The 'New Normal': Why Digital Skills Matter More Than Ever |

The 'New Normal': Why Digital Skills Matter More Than Ever

By Stephanie L

Updated March 8, 2021 Updated March 8, 2021

Sponsored by ISDI

Around the world, businesses and workers have swapped their offices and work spaces for kitchens and living rooms – and the speed at which we’ve embraced the technology to do so has been unprecedented.

Nevertheless, this shift to remote working has demonstrated the increasing shortage of digital skills spanning across almost every industry and sector – and this trend is likely to continue well into next year and beyond.

We take a closer look at why digital skills and the need to upskill – especially now – are more important than ever.

Digital skills are essential skills

In our data-driven economy, you might be surprised to learn that digital skills aren’t just a requirement for the traditional tech sectors – digital skills are important at every level and across the span of practically every industry.

All modern workplaces thrive on digital skills, such as software programming, digital marketing and design, web analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine and manufacturing technology, along with computer and networking support systems to name but a few.

In 2017, a study by the European Commission found that the requirement for digital skills was higher in professional careers – 90 percent of professionals are required to possess at least basic digital skills. It also reported that, in larger organizations in particular, basic skills would not be adequate enough as 50 percent of professionals and technicians along with 30 percent of managers were also required to have specialist digital skills.

In the US, a study from Burning Glass reported that 82 percent of middle-skill jobs require a digital skillset as well.

Failing to get a good handle on such digital skills can dramatically hinder your career opportunities and promising salary prospects in the future.

We’re in the middle of a reimagining of business

A recent report by Deloitte looked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution as the catalyst for the rapid rise in both digital job opportunities and the digital skills gap, while in 2019 the World Economic Forum estimated that over 133 million new roles will be created by 2022 to span these particular fields.

With demand in recruitment for cloud-base development roles, cyber-security, and big data analytics roles widening the digital skills gap, businesses will want to know what they need to do to not only recruit and hire the right people for the job, but also how to retain and sometimes retrain their current workforce.

How to have a habitual rapport with all things digital 

There’s no doubting the digital capabilities that underpin today’s business landscape – but it can be challenging for businesses to act quick in order to maintain business continuity and prevent a substantial digital skills deficit. Being digitally competent can help bridge the digital divide where computers and machines can’t, and can even potentially stabilize industry-wide shakeups.

Data from the Smithsonian Science Education Center has demonstrated that in recent years, while many industries across the world have experienced deep digitalization, many other employers have struggled to keep up.

While it might feel like the goalposts are constantly moving at the moment, prioritizing upskilling in the workforce can help both employees and the business reach their full potential – something which business schools around the world have jumped on in recent years.

The Digital MBA at ISDI is taught in both Madrid and Barcelona, and prepares graduates to tackle the digital business challenges of tomorrow. The diversification of skills and knowledge include digital technologies, digital business execution, digital leadership as well as digital leadership.

The Digital MBA’s curriculum demonstrates a definitive focus on teaching and training students how to best respond to external factors, deal with the emergence of new digital technologies, as well as leverage new technologies to devise novel business models and strategies.

Ensuring today’s workforce are well equipped for tomorrow’s digital world is vital. While we can’t predict how the business landscape will look in the future, it’s important that we educate ourselves on the opportunities that digital technologies and what possessing a digital skillset can offer in order to succeed in this ‘new normal’.

Lead image credit: Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

This article was originally published in May 2020 . It was last updated in March 2021

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