Digital Skills for The Future of Work

In an increasingly digitised economy and society, digital skills are becoming essential for 9 out of 10 job roles but more than half the adult working population lack the skills required; and those without digital skills are among those most likely to experience unemployment.

It’s not a generational issue, a third of university students report that they don’t feel their digital skills equip them for successful careers.

We don’t all need to become coding gurus who can build platforms and websites from scratch, but there are five key areas where digital skills can significantly improve employability and performance.

Collaboration Tools

With many businesses operating remotely much of the time, telephone and email skills are not enough. Employees need to be able to confidently work with video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Hangouts and Skype; share information using file sharing platforms such as OneDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox; and contribute to collaborations apps such as Slack.

These are essential skills for being a valued and connected contributor to teams, enabling individuals to quickly connect, share and respond to activities that need a collaborative response.

Workplace Systems

Each business operates its own sales, marketing, operations and finance systems that enable the organisation to understand and manage its performance.

Employees are often required to work across multiple platforms to perform effectively. These typically have many similarities but require users to have the confidence and awareness to search out functionality and explore how to use company systems with little formal training.

Having the skills to automate simple routine tasks is an area of straightforward streamlining that can drive productivity, such as configuring routine responses and signatures within email messages.

Cyber Security

We all have shared responsibility for keeping information safe online. In a work environment this means employees need to understand their responsibilities for operating safely. This includes responsible practices such as how to send documents securely, being vigilant with unknown email addresses, and recognising machine behaviour that is trying to mimic human activity.

Familiarity with cyber security when accessing public wifi, using mobile devices, accessing web tools and such like are essential skills for everyday life as well as work skills. Entering a workplace with this know-how and displaying an understanding of data storage, cybersecurity and mobile device security is highly desirable.

Using Data Effectively

How we collect, store, analyse and present data are increasingly critical skills for professional roles. Being able to use the tools, systems and applications to do so effectively are highly desirable skills.

The daily news bombards us with statistical information but the context, accuracy and selectivity of data chosen can lead to significant disagreement about what the data is telling us. Understanding topics such as ratios, sampling, context and accuracy are key to being able to discern patterns and make decisions.

Content Creation

How we present information to colleagues and customers is another area for development for many professionals; requiring skills to clearly present information in an engaging manner whether this is for social media, company newsletters, report writing or client presentations.   Employees with the skills to create clear and engaging content are incredibly valuable to digitally connected businesses. 

Where next? 

Building digital skills and gaining the confidence to use these tools effectively is a challenge facing organisations and individuals across the economy. If this topic resonates, our team at Pitman Training are here to help.