We just released our latest Thinkopolis report: Thinkopolis VIII: The most sought after skills in Canada in 2015, which tells you pretty much everything you need to know to get a job.

One of the biggest takeaways is how important digital skills have become and will continue to be.

Along with soft skills such as communications, we’re seeing an increase in demand for digital literacy and computer skills. Among the top skills sought after in job postings are Microsoft Office, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.

That’s pretty basic, but digital literacy is also evolving to include more advanced computer skills. Among the hottest of the up-and-coming skill requirements appearing in job postings are coding and social media savvy.

Here are the skills that have been appearing with the greatest increased frequency through 2014 to the present.

    Social media platforms
    Big data
    Google Analytics

Social media skills are becoming essential for an increasingly wide range of roles beyond community managers, including Human Resources, Sales, Designers and Developers, and of course Marketing.

If you want to increase your viability on the job market in the coming years, and you don’t have these skills, consider acquiring some of them. Where to start? Here is a list of online resources for everything from the most basic to the most advanced of these skills. And they are all free. These are just a smattering of what’s available.

Also note that Lynda.com and Code School offer paid memberships for access to wide ranges of courses.

Microsoft Office, Excel, Word, PowerPoint

Basic, yes, but maybe you want to brush up your skills – and who are we kidding? I bet 50% of us couldn’t use Excel to save our lives (I hate Excel).

Alison offers free Office tutorials.


html5 is “A core technology markup language of the Internet used for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web. As of October 2014 this is the final and complete[2] fifth revision of the HTML standard of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).”

If you know nothing about coding, you can start learning at Codecademy.com

Resources for html5 include:

W3schools: html5 introduction

Alison: Introduction to New Features of HTML5

Udemy: Learn HTML5 Programming From Scratch.

You might also find something else useful here at devzum.

Social media

Social media is fairly easily self taught, but for more advanced marketing use, check out these “10 Free Online Courses In Social Media and Inbound Marketing” on DIY Genius.

They range from how to use each platform for business to how to tell an effective story.

Big data

Big data is a broad term for data sets so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate.”

We’ve been collecting it for years, now everyone is looking for ways to use this massive store of information. It’s such a huge endeavor that data scientist was recently named the “sexiest job of the 21st Century.

Check out Big Data University. This is a group of “new and experienced Hadoop, Spark, Big Data, Analytics and Data Science enthusiasts who want to learn, contribute, and network with others with similar interests.” Courses are “mostly free.”

Also see, Coursera. University courses are offered here online for free. There’s this one, Introduction to Data Science, which is over but the videos are available.

Data Science Masters also lists available learning resources though many are outdated.


NoSQL is a non-relational database. If you don’t know what that is, you might consider an “Introduction to Databases” at Stanford Online.

Big Data University also has Introduction to NoSQL and DBaaS.


Mongo DB is a cross-platform document-oriented database, classified as a NoSQL database.

Get a quick start here: Intro to MongoDB.

Then learn everything you need to know, I assume, at the free online MongoDB University.


jQuery is a cross-platform JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML.”

Learn it at w3schools or Codecademy.


Tableau Software is an American computer software company [that] produces a family of interactive data visualization products focused on business intelligence,” like this one here.

You can start learning to use it at the Tableau website.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.

Get your start here at the Analytics Academy.


JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, “is an open standard format that uses human-readable text to transmit data objects consisting of attribute–value pairs.” I have no idea what that means.

Learn it here at w3schools. This tutorial also looks pretty good.


Autodesk Revit is building design software “specifically built for Building Information Modeling (BIM), including features for architectural design, MEP and structural engineering, and construction.” I assume this would be used by architects, engineers, and construction managers.

Learn it here in this tutorial or this one.

Good luck! Hope this helps. If you have other resources to share, let us know.