NEXT Academy is Southeast Asia’s leading school for aspiring entrepreneurs, freelancers, software engineers, and digital marketers

Why Everyone Should Learn 1 Digital Skill In 2017

Our lives are being digitalized daily, be it via apps or social platforms. You should equip yourself with at least 1 digital skill to prepare yourself for the tech future!

Zoe Lim
April 10, 2017

Let's have a serious conversation about why everyone should learn a digital skill in 2017.

We're now living in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.We're talking about things like AI, robots, self-driving cars, genetic editing. The use of technology to automate business big time. Also, massive downsizing of companies due to automation. This revolution is about the dramatic change which is happening around us and at an exponential speed.

How does this impact us in ASEAN?

It doesn't matter if you're a senior-level manager or a mid-level executive.

World Economic Forums' report (WEF) - The Future Of Jobs states: At the pace the world is evolving, business models are changing so fast that massive disruptions are felt on skill sets for both current and emerging jobs across industries. One of the important findings is that in the next 5 years there's going to be a big shift in job demand.

Particularly less in office and administrative, production and manufacturing, more in Computer and Mathematical, Architecture and Engineering. The competition for these talents will be fierce. It's not surprising we've seen a growing trend in people looking to learn tech skills such as Coding and Digital Marketing.

Check this out from Google Trends (which is by the way, a really cool trend spotting online tool):

coding trends

Graph shows interest over time for people searching for "learn coding".

learn digital marketing trends

This graph shows interest over time for people searching for "learn digital marketing". The report by World Economic Forum goes on to say that technological changes will further shorten the shelf-life of employees' existing skill sets. Disruption by robotics and machine learning are completely replacing jobs, freeing up workers to focus on new tasks.

Even careers not directly affected by the job-stealing robots will have to figure out how to use technology to help the companies they work in stay competitive.

Another report by BurningGlass (A massive job-matching portal) released an alarming report on the urgency of acquiring digital skills for the middle-skill workers. (Middle skill is defined as jobs that require more than a high-school education but less than a Bachelor's Degree)

Nearly eight in 10 middle-skill jobs require digital skills. Spreadsheet and word processing proficiencies have become a baseline requirement for the majority of middle-skill opportunities (78%).

To give some perspective, in the US there are 7.2 Million middle-skill jobs. 6.2 million require Digital Skills. Not surprisingly, Digital-middle-skill workers receive on average 18% higher wage than their non-digital counterparts.

Let's look at employer trends, when it comes to upskilling their employees:

The Good

According to WEF's report, 2/3 of companies surveyed by them have intent to invest in reskilling their employees as part of their future workforce planning efforts. Hurrah!

The Not-So-Good

Many respondents know about the limitations to their current planning for disruptive change and its implications for the talent landscape. 53% of CHROs are confident about their current strategy.

Reason: Lack of understanding of the disruptive changes ahead, resource constraints, short term profitability pressures and lack of alignment, between HR & company strategies.

**The report made a couple of good suggestions to help companies cope with this change in talent disruption.

  1. HR people to sit in the strategic meetings to map out a plan together with the business side
  2. Take an active approach towards training, not just hire from existing talent pool
  3. Adopt flexible working arrangements, such as remote working, hiring freelancers to help them increase their talent pool reach and drive better results

Really mindblowing stuff, isn't it? Not to mention these big shifts are going to happen in the next 5 years, not 10. What about Malaysia?

digital marketing trends in malaysia

Great job Malaysia!

What this graph means is that the search term "Digital Marketing" is at its peak in 2017. We're seeing an increase in demand of Malaysians searching for digital skills to keep up with the state of digital and technology.

We hope that this article has given you some great insights.Look out for our next premium content article coming in a few days time to prepare you for our upcoming webinar.

Ready to learn?

Let's go