Once upon a time, digital skills were only really a requirement for high-skill jobs. But, whether you’re an entry-level call centre worker or the manager of a marketing company, digital skills are now a required asset in the job market. A study by the UK government in 2019 found that 82% of all job adverts, ranging from low-skill to high-skill, featured a requirement for digital skills. And with the effects of the pandemic still weighing heavily on job sectors, and the digitalization of many industries already accelerating, there is an inevitable increase in demand for digital skills.
So, which digital skill groups are seeing the most growth? And which skills should you acquire to help secure your place in the job market and advance your career?
Of course, the most in-demand skills, particularly for lower-skill level jobs, are productivity skills. Productivity software includes programs that help users produce things like documents, databases, graphs, worksheets and presentations. Unsurprisingly, these skills are requested in more than 8 in 10 jobs; they are widely used and therefore are the most versatile skill group. They are therefore a baseline requirement in the job market rather than something which will make you stand out.
Programming and Software Development
Last year, the programming and software development skill group paid the highest salary of all digital skill sets, averaging nearly £55k per annum. However, it’s important to note that with such a high pace of change in the IT industry, the demand for some of the largest and most important skills in this sector is expected to decline slightly over the coming years. So, as is the case for all areas of digital, it’s crucial to keep evolving and learning the latest technologies and software.
What about AI?
Getting into Artificial Intelligence requires a broad range of digital skills and characteristics, but it’s certainly worth investing your time in. AI technology is firmly here to stay and is already shaping the future of tech. Listen to our podcast with Author, Keynote Speaker and all round AI Expert Katie King MBA ‘The AI Revolution’ to find out how Artificial Intelligence technology is revolutionizing the way we live and work during these uncertain times. Plus, discover how AI could help lead us down a path of democratization and united humanity if it is utilized for good around the world.
Computer and Networking Support
Computer and networking support skills are used to maintain and manage computer networks and include general networking skills involved in the building and maintenance of computer networks, such as configuration, systems, and security. The growth in requirement of computer and networking support skills in general is projected to decline in the coming years, however pockets of the skill group, for example cybersecurity, are in short supply in the job market and therefore are particularly valuable if you’re looking for a unique selling point to advance your career and access the higher salaries.
The analysis of data to solve business challenges and scientific and technical problems is a fast-growing, in-demand digital skill. It encompasses all the techniques required for data mining, data visualization, data management, the use of statistical software, as well as the applied analysis involved in producing business intelligence. Data analysis skills are often required in sectors where hybridisation of jobs and skill sets is a key trend.
Digital marketing encompasses skills related to online marketing and advertising, including the use of social media in campaigns, production of web content and analysis of web traffic. Skills in digital marketing make up 20% of digital demand in the job market. Skills in digital design (a skill cluster which is stable but not seeing a huge amount of growth) may also complement digital marketing roles, particularly for entry-level marketers, as this increases their versatility and allows them to offer a broader range of relevant skills. Check out Digital Marketing Institute’s 7 essential skills digital marketers should know if you want to learn more about how to thrive in this fast-growing sector.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRM software is a tool used for managing a company’s interaction with current and potential customers, including Salesforce, SAP AG, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics. This skillset has high versatility, so is a good option for workers wanting to advance their career but who are perhaps unsure exactly which direction to go in.
Where can I learn new digital skills?
The government has set up a digital skills website to help you improve your digital skills for free (you can check it out here), as well as the Government Digital Service blog, where you can find helpful articles and updates on different sectors. You can also learn new skills through:
University or advanced education courses
Educational platforms such as LinkedIn Learning
Skill-sharing communities like Digital Women
By Emily Watson