In a time where digital skills are becoming more and more prevalent in the lives of everyone, the ability to use these skills as part of a job is becoming especially important for your career prospects. This applies to both recent graduates and those with already established careers. In this post I shall explain why this is the case and which skills, in particular, are useful for different kinds of jobs.
The growing importance of Digital Skills
The growing importance of digital skills in the job market is hardly surprising to even the most casual of observers, but the scale of this importance is still worth noting. A report by Worldskills UK found that 92% of businesses say that a basic level of digital skills is important for their employees, with the same report finding that 76% of businesses would be less successful if they had a lack of digital skills.
This shows a growing demand for digital skills within the job market, meaning that if you can prove to potential employers that you possess these skills, then your chances of being employed increase considerably, compared to those who don’t.
This view is supported by a government report into the increasing demand by employers for digital skills, which found that basic digital skills are becoming mandatory among many different jobs. It also found that jobs that required a higher level of digital ability were both more secure and higher paid, even if this means that specific training is needed to reach this level.
Even outside of work, digital services have been more prevalent, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdowns . As noted by the BBC, internet usage doubled during 2020, with many people using online shopping and video streaming platforms, such as Netflix for entertainment. There is also a definite possibility that people will use them more often, even after lockdown restrictions are fully lifted, leading to the normalisation of digital skills even quicker than was already occurring.
Digital will also become more widespread in the long term, with technology likely to grow in importance in the daily lives of everyone as time passes. This means that the importance of digital skills will also grow in importance concurrently, to the point where the level of technical ability needed to be employed in roles that are not particularly technologically oriented will be higher.
Why Digital Skills are useful
As alluded to previously, digital skills are useful for a variety of different tasks in the workplace, encompassing both low and high levels of ability. One of the most basic of these skills is the ability to communicate with co-workers or potential clients through email. This is something that you should already have been doing regularly for years as a student before you need to use it for work. And even if you haven’t, it is not a difficult skill to learn.
Another simple and widely used digital skill is using the internet to research topics, to either inform decision making or help solve various problems. This is because using the internet allows you to access resources, such as statistics or articles that otherwise would have been extremely difficult to find. For more tips on how to research effectively, you can read this article.
The ability to learn how to use new pieces of software is also a crucial digital skill. An example of this is learning how to hold video conferences on Zoom, something that has become more prevalent due to Covid. While before in-person meetings were the norm, many people had to adapt to lockdown restrictions making them impossible. New software will continue to be developed rapidly over time, so ensuring you can use any that is relevant to your work is imperative.
Some of the aforementioned advanced digital skills include coding and cybersecurity, both of which are not skills that you are likely to learn naturally like the others. However, they are invaluable, both now and in the future, so if you get the opportunity to learn even the basics you should take that opportunity. This is because as digital becomes more important, more businesses will focus on improving their websites and need protection against both hackers and viruses.
If you do not have the necessary skills to apply for these roles, you can find more jobs that require digital skills in the linked blog post. If you want to learn these skills for yourself, you should consider the Graduate Coach Digital Marketing Internship.
Overall, digital skills are a growing priority for employers and are becoming a near compulsory requirement for many different kinds of jobs. This means it is important that you can show that you have these skills when applying for a job, or your chances of being employed are greatly reduced. For more tips on how to get a job in the digital sector, you can read this blog post on how to get a digital marketing job from the Graduate Coach website.