Learning Even Baseline Digital Skills Can Lead to Career Success
A new report by Capital One and labor analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies reveals the digital skills marketplace presents an opportunity for the two-thirds of Americans without four-year degrees to take part in the growing digital economy. These skills are so much in demand that jobs which require even baseline digital skills (spreadsheets or presentation software, for example) pay 17% higher wages than non-digital middle-skill jobs. Not only do these jobs pay more, but they also provide employees with a path for professional advancement.
Experts reveal how companies can help
As part of Capital One’s Future Edge initiative, we support nonprofit partners as they work to help people obtain these digital skills. Here several of these organizations share learnings on actions companies and technology leaders can take now to help people succeed in this digital age:
- Bridge the digital divide: “In an effort to get more people engaged in the digital economy, we must continue to focus on bridging the digital divide,” says Charleita M. Richardson, President & CEO of Partnership for the Future. “As time and technology advances, often people forget that individuals from lower socio-economic statuses still do not have access to the full scope of what technology has to offer.”
- Localize, educate and work to improve access: Bridgette Gray is Executive Vice President of Per Scholas, an organization that works to open doors to technology careers for workers from often overlooked communities. She notes that companies can influence participation in the digital economy in three ways: “Creating local content with local language and personalized services, alleviating fear by educating people on what it means to go ‘digital,’ and improving access and affordability.”
- Think beyond your usual talent pool: “Barriers to employment include informal gatekeepers to these positions,” says Valerie Westphal, Director of Continuing Education and Workforce Programs at the City University of New York (CUNY). “Our students don’t often have the social capital to tap into those informal networks,” so it’s important for organizations to create networking vehicles to help students make connections with employers.
Opportunity is scalable. It grows when it is shared. Investments in organizations that provide training in digital and professional skills improve the talent pipeline, push all levels of technology organizations forward, and benefit the communities we serve.
Learn more from a Mashable article: For better paying jobs and career potential, digital skills are key