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Digital skills – A Quick Guide

Learn how upskilling yourself in key in-demand digital skills can level-up your CV, and reboot your prospects in a competitive jobs market. But what are digital skills, why are they so important, and how can you learn them? Read on to find out more.

What are basic digital skills?

Digital skills are defined as a range of abilities to use digital devices, communication applications, and networks to access and manage information. They enable people to create and share digital content, communicate and collaborate, and solve problems for effective and creative self-fulfillment in life, learning, work, and social activities at large.

Entry-level digital skills, meaning basic functional skills required to make basic use of digital devices and online applications, are widely considered a critical component of a new set of literacy skills in the digital era, with traditional reading, writing, and numeracy skills.

To thrive in the connected economy and society, digital skills must also function together with other abilities such as strong literacy and numeracy skills, critical and innovative thinking, complex problem solving, an ability to collaborate, and socio-emotional skills. This covers a huge range and variety of skills, of course.

Innovating skills for a digital economy

To realize opportunities presented by digitalization, governments need to understand how jobs—and the skill sets demanded by these jobs—are changing. Digital skills have moved from ‘optional’ to ‘critical’ and need to be complemented with transversal ‘soft skills’ such as the ability to communicate effectively in both online and offline mediums. In developing countries, digital skills are also in high demand and greatly improve prospects for decent employment. They are linked to higher earning potential, and experts have predicted a growing number of jobs for people with advanced digital skills. Not only are there new jobs available, some of them are actually going unfilled, making the provision of advanced digital skills part of a solution to unemployment.

What’s next?

Major technology breakthroughs in next ten years will impact forms of work and the structure of labour markets as well as other aspects of life such as education, health, and agriculture. From a skills development perspective, the implications of technological change are expected profound, both for the re- and up-skilling of adults and for the education of youth and children. In this context, developing capacities for anticipating the changing needs for digital skills for work and life is crucial for all countries. Policy-makers and other actors need to forecast future developments in order to orient and prioritise policy actions.

Your Digital Opportunity

Embracing basic or advanced digital skills on your journey back to work or ongoing learning within your role is a crucial component for all ages of learning. Here at Parker Enterprise we have a broad range of fundamental and advance training resources to support you through your journey. Get in touch and speak to one of our advisors 01563 657001.