The 25 Skills That Can Get You Hired in 2016

January 12, 2016

Now that the holidays have come and gone, chances are you’re searching for a new job. That’s because January is when the largest percentage of our members look for a new gig. So you’re probably asking yourself, “What skills are employers looking for?” Great question! To find the answer, we analyzed all of the hiring and recruiting activity that occurred on LinkedIn in 2015, and uncovered the 25 hottest skills in 2015.

If your skills fit one or more of these skills categories (a grouping of related skills), there’s a chance you either started a new job or attracted the interest of recruiters last year. We noticed that companies were still recruiting and hiring for these skills well into the final months of 2015, so we expect these skills will remain in-demand in the early part of 2016. This means if you have one or more of these skills, you’re likely to continue getting interest from recruiters in the new year.

Several trends stood out to us when we reviewed these results:

  • Hello, Cloud. In many ways, 2015 could be seen as the year cloud and distributed computing graduated from a niche skillset to a more prominent skillset in the global workforce. It was a very hot category in a few countries last year. But there weren’t enough members with skills like Hadoop, HBase, and Hive listed on their profiles to allow us to rank the category on our global list in 2014. In 2015, there was a rapid increase in members worldwide listing these types of skills on their profiles.
  • Data isn’t going anywhere. Our top skill category last year, statistical analysis and data mining, is still sitting comfortably at #2. It is the only skill category that is consistently ranked in the top 4 across all of the countries we analyzed. We still live in an increasingly data-driven world, and businesses are still aggressively hiring experts in data storage, retrieval and analysis.
  • Some skills cooled off (if only a little bit). A few skill categories dropped out of our 2015 list, due to a reduction in hiring and recruiting activity. Game development dropped from 24th to 29th, digital and online marketing dropped from 16th to 32nd, SAP ERP systems dropped from 21st to 34th, computer graphics and animation dropped from 17th to 37th, and integrated circuit design dropped from 22nd to 41st. The recruiting skill category itself dropped to 26th (from 15th), just barely missing the cutoff. Employers are still looking for these skills - just not as much as last year.

If you’ve been thinking about picking up a few of these skills, you can learn all about them on LinkedIn Learning. Consider making it your New Year’s resolution! Then be sure to check out the related job openings on LinkedIn.

Here are a few courses and open jobs related to a selection of 2015’s hot skills:

Cloud and Distributed Computing


Statistical Analysis and Data Mining


Mobile Development


Network and Information Security


User Interface Design






Business Intelligence


Database Management and Software


These insights are all thanks to the Economic Graph - a digital representation of the global economy. It provides us with unique insight into labor markets. We hope that sharing this information with members will give them more info to help advance their careers. We’ll share more info throughout the year, so stay tuned!

The 25 Skills That Could Get You Hired in 2016 from LinkedIn


The results of this analysis represent the world seen through the lens of LinkedIn data. As such, it is influenced by how members choose to use the site, which can vary based on professional, social, and regional culture, as well as overall site availability and accessibility. These variances were not accounted for in the analysis.

Because there are thousands of individual skills (and growing!) that members can put on their profile, our first step was to group these skills into several dozen categories. For example, skills like “Android” and “iOS” would fit under the “Mobile Development” category.

From there, we looked at all of the hiring and recruiting activity that happened on LinkedIn in the past year (January 1 to December 1, 2015), and identified the skill categories that belonged to members who were more likely to start new jobs and receive interest from recruiters. Skill categories that did not meet a specific threshold for membership were excluded from our analysis. Trends (up, down, flat) reflect changes in ranking from last year’s list.