Digital skills: technical, flexible and resilient profiles

Digital skills have become basic tools in taking advantage of the opportunities offered by technology from an economic, social and environmental point of view

📸 Soumil Kumar I Pexels

07/01/2022

Progress does not stop, and digital transformation is an undeniable reality. This forces us to adapt, something which is innate to a human being’s DNA. But the adoption of new digital tools needs to go hand in hand with proper use of technology, an aspect that is becoming increasingly important. 

All professions are undergoing a digital transformation. Data from the European Union suggest that in Spain half of all job offers are digital already. However, according to Telefónica Foundation, only 31% of Spaniards have the necessary digital skills to meet employment needs.

Since the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution-the technology revolution–the world has entered an unstoppable spiral of change. It is an evolution that has taken a qualitative (and quantitative) leap forward, driven by the situation experienced during the coronavirus pandemic, and which has highlighted the strengths of a connected economy.

At the same time, however, it has highlighted the shortcomings, i.e. what remains to be done in terms of digitisation. One of the shortcomings is the poor digital skills of some of the population, with particular incidence in those sectors that are undergoing an accelerated process of change within the field of education and in SMEs.

Digital skills have become basic tools in taking advantage of the opportunities offered by technology from an economic, social and environmental point of view, due to the rapid digital transformation of society and economy.

This translates into new, more accessible forms of communication and provision of services, new professional profiles, as well as new business opportunities for companies responding to global challenges. 

Guidance for new business needs

This technological transformation is capable of creating new possibilities for access to information, public services and economic activity throughout the country. The needs of companies change and the profiles must therefore adapt to these new needs. 

To this end, people’s profiles must be geared, to a large extent, towards this digital transition. This is reflected in the Employment Map, drawn up by Telefónica Foundation, which confirms that the digital skills most in demand in Spain are, in descending order: Java, JavaScript, Cloud computing, HTML, Git, Angular, CSS, Spring Framework, SAP Business Suite and Microsoft Azure.

This technological orientation must be built upon the adoption of knowledge and skills called “hard skills”, which include technical knowledge acquired through training (formal or informal) and previous experience.

This type of knowledge also needs constant retraining, since technology is ever-changing, as is our environment. 

In search of emotional skills 

However, to paraphrase Franklin D. Roosevelt, “with great power comes great responsibility.” And for technology to be put to good use, it is also important to develop other types of skills: the so-called “soft skills.” Said skills refer to those emotional and social competences that enable people to integrate into work teams and to be more flexible.

They are what makes a CV well-rounded, skills such as the ability to work in a team, creativity, resilience, active listening or the ability to adapt and learn, as the future of work is based on lifelong learning or constant training. This is why they are increasingly in demand by companies.

Why are these skills increasingly important? These are characteristics that make us human and differentiate us from those tools that are developed to perform automated tasks or any others that may be related to other technologies such as Artificial Intelligence. 

Professional retraining

Telefónica Educación Digital, TED, specialising in comprehensive online learning solutions, is tackling the labour megatrends of globalisation and technological change by reinventing professional profiles. 

This change is based on two formulas. The first is reskilling, or the acquisition of new skills for a completely different job than what has been done so far. This involves a complete retraining for a newly defined position and is mainly driven by technological change in companies. The second one is upskilling.

Thus, by learning new skills that are better suited to the current position, personal competences in the current job position are improved.

Both forms of updating and adapting the professional profile are highly recommended for freelancers and those who want to reposition their CV seeking to finding new jobs and avoiding the digital divide. 

The future of employment is connected to adapting to change in an increasingly connected world.


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