Why Digital skills are so important? An introduction to trainings by Future Learn

Why are digital skills important?

Digital skills are important because they underpin so much of how modern work is conducted. For many modern professions, digital skills are simply essential skills.

A 2017 study from the European Commission found that 93% of European workplaces use computers, with 94% utilising broadband internet. These are across all industries; even farmers, the report points out, require digital skills in the 21st century.

The requirement for digital skills is higher in professional careers, finds the report. 90% of professionals are required to possess at least basic digital skills, increasing to 98% of managers. In many workplaces, basic skills will not suffice: 50% of professionals and technicians, and 30% of managers are required to have specialist digital skills. This is particularly the case in larger organisations.

Despite the importance of digital skills, there is a skills gap.

There is a digital skills gap and it has consequences not only for job seekers, but industry itself. The European Commission found that 38% of workplaces suffered negative results as a consequence of a lack of digital skills. This digital skills gap is more pronounced in highly-skilled professions.

An EY report from 2018 echoes this. Almost half of European companies, according to their data, lacked skills in the areas of AI, cybersecurity, and robotics. For those sufficiently well-equipped and willing to develop such digital skills, there are opportunities, with 89% of companies intending to invest in training in order to rectify these digital skills gaps.

The Covid Pandemic outcome

While the coronavirus pandemic slows down hiring, advanced digital positions are likely to be among the first to recover as businesses adjust to new ways of doing things. Those with digital skills will be well placed to prosper.

Workers who previously relied on in-person interaction now are compelled to use digital technologies to carry out their day-to-day functions. The pandemic will not last forever, but it is likely that remote working will become a more deeply-ingrained part of everyday working life.

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