‘Digital skills gap’ threatens innovation

The skills needed to succeed in the new economy are already changing. Now, Covid has dramatically accelerated these changes.

While researchers warn of the growing “digital skills gap” that threatens to stifle innovation, experts are urging schools to reconsider the guidelines so that it is more closely aligned with emerging workforce needs.

The global epidemic has accelerated the pace of global technological advances as services that were not digital before they moved online and others that were edited by humans have become automated. This rapid digital acceleration has created a huge demand for more highly skilled workers who can create software, program machines and support new innovations.

“There aren’t enough people with the right digital skills to enable the transformation that organizations are looking for,” said Salil Gunashekar, a research leader and associate director at RAND Europe who focuses on science and technology policy.

Rand Europe, the European branch of the global research firm Rand Corporation, released a report in March detailing the global digital skills gap in full detail. The report should serve as a wake-up call for education leaders in the United States and elsewhere to change guidelines to meet employers’ needs more effectively.

“Employers are actively looking for employees with digital skills to adapt to the growing digitalized environment,” the report said. “While the demand for digital skills is high, supply is low – and businesses often struggle to find talent for digital roles.”

Consider these statistics:

  • A global survey of companies with more than 1,000 employees in a wide range of industries found that more than half (54 percent) agree that the lack of digital talent has led to a loss of competitive advantage and will close soon if the digital skills gap does not close on product development, innovation and customer experience. There will be negative effects.
  • In European countries, the report noted, 57 percent of companies find it difficult to meet the role of ICT specialists. This trend exists in other parts of the world as well; For example, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the demand for software developers will increase by 22 percent by 2030.
  • The world’s major economies could lose .5 11.5 trillion in potential growth by 2028 if there is no gap in digital skills.
Dennis Pierce
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