Parts one and two of this series addressed Business Enabler Skills and Human Skills, as identified in the Burning Glass Technologies report, “The New Foundational Skills for the Digital Economy”. The final category of foundational skills is Digital Building Blocks. 1 These foundational skills are crucial for professionals in the digital economy, and they increase in value when used in combination. Burning Glass refers to individuals with all 3 skill sets as “blended digital professionals.” Having blended skill sets enables professionals to thrive in a changing marketplace, as their skills are sought in the majority of jobs across the increasingly digitized economy.
Those possessing Digital Building Block Skills are adept at “...analyzing data, managing data, software development, computer programming, and digital security and privacy.” Digital Building Block Skills enable companies to fully leverage technology to understand and operate their businesses and cover a wide range of applications, such as data management and analytics, information security, computer engineering and application development.
Companies require digital skills to keep pace in the digital economy and the demand for these blended skills is mushrooming. However, fewer than 1 in 5 job seekers claim blended skill sets. The report cites that 33% of job openings in 2017 required digital building block skills. The shifting world of work is eliminating many jobs, but it is also creating many new, predominantly digital, occupations. For example, the migration of data to digital management systems requires information system managers as well as cybersecurity experts to protect the databases. The sharp growth in demand for digital skills from 2012 to 2017 illustrates this shifting marketplace:
- Digital security and privacy: 75% growth
- Analyzing data: 68% growth
- Software development: 44% growth
- Computer programming: 35% growth
- Managing data: 24% growth
This increasing need for digital skills means that most professionals today must gain this training while also working in their full-time jobs. With courses and programs in each of the digital categories, edX For Business delivers the solution for your company to develop the Digital Building Block skills needed at all levels of your organization.
With the rise of the digital economy and Industry 4.0, companies in every sector are gearing up to meet the demands of a quickly shifting technological playing field. Automation is rendering some jobs obsolete, while others never even conceived of 5 years ago are being created in the process. These deep changes raise big questions: How do humans add value in the workplace? What skills do companies need most? How do individuals keep learning to keep pace?
As part of its research for the new report "The New Foundational Skills for the Digital Economy", Burning Glass Technologies examined 150 million unique job postings in the United States. The results suggest that three inter-related categories of skill types (containing a total of 14 foundational skills) are the cornerstones upon which digital transformation takes place.x
Developing a state of happiness on the job doesn’t just benefit people as individuals; it also has real business implications. Research shows that happier employees are more committed to their organizations; rise to positions of leadership more rapidly; are more productive and creative; and suffer fewer health problems.
Ubiquitous connectivity and the resulting consumer expectation of receiving anything, anytime and anywhere, have fueled the rise of online learning in corporations. This is a win-win, as employees are able to reskill and upskill while companies benefit from these new competencies without suffering the usual downtime associated with traditional in-person training experiences. With corporate online learning becoming the norm, edX considers what is on the horizon.
A key challenge facing companies today isn’t the collection and management of customer data but, rather, its analysis. While technologies like Hadoop and Azure make it easier to collect large amounts of data from multiple customer touch points, much of this data’s potential is largely untapped. To keep up with the quantity of new information, companies need well-trained, analytics-savvy employees who can spot trends, identify inefficiencies, and create strategic action plans to put this rich customer information into use.
According to the World Economic Forum, more than 30% of the skills employees will need by 2020 are not considered crucial today. On-the-job training is officially required to keep pace with advancing technology. So, how do you foster a culture that values ongoing learning at a big company?