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In the modern workplace, essential digital skills are highly valued and in the near future they will be absolutely vital. The digital age is expanding into all areas of our lives, and it's not just those working in IT that will need to be aware of digital and technological advancements.
The standard essential digital skills that are needed for most industries include things like: the ability to use devices such as a computer, laptop, tablet and mobile phone for work tasks, finding useful information on the internet, understanding how to be safe and responsible online and communicating professionally via email, messaging (e.g. Microsoft Teams or Zoom) and social media.
Following on from the pandemic, a newer and more utilised digital skill has been knowing how to work from a remote location which requires professionals to set up and use Zoom, Skype, Teams and FaceTime, to mention a few.
For as long as there have been computers and electronic communications, there has been a need for digital skills. They are defined as the ability to find, utilise, share and create different content using devices like computers, laptops and smartphones.
How digital skills are used varies depending on your role, company and industry but possessing them is essential and workforces must continue to evolve with the skill demand.
Here we detail what we think are the top digital skills that will help you secure a role and progress within professional services.
Social media is one of the fastest growing digital tools available. From networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok, there is an abundance of choice. Although the latter may not be necessary for the workplace, most business professionals should ensure they have a fully optimised LinkedIn profile as a minimum, but Twitter is also a great way to improve your online personal brand.
You can boost this by regularly sharing and writing thought leadership articles and posts to showcase your knowledge of the sectors you work in and interact with your connections and followers.
Every sector within professional services will have technological and digital advancements that are specific to them. It would be beneficial therefore to research into your sector and find out what skills may be relevant to you. By having an understanding of these and an ability to showcase relevant skills you will make yourself a more employable candidate long-term.
Knowing how to choose, use and benefit from a Cloud service can save you from many future problems. Cloud software allows you to access information that is saved from anywhere, opening up the option to work from home and being a great way of promoting home working and creating a healthy work/life balance. Given that we create and use online content on a daily basis, from images and audio files to apps and personal details, backing it up in The Cloud is a skill you should (already) have.
Microsoft’s Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint software programmes are essential processing tools for virtually any profession. Creating presentations and spreadsheets are skills that many employers will assume you already have, so knowing your way around these applications will save you time and effort and allow you to come across as a competent professional, no matter the field.
Analysing and reporting data will continue to be a skill that is sought after. Reporting on return on investment (ROI) and performance is a must for some roles, especially in today’s digital world. If you are not already using analytics to measure your PR coverage, website performance and social media, it must be top of your list for next year, and having an understanding of this will greatly benefit your job search.
From creating infographics or spreadsheets to editing or cutting videos, online content creation covers a wide range of applications, and its benefits are huge. The ability to collect, assess and create meaningful and worthwhile content is expected to become even more important in the years to come.
You should therefore be looking at ways you can harness this skill. Write blogs on topical events, share your work experiences and write about topics your networks will be interested in. By doing this you will greatly enhance your online brand and will promote yourself as a thought leader in your specialist area.
With digital threats, viruses, spam and the new GDPR legislation this is more important than ever before. Network and information security skills are crucial for any business, and candidates with experience in this area may stand a better chance of being employed, especially for technical roles. A business may have its own network or outsource this to an external supplier.
In either case, the need for those skills remain critical and intricate to the good functioning of all digital operations. Also, if you are dealing with personal data in your organisation you will need to know about and have some experience with The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
Google offers a free video-based curriculum that helps to improve digital literacy for a wide range of people. Videos are produced to guide learners through researching and developing topics (teaching the importance of verifying sources) and online safety and digital well-being.
There are also shorter lessons available which teach people how to create an interactive presentation, and a resume, which will include designing, writing and formatting.
You can find out more here.
There are a number of digital skills training courses that are available either free of charge or for a small cost. These enable people to get up-to-date and build on a solid foundation.
For more tips on how you can ensure you are ready for the digital world, check out our handy candidate section. Alternatively you can get in touch with one of our expert consultants today to discuss your options.