LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner says the biggest skills gap in the US is not coding

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner By Simone Stolzoff

Ask anyone which professional skill is most in demand right now, and they’ll likely say coding. But ask LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and he’ll give you a different answer.

As head of the world’s largest professional-networking site, Weiner presumably has access to more, and more detailed, employment information than any government. He knows what jobs people post, what jobs people have, and what jobs people want. And the biggest skills gap he says he sees in the United States is soft skills.

What most employers want, Weiner says, are written communication, oral communication, team-building, and leadership skills. Never mind that salaries for coders (a median $103,560 in the US in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) indicate that it’s technical chops that are valued right now. Soft skills have staying power.

“As powerful as AI will ultimately become and is becoming, we’re still a ways away from computers being able to replicate and replace human interaction and human touch,” Weiner said at a Wired forum on the future of work. “So there’s a wonderful incentive for people to develop these skills because those jobs going to be more stable for a longer period of time.”

Wired editor in chief Nicholas Thompson agrees that jobs involving social interaction and social skills will be most protected in our automated future. ”I think we overrate coding and engineering as a long-term profession,” he told us at the Oct. 12 event, which was held at Wired’s San Francisco headquarters. “It’s something that machines powered by artificial intelligence will be really good at.”


Thanking #RedforEd In Teacher Appreciation Week


Today at the end of Teacher Appreciation Week, we owe special thanks to school teachers this year, thanks that goes beyond our gratitude for teachers’ primary contribution—their daily work to support and inspire our children. In their strikes and walkouts this year, teachers have taught all of us about the the meaning for their students of years of tax cuts and the accompanying drop in state funding for public schools.  And they have taught us to be increasingly skeptical of the diversion of paltry school budgets to an expanding charter school sector.

In #RedforEd walkouts and strikes from West Virginia to Oklahoma to Arizona to Kentucky to North Carolina to Virginia to Los Angeles to Oakland to Denver, teachers showed us how far teachers’ salaries have fallen relative to what people earn in comparable professions. In cities with a high cost of living, we have learned about 35-year-old teachers doubled…

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