Why Is It Important To Develop Digital Literacy Skills?

If you are a working professional, have you ever paid attention to the changes that happen at your workplace? If you have noticed such changes, have you ever wondered about how is it going to affect you?  Have you prepared yourself for the jobs of the future? Do you even know what the presumed future jobs might be?

In AI dominant future, technology is expected to carry out all the heavy lifting, and emotional intelligence is all set to gain a significant role to play.  Emotional intelligence is the ability to receive, control, and communicate one's emotions, with a proficiency to handle interpersonal relationships sensibly and compassionately. Since the world is filled with complex AI technology, human emotions and skill is expected to indicate the competitive edge of workers.

According to the Society of Human Resource Management's (SHRM) "2019 State of the Workplace," Soft skills are at the top of the missing skills among the job applicants. Here is the list of missing skills in the job applicants –

— “Problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation, and creativity (37 percent)”

— “Ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity (32 percent)”

— “Communication (31 percent)”

— “Trade skills (carpentry, plumbing, welding, machining, etc.) (31 percent)”

— “Data analysis/data science (20 percent)”

— “Science / engineering / medical (18 percent)”

This emphasizes that people need to be trained and re-trained to cope up with the digital transformation. For this,

  1. Every individual must possess basic digital skills to live and thrive in the digital society.

  2. Young children must understand how to use technology safely and creatively.

  3. The working class needs to learn how to make use of digital applications in their profession.

  4. And the digital experts are expected to develop and deploy cutting-edge technologies like cybersecurity, 5G, or AI.

According to Marty Neumeier’s lecture on the Rules of Genius at the University of Toronto, the following types of work is expected to dominate in the future days, they are –

  • Creative: Unique, imaginative, non-routine, and autonomous.”

  • “Skilled: Standardized, talent-driven, professional, and directed.”

  • “Rote: Interchangeable, routinized, outsourceable, and managed.”

  • “Robotic: Algorithmic, computerized, efficient, and purchased.”

Out of this list, if you concentrate on the ‘Creative’ area, you are like to remain employable. Every skilled person can be creative in the work he/she does. And it is important to keep on learning. If you wish to stay unique, you need to become an inventor and build your structure from the scratch. The importance of harnessing social and emotional skills is also growing steadily these days. About 30-40 percent of jobs in the growing industries have been demanding staff with soft skills and 57 percent of the leaders have emphasized that soft skills are more essential than hard skills.

This is because, employers have stopped stressing technical skills and they are open to accepting non-traditional candidates too, as they are confident of expanding their skills with systematic training. Besides 40 percent of employers consider that artificial intelligence will help bridge the skills gap, and only social and emotional skills are going to be necessary and valuable, as they are the skills that robots can't automate.

Here’s how you must react to manage the digital transformation –

  • The workforce must be trained to survive the digital era.

  • Offer necessary training programs for young children to help them become digital inventors.

  • Support in upskilling and reskilling.

  • Invest in new training programs for digital experts.

Technology is changing at an unprecedented pace, so understand the concepts and develop new solutions and opportunities to keep on top of it.

Linking with Context

A. Digital Literacy – an overview < https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/social-sciences/digital-literacy >.

B. Digital Literacy in Education  < https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000214485 >.

C. Building digital capability < https://www.jisc.ac.uk/building-digital-capability >.

D. Teach & Learn Practical Digital Skills  < https://applieddigitalskills.withgoogle.com/s/en/home >.