As 2013 draws to a close, we thought it would be interesting to look back at the year that was and try to answer a simple question: “Who’s getting hired and what are they doing?”

Our approach involved analyzing the skills and employment history of more than 259 million LinkedIn members’ profiles. Expertise (skills) and experience (work history) represent the primary components of professional identity on LinkedIn.

If the skills you have on your LinkedIn profile fit one of the categories below, there’s a good chance that you started a new job or were approached by a recruiter about an open position in the past year.

LI25HottestSkillsRankingListThree

The digital representation of professional experience and expertise, to the extent that members choose to share, is one of the essential elements of our vision for creating a global economic graph. In this instance, the ability to help map the skills needed to obtain economic opportunity.

Here are a few key trends that appeared after reviewing the results of our analysis:

  • Technology skills are highly valued. It’s almost 2014. This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but if it isn’t already painfully clear why Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education is a top priority for many of the world’s governments, now you know.
  • We live in a data-driven world. Cloud and distributed computing (#3), data mining (#5), and data engineering (#12) being highly ranked on our list paints a picture of a world overwhelmed with information, with businesses scrambling to store, retrieve, and make sense of it all.
  • Businesses are looking to grow. Recruiting (#8), business development (#9), and strategic planning (#24) are all skills that help businesses hire more employees and find new sources of revenue.

So, with 2014 fast approaching, now’s the time to start thinking about resolutions and perhaps a few new skills you’d like to obtain in the next year. If a new skill were to help you in your professional career, personal life, or passion project, what would it be?

Methodological details: Since there are thousands of individual skills (and growing!) that you could list on your LinkedIn profile, the first thing we did was group these skills into meaningful categories, in order to give us the best chance of making sense of all the data. Next, we looked at all of the hiring and recruiting activity that happened on LinkedIn in the past year (as of December 5, 2013), and determined which skill categories drew the most interest from employers in 2013.