roles and skills; The near-future outlook for businesses is uncertain and challenging and employees would need to continuously try to reinvent themselves and be future-ready! Changes in skills will be commonplace and an expectation throughout. Employees will need to develop not only adjacent skills but also diametrically opposite skills – combinations like Technology and Creative, Technology and Psychology will become commonplace.

Employees would need to take responsibility for making their own lives relevant and enriching in the new world of work. This will not only improve their productivity but also improve their resilience. It’s time to wake up!

The writer is CEO and Co-Founder and Uditendu Bose, Vice President of Sales from Schoolguru Eduserve

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