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Welcome to Hot Skills Summer

Join us as we chase hot skills all. summer. long.

Yes, it’s hot enough to cook an egg out there. And yes — human work output drops by 45% when temperatures reach 95 degrees Fahrenheit. (Probably shouldn’t have mentioned that. 😬) But the quest for our best selves never stops. Summer should be afraid of getting burned by you and your new skill, like, getting flexible enough to fit in your freezer. Whatever dream goal or skill you’re chasing this scorching season, we created Hot Skills Summer to keep you motivated. 

We’ve compiled the best songs, books, and shows that inspire us to keep growing. We even gathered the hottest — a.k.a most-searched — focus skills from Degreed. Speaking of, anyone ever heard of Kubernetes? Must be another new coding language. 

Dig into each list below and kick off your very own #hotskillssummer. We’re also curious to know the skills you’re chasing over the next few months. So follow us on social @degreed as we share the following lists, and join the conversation about this summer’s hottest skills. 

The hottest skills of the summer.

From highly technical to highly human, here are the hottest skills and search topics trending on Degreed since Jan 1, 2021. 

Programming languages are dominating the most searched skills this year, but don’t underestimate the staying power of the spreadsheet. (We tip our hat to you, Excel.) And for the softer side of skills, it looks like we’re all hoping to level up when managing projects, our time, change, and our latest investments in DogeCoin.

Top Technical Skills and Topics:

  • Python
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Agile
  • SQL
  • Java
  • Cybersecurity
  • Tableau
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Machine Learning

Top Human Skills and Topics:

  • Project Management
  • Time Management
  • Change Management
  • Design Thinking
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Unconscious Bias
  • Storytelling
  • Blockchain/Digital Currency/Crypto
  • Internet of Things
  • Real Estate
Listen to this

Celebrate your greatness and get pumped for everything you’re about to accomplish. We’ve called in Beyonce, Daft Punk, and more to help you do just that all summer long.

Read this

From understanding the stars to training your K9, these pageturners helped us grow while keeping things interesting. Available wherever you buy your books, but we suggest supporting your local bookstore. 


Learn about our relationship with the materials we make:

The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another by Ainissa Ramirez

Personal Growth

Learn about cultivating true belonging in communities, organizations, and culture:

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown


Learn why functionality is just as important as aesthetics:

The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

Creativity and Inspiration

Learn about incorporating creativity into your daily life:

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Business & Personal Growth

Learn about rethinking and unlearning what you thought you knew:

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant


Learn about the stars in a digestible way:

Astrophysics for People In a Hurry by Neil Degrasse Tyson


Learn about the meaning of photographs: 

On Photography by Susan Sontag 


Learn about near-death experiences:

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell

Personal Growth

Learn why our brains aren’t wired to make us happy and what to do about it:

Master Your Emotions by Thibaut Meurisse


Learn how strengthening the right muscles helps you run faster and avoid injury:

Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry

Animal Behavior

Learn how human and dog behavior differs and how to bridge the gap for the best possible relationship with your dog:

The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell

Watch this

So you’re a visual learner, huh? Well, you’re in good company. Here’s some edutainment to add to your binge-watch list that isn’t Sexy Beasts. (Look it up…or don’t.) 


The Mind, Explained – “Ever wonder what’s happening inside your head? From dreaming to anxiety disorders, discover how your brain works with this illuminating series.” 


This is Pop – “Uncover the real stories behind your favorite pop songs as this docuseries charts the impact of the festival scene, Auto-Tune, boy bands, and more.” 


David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet – “One man has seen more of the natural world than any other. This unique feature documentary is his witness statement.”


Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution – “Down the road from Woodstock, a revolution blossomed at a ramshackle summer camp for teenagers with disabilities, transforming their lives and igniting a landmark movement.” 


Get Smarter – “Blair Imani, activist, and historian, breaks down social justice issues into short segments on YouTube.” 


Seaspiracy – “Passionate about ocean life, a filmmaker sets out to document the harm that humans do to marine species – and uncovers alarming global corruption.”


The Surgeon’s Cut – “The Surgeon’s Cut profiles four ground-breaking surgeons from around the world, each with a visionary approach to their craft.”


Reality Dog Training – “A YouTube series by trainer Zak George that documents his experience fostering and training a challenging rescue dog so that they can find a good home.”


