BusinessEducationMatching Skills to the World's Most Popular Jobs

Matching Skills to the World’s Most Popular Jobs


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With the jobs market seeing unprecedented changes amid the global pandemic, standing out from an increasingly large number of applicants has never been more important for those seeking a new career. To help ensure job hunters understand the skills most often required for in-demand roles, FutureLearn today announces the launch of their interactive skills matcher. The tool aims to highlight the most in-demand jobs, both in the UK and internationally, and match them to the skills most commonly mentioned in job descriptions.

The Coronavirus outbreak has had a dramatic impact on the labour marketing in the UK, with Government statistics showing the largest quarterly rise in redundancies since 2009, between June and August 2020.

In that period, employment levels for those aged 16-24 and 65+ have dropped by 378,000, and by 37,000 for those aged 25-64. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits increased by 1.5 million between March and September 2020, with 9.6 million jobs furloughed through the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme by midnight on the 18th October.

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The pandemic has also disproportionately affected workers from a BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) background, young workers, women, low paid workers and disabled workers. Similarly, some sectors have been more negatively economically impacted than others, with those working in hospitality and leisure worst affected.

According to the ONS (Office for National Statistics), 14.6% of economically active 16-24-year-olds are now unemployed, compared with 4.8% across the UK as a whole. In October, the ONS said 156,000 fewer people in this age group were employed, compared to three months earlier.

Catalina Schveninger, Chief People Officer at FutureLearn, said:

“This year has been one of the most challenging for professionals of all backgrounds, especially the millions whose career paths have been disrupted or redirected by the pandemic. That’s why at FutureLearn we’re proud to launch our new skills matcher tool. Using data-driven insights alongside FutureLearn’s broad portfolio of expert-led, career-focussed courses, we hope this new tool will provide clarity and support for those looking to gain valuable employment insights as well as the skills needed to enter high-demand roles in areas such as graphic design, teaching, nursing and more.”

With a growing demand for jobs across all age groups, and many people having to retrain, reskill or rethink their career options, FutureLearn set out to find which job roles were most in demand. Using Google searches carried out in the 12 months prior to the pandemic, they found the ten most in-demand jobs in the United Kingdom, as well as the most sought-after jobs globally.

Using a range of popular job sites and professional networks, FutureLearn then found the most commonly mentioned skills in job descriptions for each of those roles, producing a unique interactive tool to display their findings.

Not only can job seekers find out the skills they will need to apply for these coveted positions, but those unsure of their next career move can see how their existing skills might lead them to a role they hadn’t considered.

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For those looking to brush up in key areas, every skill is matched with a hand-picked course to help the user improve. The interactive also contains information on the most in-demand skills across the world, as well as the most popular employment sectors by country.

FutureLearn purpose is to transform access to education by partnering with over a quarter of the world’s top universities to support millions of learners across the glob to develop skills and achieve their personal and professional goals. They are a leading social learning platform founded in December 2012 by The Open University and are now jointly owned by The Open University in the UK and The SEEK Group. They use design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible short online courses and microcredentials, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. In addition to top universities, they also partner with leading organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi, Founders4Schools and Health Education England (HEE), as well as being involved in government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education.

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