January 2021 was a tough one for the Canadian job market. Despite showing resilience earlier in the pandemic, the latest round of lockdowns has resulted in job losses. However, there is hope for the year ahead, with some sectors expanding and job postings trending upwards towards pre-crisis levels. So with this in mind, what are the top skills in Canada that employers are looking for? 

We take a look at some of the hard and soft employability skills in Canada and some of the courses that can help you develop your own skill set. 

What skills are employers in Canada looking for?

As you might expect, there isn’t one straightforward answer to this question. Many of the abilities and experience you’ll need to find a new job will depend on the type of role and the companies you’re applying to. However, we can look at some of the most sought after skills in Canada.

Employment specialists Monster outline some of the popular skills that are currently in demand. Other experts in the field also pick out some of the essential skills that Canadian employers look for. It’s clear from these sources that there is a need for both hard and soft skills in the jobs market. 

We’ve taken a look at some of the most sought-after skills in Canada at the moment, and picked out some courses and learning opportunities that can help you improve yours: 

Hard skills 

Here, we’ve picked out some of the practical and job-specific skills that employers look for. As you’ll see, many of these are tied to jobs that are currently in high demand in Canada:

Nursing 

There is already a demand for nurses in Canada, and that trend is expected to continue over the coming years. In fact, it’s just about the most in-demand profession in the country right now, meaning there are many job openings and a high average salary. 

With our ExpertTrack on public health and nursing, you’ll discover the valuable role that nurses play in healthcare systems. You can also find plenty of nursing courses that can help you improve your existing skills in a wide variety of areas. 

Software development 

There is a demand for software development (also known as software engineering) skills around the world at the moment, and Canada is no exception. As with nursing, there are many job opportunities for those with software development skills, and average salaries are high across all provinces and territories. 

Work on the fundamentals of software development with our ExpertTrack, or take our free course to develop your first mobile game

Business management 

You’ll find that many of the jobs on the Federal Skilled Workers program are related to business management. Senior managers across many different industries are needed, making this one of the most in-demand skills in Canada. 

Our ExpertTrack on business strategy and decision-making skills is the ideal place to get to grips with some of these skills, while our course on using information to build business success can also help.  

Project management 

In reality, project management is an area that’s made up of many different hard and soft skills. However, there is a global demand for people with proven project management skills. Again, there are opportunities across many different sectors for those with the right skills.

Get started with our free course on the fundamentals of project management, or take our Project Management and its Role in Effective Business ExpertTrack for a more detailed look at the subject. 

Engineering

Another discipline with a global skills gap is that of engineering. Although Canada produces many talented engineers, there is a concern that young people aren’t entering the profession. As such, those with qualifications and skill in engineering will find plenty of opportunities in the future. 

With one of our online engineering courses, you can learn about some of the key principles of this valuable skill. Get started with the fundamentals of sustainable construction and development or work on your technical report writing skills

Digital and IT skills 

Digital skills are one of the nine essential skills that the Canadian government outlined as vital for the modern workplace. Whether it’s for inputting or analysing data, using digital systems, or using software suites, brushing up on your digital skills is never a bad idea. 

Our Digital Skills for Work and Life course will help you learn some of the essentials you’ll need to thrive in the modern world. Similarly, our course on navigating the online world of work can teach you some of the skills you’ll need to upskill. 

Language skills 

One of the skills that consistently appears on employers’ wish lists is multilingualism. As well as French, English, and a diverse range of indigenous languages, many other languages are spoken in Canada. Mandarin, Cantonese, and Punjabi are all common, and employers often need to find people who can speak multiple languages. 

Whether it’s learning French or getting ready for the IELTS exams, you’ll find a variety of language courses that can help you develop your skills. 

Customer service 

Roles in sales and customer service are crucial to the Canadian economy, whether in a B2B or B2C capacity. Being able to deal with potential customers in an effective and professional manner is, therefore, a desirable skill. 

Our microcredential, Sales Skills for Today can help you to develop the skills and competencies you’ll need to be a successful salesperson. If you’re going to be working in a phone-based setting, our Effective Questioning for Call Handlers course can help you in this area. 

Soft skills 

When thinking about the Canada skills shortage, much of the focus is on hard skills for specific professions. However, less-teachable knowledge and interpersonal skills are equally sought-after. Here are some of the most in-demand soft skills in Canada. 

Teamwork 

Across just about every profession, there will be times when you have to work with other people. The ability to collaborate effectively and operate in a team is highly valued by employers in all industries. This is particularly relevant during the current circumstances. 

With our course on collaborative working in a remote team, you’ll explore the challenges and benefits of remote working, as well as how you can do so successfully. 

Communication

High on the list of essential soft skills is communication. Whether you’re working with people face-to-face or in a remote setting, interpersonal skills are vital. They help you share and compare ideas, appreciate other points of view, and relay information effectively. 

Our popular Communication and Interpersonal Skills at Work course covers a wide range of topics related to this area. On it, you’ll learn about your own communications style, as well as whether it’s aligned with your goals. 

Problem-solving 

The ability to solve problems is tied to many other competencies, such as creativity and decision-making. Those who can address and overcome issues they encounter in the workplace will find many different job opportunities. 

We have a variety of courses on problem-solving, such as one on choosing the right problem to solve. You can also learn about how to get creative with people to solve problems

Adaptability

If the last 12 months have taught us anything, it’s that we have to be flexible and adaptable when reacting to change. In uncertain times, those who can show resilience and dependability, as well as other such leadership skills, can be invaluable to employers. 

Our course on wellbeing and resilience at work takes you through how to deal with the rapidly changing workplace. As well as looking at why employers value adaptability, you’ll also evaluate your own strengths in this area.  

Final thoughts 

As you can see, employers in Canada look for a diverse range of hard and soft skills. So, no matter what stage of your career you’re at, it can be beneficial to develop your expertise in many of these areas. With the courses, microcredentials, and ExpertTracks we’ve outlined throughout this article, you can work on some of the top skills in Canada for employability. 

The post The Top Skills in Canada for Employability appeared first on FutureLearn.

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