LinkedIn is offering free online classes based on the top skills companies want in 2021

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  • LinkedIn identified the top five hard skills employers are looking for in 2021, such as data analysis and project management. 
  • Through January 31, the platform is offering free classes to learn those skills — no LinkedIn Learning signup required.
  • Also included are general career development courses, from preparing for job interviews to negotiating a higher salary.
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Whether you're aspiring to jump into a new field or want to stand out in your current one, it helps to know what employers are actually looking for. Based on the most in-demand roles right now, such as software developers, digital marketers, and project managers, LinkedIn compiled data on the top hard skills managers are currently looking for. 

Additionally, LinkedIn examined the broader traits recruiters and hiring managers want to see in applicants, from solid interviewing and communication skills to eye-catching resumes. 

To help job seekers gain a competitive edge, LinkedIn is free offering online video courses around the most sought-after career skills through January 31. You don't need a LinkedIn Learning account to access them — simply click the link and you should be able to stream the classes.

One thing to note is that you won't be able to receive a certificate of completion at the end — you need a LinkedIn Learning subscription to get one. You can try it out for free for a month (after the trial ends, it costs $29.99/month month-to-month and $19.99/month annually). A full membership gets you unlimited access to all the LinkedIn Learning courses, with no extra charge for professional certificates. You can read a more detailed breakdown of the service here.

Below are the top skills employers are looking for according to LinkedIn, and the free classes you can take to build on them.

The top 5 hard skills applicants are being hired for in 2021:

Software development

  • Python for Data Science Essential Training: An introductory course to the popular programming language Python, with a step-by-step data science project included.
  • Programming Foundations: Object-Oriented Design: Learn the fundamentals of object-oriented design, which teaches developers to plan out applications into manageable parts before starting the coding process.
  • Programming Foundations: Algorithms: Algorithms are crucial to programming, and this intro class covers the basics of the most popular ones, as well as common data structures.

Project management

  • Cert Prep: Scrum Master: To get certified as a Scrum Master, you'll need to pass an exam. This course walks you through what you'll need to know to ace exams such as the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or Professional Scrum Master (PSM).
  • Cert Prep: PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®: The agile approach to project management is all about being quick to adapt to rapidly changing industries. This course breaks down agile project management responsibilities so you can decide if you want to pursue getting certified via an Agile Certified Practitioner exam.

Data analysis

  • SQL Essential Training: If you're interested in SQL, the most widely used language for data analysis, this course will give you a breakdown and even a small application project to get some practice in.
  • Data Science & Analytics Career Paths & Certifications: First Steps: Curious about a data science career but not sure where to start, or what jobs are out there? This course walks you through the many growing career opportunities, as well as any certifications or training you'll need.
  • Six Sigma: Green Belt: In this course, you'll learn the basics of Six Stigma, a very commonly used, customer-focused data analysis methodology that helps improve product or service performance.

Digital marketing

  • Marketing Tools: Digital Marketing: Learn how to navigate the different types of marketing, from social media and email marketing to digital advertising and SEO.

Product management

  • Becoming a Product Manager: Not sure what a product manager does or how to become one? This course answers all your questions and covers the main skills you'd need to pursue a career in this field.

The top 5 career development skills to work on in 2021:

  • Expert Tips for Answering Common Interview Questions: This course covers the most common interview questions and how to answer them, including how to explain an employment gap or negotiate a higher salary. 
  • Resume Makeover: Sharpen your resume to make it stand out to employers. Plus, learn tips on how to actually get an interview.
  • Creating Great First Impressions: From simple body language cues to strong icebreakers, this research-based class teaches you how to make the most out of a first meeting.
  • Communicating with Confidence: This course covers easily applicable tips to reduce nerves and improve how you communicate, from posture to wording.
  • Complex Negotiation Tips: Whether you're negotiating a raise or a big change on your team, the advice in this course can help you navigate complicated scenarios to emerge with stronger relationships and outcomes.

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