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Modern Skills to Learn in 2020

– Courtesy photo

By Hunter Amato

“That’s the way the world works.” Everybody has heard somebody say that before, often derisively in an attempt to add insult to injury; however, when it comes to anything from technology to finance or anything in between, the world is changing, becoming more digital in the process. More accurately, that phrase should read, “That’s the way the world used to work.”

Nowadays, there are a few key skills that everybody should know, particularly young professionals first entering the workforce. That said, these skills are versatile enough to equip anybody in any demographic with the tools necessary for maximizing utility in life.


Amid a seemingly unending onslaught of fake news, companies like Facebook have made it their goal to fact-check content and mark its level of truth on the internet. However, as Senator Elizabeth Warren demonstrated in a recent tweet, these efforts are still largely in vain, making it nearly impossible to know what is real and what is fake.

By implementing sound research strategies, such as taking information only from reputable sources and peer-reviewed publications, it is possible to weed out what is fake in the pursuit of the truth. Unfortunately, most of this work will have to be done on one’s own, which poses a wide array of additional troubles.

For example, not even Snopes can always tell the difference between satire and fake news.


Software developers are enjoying a massive growth rate in employment options. The specific rate for 2019 is so far uncertain; however, the rate for 2017 showed a net increase of 21%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not to mention that the salary for software developers was listed at just over $50 an hour and rising.

Coding skills have become so commonplace today that code is quite literally everywhere. Countless educators have sprung up with the goal of teaching coding for kids in order to tackle this dilemma; however, there are still estimated to be more than one million unfulfilled coding jobs by 2020.

Social Media

Social Media is a skill that many young people already have down pat. That said, there is much more to the world of Facebook and Twitter than selfies and check-ins.

There are now programs popping up to capitalize on the need for businesses and entrepreneurs to have firm social media presences in order to keep one step ahead of the competition. One such course is Facebook’s Blueprint, designed to function as a crash course in social media data analytics.

Of course, networking also plays a huge role in the success of modern adults. Social media, being specifically designed for the purpose of networking (such as LinkedIn and Facebook), makes it possible to forge professional, social, and even political connections where before there may have been none.

Debt Settlement

Anybody who has been keeping up with politics since 2016 can tell you all about the so-called student debt crisis. Whether or not the amount of outstanding student loans is to be considered a real crisis is a hotly debated point with both sides believing firmly in ideas opposite of each other. However, one thing is for sure: there is a lot of debt out there.

Even if somebody doesn’t have any student loan debt, it is still possible that that person has debt from credit cards, personal loans, or the dreaded payday loans. By learning how to negotiate debt settlements on your own behalf, you cut out the middleman and can potentially save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a mutually beneficial settlement option.

Cloud Collaboration

Communication and teamwork skills are by no means “modern” or “new.” What’s both modern and new is the way in which these skills are put into action: through the use of cloud computing.

Cloud computing software comes in a variety of different shapes and sizes, ranging from the commonplace Google Drive to the more specialized Sharepoint software. David Dodge, CEO of Codakid, puts it this way: “Cloud computing makes it possible to work with anyone from anywhere, provided that you both have access to the same software.”

With a thorough understanding of how to navigate (at least the most common forms of) cloud computing, you become capable of streamlining your productivity while simultaneously improving your ability to communicate with colleagues over long distances.


Entrepreneurship is less of a modern skill and more of a timeless skill. With a few key habits under your belt, you can make the transition from a life as an employee to a life as an employer.

Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds. In fact, roughly one in every five startups fail in the first year, but that’s not the point. The point is that, by practicing the skills related to successful entrepreneurship, you can take your career to the next level.

Even if you don’t plan to found your own business, the knowledge of business management, finances, and law associated with successful entrepreneurship can show your employer that you are a cut above the rest of your coworkers.


At the end of the day, 2020 is showing all the signs of a big year. As with any big year, there is no one skill that sticks out, ready to make all of your dreams come true. Instead, there are countless life skills that everybody should know. The difficulty is in determining which of these skills are phasing out and which others are phasing in.

In the words of Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a-changin’.”

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