Today the labour market values professional development and personal branding more than a stale degree or employee number. The headline read: "Apple, IBM, and Google don’t care anymore if you went to college." on Thursday, 23 August 2018. Need more proof?

Think about the employment market a decade ago. As an employee, your resumé served as a snapshot of your skills and knowledge, represented by qualifications and certifications. Aforementioned provided confidence that you, as a prospective employee, were adequately equipped for the job. You would arrive armed with the relevant know-how needed and start making a difference.

Back in July 2019. The impact of the information age means knowledge itself evolves at a never-before-experienced rate, plus. At the click of a button, the digital revolution brings news, reports, analysis, and insights to almost everyone.

In a world where you can blink and find yourself out-of-date, does your qualification do you justice? Now what?

Well, first off, the need for continued and ongoing professional development is at an all-time high and will keep increasing.

Secondly, and more importantly, is the value of a personal brand. The fact that your particular trademark and adventure encyclopaedia are worth more to you and your future commissioning partners in business.

In a world where degree-eat-degree, how can you stand out from the crowd of certificates?

Start with a sacred, continued commitment to personal development. Couple this pursuit with evidence of your appetite to grow and understand that professional pigeon holes are from a bygone era.

The most appropriate ‘top-up’ may exist outside of the orbit of your specialisation. Let’s dive into LinkedIn’s list of the most in-demand skills, this year, in order from highest demand: cloud computing; artificial intelligence; analytical reasoning; people management; UX design; mobile application development; video production; sales leadership; translation; audio production; natural language processing; scientific computing; game development; social media marketing; animation; business analysis; journalism; digital marketing; industrial design; competitive strategies; customer service systems; software testing; data science; computer graphics; and corporate communications.

It’s a long list, but the perfect place to start exploring your unearthed potential. Besides, your future is asking that you make an impact through your professional development linked to your purpose!

LinkedIn also points to soft skills linked to behaviour and flexible thinking, an even more important place to start your process of up-skilling. Why? More than 50% of leaders view top-up skills more significant than the hard skills listed above.