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

“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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By lecrab