Pride – “A six-part documentary series chronicling the struggle for LGBTQ+ civil rights in America from the 1950s through the 2000s.”


13th – “In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists, and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.”

Learn this

What do coding and meditation have in common? You can learn how to do them anywhere in the world (online, of course). So dig into these online resources to realize your next hot skill.


The Science of Wellbeing on Coursera/Yale

“Engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. 


Learn HTML on Codecademy

“HTML is the beginning of everything you need to know to create web pages. This introductory course helps you get started with some of the basics of HTML such as HTML tags, HTML pages, and HTML tables.”


Beginning Graphic Design: Typography on Youtube

 “Learn how to use and combine various fonts to make graphic elements stand out, what fonts to avoid, and other important terms, like hierarchy, leading, tracking, and kerning.”


Fundamentals of Photography on Creativelive

“As a photographer, you will need to master the technical basics of the camera and form an understanding of the kind of equipment you need. The Fundamentals of Digital Photography will also teach something even more important (and crucial for success) – how to bring your creative vision to fruition.”


A Lesson on Critical Race Theory on The American Bar Association 

“The purpose of this article is to address the implications of Critical Race Theory for civil rights lawyers, but it does so in a way that provides a thorough overview that is digestible for individuals from all perspectives.”


What Self-Awareness Really Is (and How to Cultivate It) on Harvard Business Review

“Although most people believe that they are self-aware, true self-awareness is a rare quality. In this piece, the author describes a recent large-scale investigation that shed light on some of the biggest roadblocks, myths, and truths about what self-awareness really is — and what it takes to cultivate it.”

Video Channel

Pasta Grannies on YouTube

“Do you love pasta? Well, do what our Grannies say, and subscribe to this channel. Every Friday, you’ll watch Italian ‘nonne’ in their own homes making traditional pasta dishes – as well as other delicious food like gnocchi, breads, soups that are typical of their region. Enjoy!”

Video Playlist

Jamie Olliver’s Cooking Tips and Tricks on Youtube

“Simple tips to smarten up your kitchen skills in 1 minute flat!”


@lifewithtuyen on TikTok

“TikTok influencer Tuyen provides quick cafe drink + pastry recipes.”


@karenxcheng on TikTok

“Creative Director Karen Cheng provides tips and tricks for making creative videos on your phone.”  


So You Want To Talk About… on Instagram

“Dissecting progressive politics and social issues in graphic slideshow form!”

Stream this

Good podcasts aren’t hard to come by these days. But good podcasts with great hosts certainly are. These episodes promise to boost your IQ and go easy on your ears. 

99 Percent Invisible 

“Learn about all the thought that goes into the unnoticed architecture and design that shapes our world.”

Start with this episode: Invisible Women

How I Built This

“Dive into the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies from the founders themselves.”

Start with this episode: Spanx: Sara Blakely

The Happiness Lab 

“In The Happiness Lab podcast, Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness.”

Start with this episode: You Can Change


“We explore the unexpected, the slightly odd, and the strangely wonderful in Art History.”

Start with this episode: What Is Art?


“A radio show and podcast weaving stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries.”

Start with this episode: Breath

Bravo Dog Knowledge: Dog Training Podcast

“Dive into all things dog behavior and dog training with a force-free focus to help your pandemic puppy or long-term companion become their best selves.”

Start with this episode: Canine Body Language

Science Vs

“Science Vs takes on fads, trends, and the opinionated mob to find out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between.”

Start with this episode: Supervolcanoes: Is Yellowstone Gonna Blow?

WorkLife with Adam Grant

“Organizational psychologist Adam Grant takes you inside some truly unusual places, where they’ve figured out how to make work not suck.”

Start with this episode: Burnout is Everyone’s Problem

A Slight Change of Plans

“Intimate conversations that give an unvarnished look into how people navigate changes of all kinds and use that change to ultimately grow.”

Start with this episode: The Science of Change


“Science, pop culture & comedy collide on StarTalk with astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-hosts, celebrities & scientists.”

Start with this episode: The Science of Learning with Heather Berlin

Life Kit

“Everyone needs a little help being a human. From sleep to saving money to parenting and more, we talk to the experts to get the best advice out there. Life Kit is here to help you get it together.”

Start with this episode: Buying A House In An Impossible Market

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