LinkedIn ranks blockchain as the number one technology skill companies need in 2020

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Plenty of column inches are allocated at the start of each year determining which key skills and technologies employees need in their arsenal for the next 12 months. Many of these can be summarily dismissed or at least given a quizzical eyebrow – but when the proclamation comes from LinkedIn, it may be worth taking a closer look.

The company has outlined its top soft and hard skills required in 2020, and has put blockchain ahead of cloud computing and analytical reasoning in the latter category – having only made the top 10 for the first time.

“Blockchain’s novel way to store, validate, authorise, and move data across the internet has evolved to securely store and send any digital asset,” Deanna Pate, group manager at LinkedIn Learning, wrote in a blog post. “The small supply of professionals who have this skill are in high demand.”

Naturally, given LinkedIn’s various self-learning modules, the company took the opportunity to promote these at the same time – free until January 31. Two courses, one for the basics and one beyond,  are taught by Jonathan Reichental, formerly CIO of the City of Palo Alto who now focuses the majority of his time on training and teaching.

When this reporter spoke to Reichental in 2016, during his CIO role, he noted the technological change and convergence was accelerating. “The rate of change right now is incredible,” he said. “We’re seeing everything, from blockchain, to artificial intelligence, to sensor networks… we’re in real uncharted territory, and it’s just going to get much more interesting in the years ahead.”

Cloud, which dropped one place to be the second most important skill for 2020, is key as companies ‘need talent who have the skills to help them drive technical architecture, design and delivery’, as Pate put it. The courses recommended to users, not surprisingly, revolved around Azure, from LinkedIn’s parent Microsoft.

Many educational outlets are there around blockchain for those who wish to learn. In October, this publication reported on the launch of the Blockchain Education Alliance. The initiative was put together by MouseBelt, a company which is aiming to put together a community of global universities designed to help students share ideas and enhance their understanding of blockchain technologies.

Interested in hearing more in person? Find out more at the Blockchain Expo World Series, Global, Europe and North America.

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