4 soft skills to learn in 2018 according to LinkedIn and Business Insider

Hey there, Skill Miner is online to give you an ultimate guidance through the skill market of 2018. I welcome you, a lifelong-learner, to this article. Here you will find an exhaustive information upon which courses according to LinkedIn and Business Insider you should take to boost your soft skills. And what is also quite important – how much it is going to cost you in terms of time and money.

The story behind

A brilliant research work called The Skills Companies Need Most in 2018 – And The Courses to Get Themhas been recently published by Paul Petrone on LinkedIn. It’s pointing out what are the top soft and hard skills demanded by employers in 2018.LinkedIn is a giant professional network and definitely has something to say in this field. Globally the article is split into two huge categories: soft and hard skills. This time I would like to talk about soft skills only:

  1. Leadership;
  2. Communication;
  3. Collaboration;
  4. Time management;

The value for the reader is a nice short list of skills plus a list of courses that might help you to develop these skills. However, this research is limited to the courses available on LinkedIn only. Thus a great extension has been made by Mara Leighton in Business Insider. She included learning opportunities from edx, Udemy and Coursera.  As a cherry on top of a pie the general big skills, like for example leadership, are broken down into smaller ones. And as my dad always taught me: “To eat an elephant you must eat a small bit every day”. By having a kind of a skill tree you can easier define, what is that, that you want to improve. By the way, I am wondering, how much deeper we could go into breaking skills down to simpler elements. Please, write your ideas to the picture below in comments.

Figure 1. Leadership skill break down according to 4 soft skills LinkedIn says are most likely to get you hired in 2018 – and the online courses to get them

I really enjoyed reading both articles, but there is one thing which is missing. I still had to spend quite a lot of time to collect together how much time and money I need to jump on this learning adventure. It was great to have the links collected together by experts in one place. What I wanted to do is to squeeze out the real data from them and represent it in an easy and comprehensive way. So, let’s look, how I have managed.

Exclusive soft skills learning portfolios

As an investor, you investigate the market. Here skills are the goods which have demand and supply. The fair question is how much your skills portfolio is going to cost you in terms of time, effort and money. At the same level of interest is the question: “How the skills are going to pay you back”. I have composed 3 different portfolios based on provided articles.

Full Soft Skills Portfolio From Business Insider

The first one is called “Full”. It simulates a situation if you apply for all of the suggested courses.

Figure 2. Total Time and Money to invest in soft skills portfolio. [assumption – you pay 30$ for each LinkedIn course and you have no discount on Udemy]

My first thought was:

“Oh boy. It’s really massive”. The simplest time simulation has shown, that if I would spend 120 minutes for learning every day, it would take approximately 220 days to finish everything.

The second thought was: “The analytics looks quite interesting”. It’s quite expressive that Time Management Skill occupies the smallest segment of a time-pie. So, to some extent, the Time Management courses at least manage their time quite efficiently. It’s interesting, that the highest ratio money to time belongs to the Communication Skills Development.

I assume that everybody understands that the only way to master a skill is to practice. Any course in soft skill development is a kind of a lantern, illuminating the path to the skill. To master it you have to practice. However, sometimes you also receive a live example, like for example, I experienced in Chris Croft’s course about sales. So this is my explanation – you receive the shortest tips how to improve this skill and then you have to practice a lot. Leadership and Collaboration are going side by side in terms of both money and time. But let’s see, what would happen if you use only LinkedIn portfolio.

Portfolio From LinkedIn

Figure 3. Total Time and Money to invest in soft skills portfolio from LinkedIn

The first thing to say – it is the quickest and cheapest way to master this toolset. I can’t give any evaluation currently to the content and quality. I will write a review as I have some life experience. The only judgment I would dare to give is that these courses most probably are very general.

The second thing to mention is that ratios money to time have changed, although collaboration and leadership are still going close to each other. The main reason for the shift in Time Management duration is that in the Full Portfolio in terms of time, which is just 4%, the biggest share belongs to LinkedIn. And LinkedIn has quite short courses compared to udemy, coursera and edx, which do not have many programs for time management in the specified articles.

Soft Skills Portfolio From Udemy according to Business Insider

Figure 4. Total Time and Money to invest in soft skills portfolio from Udemy

Mmmm, so udemy doesn’t really care about collaboration in this research… I am kidding. Before you panic because of the price – udemy has plenty of special offers. If it is your first experience with the platform initial discounts can run up to 95-96%. You can calculate with average 10% from the original price. The difference is quite substantial. The portfolio is time intensive but is still manageable within reasonable time frames.

Final analytics of soft skills portfolios and platforms

The last analytics in this article demonstrates time and cost share between different platforms. If we consider discounts on udemy, coursera has the highest price share and duration. The important point here is that edx offers a special professional program from R.I.T. called Soft Skills. It covers all 4 skills in 6 courses 24 hours each. The whole program would cost you app 300.00$ and will take up to 3 months to finish. Starting dates of the course are spread between March and July. In the analytics above another course from edx called People Management was considered.

Coursera offers really massive programs. One-month trial subscription for each program is approximately 50.00$ it will take months to finish any of them. I couldn’t find the duration of Leadership and Influence, but for example, Strategic Leadership and Management will take approximately 150 hours to finish.

Figure 5. Shares of platforms in total portfolio price and duration

So, here we are. Now having not only the directions but some measurables like time and money. I hope that content of this article has helped you to make a decision and has saved your time and efforts.

As an additional bonus, you can download an excel sheet [Soft Skills Portfolio Calculator] that will allow you to calculate prices and durations of similar portfolios without my assistance. The detailed guidance how to use it is coming soon.

Figure 6. Learning portfolios final analytics

Also, the full portfolio considered in this article is available here.

[Courses from LinkedIn and Business Insider]

Don’t forget to write your ideas and feedback in comments. I and my project are here to serve your needs in one of the fastest changing markets in the world.


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