Blockchain has topped the list of skills bosses are looking for in employees around the world this year, according to professional social media platform LinkedIn.
The record-keeping technology first emerged in 2009 with the birth of cryptocurrency but has since moved on from supporting the use of the likes of Bitcoin.
The ability to store, validate, authorize, and move data across the internet with blockchain means it is now being used to securely store and send any digital asset. The technology also stores a permanent and non-editable record of data entry.
Blockchain was the top priority for employers hiring in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Australia, LinkedIn found. Yet it was both first time blockchain made it onto LinkedIn's rankings of in-demand skills and came in first place.
Namrata Murlidhar, marketing director at LinkedIn, said blockchain had emerged from the "once shadowy world" of cryptocurrency to become a "transformative business solution."
Industries outside the financial services sector were increasingly seeking talent with experience in blockchain, she added, including retail, shipping, healthcare, farming and gaming.
LinkedIn measured demand by looking at the profiles of its users, to determine the frequency that people with different skillsets were getting hired.
Cloud computing came in second place, which is the technology allowing data to be stored and managed on the internet. People working in this area would be developing the architecture, design and delivery of cloud systems.
In third place was analytical reasoning - the ability to make sense of data and uncover insights that can help business decisions.
Artificial intelligence (AI), which is the technology developing machine-learning, was the fourth most in-demand area of "hard" skills for employers.
Rounding out the top five was UX design, the focus on users' experience of products, particularly technology.
LinkedIn also ranked "soft" skills – the interpersonal qualities employers want most in their staff. The list looked very similar to the 2019 rankings, with creativity holding onto the top spot.
However, emotional intelligence also made an appearance in this year's top five. This is the ability to perceive, evaluate and respond to both your own emotions and those of others.
LinkedIn said this emphasized the "importance of how we respond to and interact with colleagues."