Digital literacy: how to close your digital skills gap

In the fourth industrial revolution, almost every job in every industry relies on technology. And with technology ever advancing, you’re going to need to continually develop your digital literacy to keep up. So how can you close your digital skills gap and futureproof your career? Read on.

What are digital skills?

Our lives intersect with digital technology pretty much from the moment we wake up to the time our heads hit the pillow. Here’s a great definition of digital skills from UNESCO that shows both the extent of these skills and their necessity in every aspect of our lives.

“Digital skills are defined as a range of abilities to use digital devices, communication applications, and networks to access and manage information. They enable people to create and share digital content, communicate and collaborate, and solve problems for effective and creative self-fulfillment in life, learning, work, and social activities at large.”

Digital skills range from basic IT capabilities through to expertise with cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The digital literacy you need to close your current skills gap will depend on your profession – or the profession you’d like to get into.

Of course, if you’re going to invest in skill development, it makes sense to focus on in-demand skills that will help futureproof your career. So what are the skills that employers need?

Increase your digital literacy with in-demand skills

Each year LinkedIn Learning identifies the skills companies need most. In their 2020 Workplace Learning Report the hard skills were dominated by analytical and data-centred skills, along with – you guessed it – digital skills. Here are the top 10 hard skills LinkedIn says companies currently need most.

  • Blockchain
  • Cloud computing
  • Analytical reasoning
  • Artificial intelligence
  • UX design
  • Business analysis
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sales
  • Scientific computing
  • Video production

FYI, the most in-demand soft skills for 2020 identified by LinkedIn were human-centric employability skills: creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, emotional intelligence.

Upskill or reskill in IT

Information technology is an obvious choice to reskill in if you’re looking for a secure future. Our Graduate Certificate in Information Technology will equip you for IT roles across a range of organisations. What’s more, you can choose subjects specific to your interests. Want to get into computer networking, software development, systems analysis, cloud computing or mobile programming? This course will equip you for it.

For those already working in IT, you’re uniquely positioned to upskill into areas with current skill shortages. Joanne Parker, a lecturer in information technology at Charles Sturt University, explains why.

“The diversity of information technology applications means you can grow your professional experience. You need a solid foundation in the theories and principles of information technology, but upskilling will be increasingly important as the rate of change and innovation increases. Your career can take you across many industries, with a range of possible roles – from project management to network engineering, cybersecurity, marketing, programming and so on.”

For instance, you could consider upskilling with a qualification like our Graduate Certificate in Cloud Computing and Virtualisation, Graduate Certificate in Cyber SecurityGraduate Certificate in Cyber Studies and Investigations or Graduate Certificate in Information Systems Security. You’ll be able to plug skills gaps in your current organisation – and move ships when you feel the time is right.

Upskilling and reskilling doesn’t have to mean a large investment of time or money. A graduate certificate from Charles Sturt can net you a new qualification in just six months of online study. You may even be eligible for credit for some subjects, based on your work experience or existing qualifications.

Develop the digital literacy required for your industry

Upskilling your digital literacy applies to whatever industry you work in. To secure your future – and progress – in your current career, choose courses that apply tech advancements to your profession. Let’s look at some examples.

If you’re working in data analysis, our Graduate Certificate in Applied Data Science could help you move into specialist roles. You could be a data scientist, big data architect or enterprise data architect.

Let’s say you’re a librarian. You could close your digital skills gap with our Graduate Certificate in Audiovisual Archiving. Or upskill with our Graduate Certificate in Data Management to move into this emerging field.

For those in marketing, our Graduate Certificate in Applied Digital Marketing will equip you to work across major digital marketing channels, including email, social media and search.

Find your gap and fill it

If you’re not sure what qualification could help you close your digital skills gap in your specific field, contact us and one of our friendly student advisers will help you work through your options. It’s time to futureproof your career!