The digital skills gap | Main Region

The digital skills gap

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Every year, the demand for professionals with digital skills continues to grow. Regardless of the profession or industry, employers look for candidates with the digital skills required to not only succeed in their particular role today, but the digital literacy and growth mindset necessary to take advantage of new emerging technologies in the workplace of tomorrow.
 

After all, digital skills are no longer limited to tech and online roles. Today, you’d be hard pressed to find a single job that doesn’t require at least some level of digital proficiency. These skills are nearly-universal requirements across all sectors and skill levels.

As the industry commentaries in our Hays Salary Guide confirm, the need for digital skills in the workplace is widespread – and growing. 

Given this, a digital skills gap is emerging, with a significant discrepancy between digital skill supply and demand. 

Digital skills in the workplace: 87% of jobs require digital literacy skills

The demand for digital skills in the Australian workforce isn’t going anywhere.

In fact, four in five Australian businesses now hold the view that it’s a priority to adopt new technologies to achieve business goals, according to a report from RMIT.

Presently, the report adds, 87% of jobs in Australia already require digital literacy skills. This figure will grow if we are to fast-track Australia’s goal of becoming a leading digital economy and society by 2030.

Different industries expect employees to learn digital skills to stay productive and competitive in today’s digital world. Both organisations and professionals stand to prosper by embracing opportunities to overcome the digital skills gap and up their digital game.

All industries on board to plug the digital skills gap 

As mentioned, regardless of the industry or role, most jobs now require professionals with digital literacy. Without such digital skills, professionals are unable to function effectively in the workplace. However, the exact digital skills required vary by industry and job. 

Following are several examples of the digital skills required in certain industries today.

Digital skills in accountancy and finance

The accountancy profession has experienced substantial digital advancements, disruption and transformation in recent years.

Social, mobile, cloud and analytics technologies all have the potential to enhance the capabilities of accountancy professionals, but employers need to look at the best training opportunities they can provide to onboard employees with new technologies.

Employers presently have strong demand for accountancy professionals who are proficient with data analytics, advanced Microsoft Excel and business analytics services such as Microsoft Power BI.

The Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants offers hundreds of training opportunities across conferences, eLearning, recorded webinars and workshops. CPA Australia also offers many micro credentials to prepare you for accounting in a digital world. 

All are geared towards helping accountancy professionals become more digitally savvy.

Digital skills for office support staff

Organisations look for office support candidates who are highly proficient with the CRM software they use inhouse, as well as the Microsoft Office 365 Suite. 

Employees who are skilled with applications that support remote collaboration, such as SharePoint, Teams, Zoom and Monday.com, to name a few, are viewed favourably too. 

Office support staff will increase their employability by upskilling in a range of popular business, accounting, legal and office software systems, including SAP, MYOB, TRIM, LEAP, Affinity, Xero and Aconex.

Microsoft currently offers a free digital literacy course that’s ideal for office support staff interested in brushing up their basic digital literacy skills. You can find a range of virtual learning opportunities perfect for office support staff here too.

Digital skills for the property sector

As most property buyers browse property online today, it’s becoming increasingly important for property professionals to improve how they do business online with clients.

Today’s property professionals benefit from solid experience with a wide range of digital transformation technologies. For instance, real estate agents who are familiar with augmented reality and virtual reality for online property displays have a competitive advantage.

Other in-demand digital skills in the property sector include building information modelling, drone photography and videography, social media marketing, smart contracts management and database management powered by artificial intelligence.

Employers also want property managers with strong property management software skills and quantity surveyors with strong construction estimation software skills.

Digital skills for the contact centre industry

Employees skilled with customer relationship management (CRM) systems are highly regarded in the contact centre industry.

An earlier McKinsey and Company survey of customer care executives forecast that the contact centre industry will rely increasingly on digital-care channels in future. 

More contact centre staff will use chatbot and virtual assistant technology, social media and email for customer service.

Digital skills in other industries

This is by no means an exhaustive list and all jobs require digital literacy. For instance, the logistics industry needs job candidates with skills in warehouse management systems.

Marketing professionals require a host of digital skills, including social media management, email campaigns, paid advertising and search engine optimisation.  

Meanwhile, life sciences organisations look for marketing professionals with digital and eCommerce abilities to shape future digital strategies.

Clearly, no industry or workforce is immune from the need for job candidates with digital literacy. 

Upskill digital competences regularly

With COVID speeding up digital transformation, organisations need to increase their digital literacy more than ever. 

Employees are expected to learn new skills to keep pace too, particularly now that such a large proportion of the workforce has switched to remote and hybrid models of work. 

Job candidates who can up their digital game enough to hold pace with the rapidly digitising business world will be in the best position to find rewarding career opportunities both today and in the future workplace. 

Organisations that support their workforce to continually learn and upskill, and take proactive steps to fix their digital skills gap, will be the beneficiaries too.

Reach out to us

For more, talk to your local recruiting expert about the skills in demand or job opportunities in your industry. 

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