Over 2 million people have taken LinkedIn's most popular online course—here's the skill they're learning

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Gone are the days where workers could comfortably plan to stay in one job, or industry, for their entire career.

Research from the World Economic Forum shows that one million U.S. jobs are expected to disappear by 2026 and one-third of U.S.workers could be jobless by 2030 — all due to automation. With advances in technologies like artificial intelligence rapidly transforming how businesses operate, professionals today need to constantly be learning new skills to make sure they stay relevant in the economy of tomorrow.

In January, LinkedIn analyzed hundreds of thousands of job postings in order to determine which skills companies need most in 2019. They found that employers are actively looking for workers with both soft skills and hard technical skills and matched these skills with free LinkedIn Learning courses.


LinkedIn found that the skill employers needed most in 2019 was creativity, so it makes sense that the course that became most popular among workers in January was called "Creativity Bootcamp." According to LinkedIn, 77,182 people took the course in January alone, and 183,273 have taken it overall.

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

Poague says one reason the course was so popular was because of its emphasis on group learning.

"This course in particular is fairly exercise-based. It's a series of four exercises that are recommended you do with partners or others you work with," she says pointing to research that suggests that workers, especially younger workers, are increasingly interested in this kind of collaborative social learning.

According to LinkedIn's research, roughly a quarter Gen Z and Millennials say learning is the number one thing that makes them happy at work and over a quarter (27 percent) of Gen Z and Millennials say the number one reason they'd leave their job is because they did not have the opportunity to learn and grow.

The second and third most popular LinkedIn Learning courses were "Body Language for Leaders," which was taken by 18,638 people in January, and "Giving Your Elevator Pitch," which 11,018 people took in January. "Body Language for Leaders" is the most popular course on LinkedIn of all time. According to LinkedIn's internal viewership numbers, a total of 2,315,905 users have taken the course.

One possible reason these courses are so popular is the importance of soft skills to a wide range of industries.

In fact, experts believe that the ability to work and think creatively will be increasingly important in the future. "Automation will also spur growth in the need for higher cognitive skills, particularly critical thinking, creativity and complex information processing," write James Manyika and Jacques Bughin in a paper for the McKinsey Global Institute.

"We saw that people respond well to classes about soft skills," says Poague, "because they are universally relevant, no matter what field you work in."

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