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Future of Skills

LinkedIn’s data tells us how jobs are changing, and what skills workers may need to stay competitive in the new world of work.

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Work is changing. Workers are adapting.

Over the past year, workers were forced to adapt and be more nimble than ever before to succeed in the new world of work. Entire industries are going digital and the rise of remote work is fundamentally changing the nature of how we collaborate.

Amidst the Great Reshuffle, where all elements of how we work are undergoing tremendous shifts, workers will need to continue adapting to stay relevant.

We turned to LinkedIn’s unique view of the labor market - as seen through its 800+ million members around the world - to get a clearer picture of how workers’ skills have changed over time, and how they may need to change in the years to come.

See how jobs are changing in

To understand how skills have changed, we first identify the top skills a worker had in the past for a specific job, and then compare that with the skills a worker today has for that same job.

Some skills are just as important as they were before.

Some simply reshuffled, becoming slightly more or less important skills than in previous years.

Others have dropped off our list of top skills and may no longer be as relevant.

And finally some new skills rose to the top, especially in fast-paced industries like Hardware and Networking that have dramatically transformed over the past few years.

Taken together, this analysis showed that skills changed by 26% on average in the United States since 2015. And in most cases, the pace of change accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members are adapting their skills for a changing job market
Percentage change in members’ skills for the United States

Much remains to be seen as the world of work continues to transform, but if changes continue at this pace skills could change by anywhere from 42% to 46% by 2025. Between 2021 and 2025, we would likely see 4 new skills in the top skills for a job.

Digital skills in particular are disrupting every aspect of how we work. The rising importance of digital disruptive skills will continue to reshape how we work.

Digital Disruptive skills continue to rise
Percent change in members’ digital skills
Software and hardware

New skills are not always completely new

Skills are quickly evolving in every job, but many of the top skills of today are quite similar to the top skills of the past - workers in these fields may be able to upgrade and refresh their skills fairly easily.

For example, if we look at Supply Chain Analyst in 2015, Data Analysis was one of the top skills.

Today, Microsoft Power BI has emerged as one of the new top skills for this job. But if you already know Data Analysis, then learning Microsoft Power BI may not be as difficult as it would otherwise. How hard it is to learn a new skill may depend on how similar it is to skills you already know, and our data shows that Data Analysis and Microsoft Power BI are about 83% similar.

We can do this same comparison for each of the new skills needed for a job to give you an idea of what skills may be easy to pick up, and which ones may require more effort.

Explore the data

Select an industry or job to see how skills have changed, and what new skills workers in this field can build to stay ahead of the changing world of work.



This analysis represents the world seen through the lens of LinkedIn data, drawn from the anonymized and aggregated profile information of LinkedIn's 800 million members around the world. As such, it is influenced by how members choose to use the platform, which can vary based on professional, social, and regional culture, as well as overall site availability and accessibility.

For each job, we identify the most important skills in each year based on LinkedIn’s Skills Genome. The similarity score between two years reflects both the overlap of common skills between each year as well as the relative importance of those skills for each year.

How similar a skill is to another skill is calculated based on how frequently the skills appear together on a LinkedIn’s member profile and other member data.

All data represents aggregated information from the last 6 years. Available occupations and industries may vary by country, as we only include occupations and industries that meet the minimum privacy threshold. For the year 2021, data used only represents skills added up to November 2021, and does not represent the complete year.