2 million people have taken this online course. Here's the skill they're learning.

The economy is changing at a lightning pace—and skill requirements for jobs are changing right alongside it.

"Entire industries are disappearing almost overnight, and legacy companies are quickly changing course," Jeff Selingo wrote in 2017, noting that the pace of change makes it difficult for colleges and students to keep up.

That might be part of the reason why soft skills are in such wide demand. In fact, 57% of business leaders say soft skills are now more important than hard skills, according to a 2018 LinkedIn survey. Based on that survey and member profile data, LinkedIn identified the most in-demand soft skills of 2018 as leadership and communication.

That might be why more than 2.3 million people have taken the LinkedIn Learning course, "Body Language for Leaders," writes Abigail Hess for CNBC

"Body Language for Leaders" is the most popular LinkedIn Learning course of all time, she reports. In January alone, 18,638 people took the course. Another 11,018 people enrolled in LinkedIn's "Giving Your Elevator Pitch" that same month, she adds.

But the most popular LinkedIn course in January was "Creativity Bootcamp," with 77,182 students. This makes sense, writes Hess, as this year's most in-demand skill is creativity, according to LinkedIn's 2019 skills analysis.

"Typically people think of creativity as an innate skill. But it's not just people who are artists, or who can paint something beautiful," says Emily Poague, VP of Marketing at LinkedIn Learning. "Creativity it is something you can train and develop over time."

Poague speculates that "Creativity Bootcamp" has remained popular because of its universal appeal. "We saw that people respond well to classes about soft skills because they are universally relevant, no matter what field you work in," she says.

Plus, the demand for soft skills isn't going anywhere, argue McKinsey Global Institute's James Manyika and Jacques Bughin: "Automation will also spur growth in the need for higher cognitive skills, particularly critical thinking, creativity and complex information processing" (Hess, CNBC, 2/22).

Learn more about how to think creatively

11 exercises to boost your creativity in 15 minutes or less

5 questions that suppress innovation

Why brainstorming never seems to work—and MIT's 4-minute solution

5 strategies Oprah, Paul McCartney, and other leaders use to be more creative

Can creativity be taught? 7 creative professionals weigh in.

The most in-demand skill of 2019 and 4 ways to cultivate it

The best time for students to think creatively

How to engage your community for creative problem-solving


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