Digital Skills for Life and for Work

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      According to UNESCO, Digital skills are broadly defined as someone’s ability to “use digital devices, communication applications, and networks to access and manage information.”

      Digital literacy refers to an individual’s ability to find, evaluate, and clearly communicate information through typing and other media on various digital platforms. It is evaluated by an individual’s grammar, composition, typing skills and ability to produce text, images, audio and designs using technology.

      Two types of digital skill

      A framework written up by the DfE alongside Accenture and other organisations outlines these basic digital skills under six areas. These are then subdivided into skills for life and additional skills for work.

      Skills for life

      1. Digital foundation skills: – the fundamentals of being able to use digital technologies, such as using a browser, connecting to the internet, and keeping passwords secure.
      2. Communicating: – sending emails securely, using attachments, and participating on social media.
      3. Handling information and content: – using search engines, being aware that not all online content is reliable, accessing content across devices.
      4. Transacting: – setting up accounts to use or purchase goods/services online, using different secure payment methods, filling in online forms.
      5. Problem-solving: – finding solutions to problems using FAQs/tutorials/chat, presenting solutions through software, and improving productivity.
      6. Being safe and legal online: – understanding best practice in data storage/sharing, updating and keeping passwords secure, and taking precautions against viruses.

      Skills for work

      1. Digital Marketing: – Social media digital skills are crucial to the digital marketing mix, but are worth pulling out as social media has come to play such a significant role in our day-to-day as well as professional lives. Social media management tools, performance measurement, new channel research, brand presence/voice, influencer marketing, and paid vs organic all play a part in connecting with prospective and current users.
      2. User Experience (UX): – The experience of using a website or mobile app is key to leading users to do what the website or app owner wants them to do. Indeed, it is even more central, as users can only use a website in predetermined ways. Thus, we have the area of digital skills known as user experience, or UX.
      3. Multimedia Creation: – In the digital context, video has evolved from being just a form of entertainment on YouTube to a major social media content driver. Other multimedia elements like photos, infograpics, and so on are influential on social media.
      4. Data Visualisation: – Designers can also visualize complex data to help management make vital business decisions. This skill is call data visualization. Data visualization is useful for senior leaders to gain valuable insights from data.
      5. Content Marketing: – Part of what makes the digital age distinct from before is precision. We can clearly understand the behaviour patterns of those using digital platforms. For businesses, this also means being able to quantifiably track the successes and failures of their digital initiatives.
      6. Web Analytics: – Part of what makes the digital age distinct from before is precision. We can clearly understand the behaviour patterns of those using digital platforms. For businesses, this also means being able to quantifiably track the successes and failures of their digital initiatives.
      7. Artificial Intelligence: – Artificial intelligence is playing an increasing role in modern businesses. Rather than the sentient robots of cinematic lore, AI is about teaching machines to do jobs, predict, and make decisions based on detailed computation of past examples.

      In Conclusion

      Tech companies, and indeed all organizations in the digital economy, are coming to realise that digital skills are vital for employees in the digital era. It is more important than ever that new employees are cross-disciplined and have both hard and soft skills.  Whatever the specific job you are interviewing for, recruiters will be looking out for a wider skill set and broader experience in their new hires.

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