Digital transformation is changing the world as we know it, and the workplace is not an exception to the rule. For that reason, employers are looking for technical skills to match the skills demand in the workplace. By adopting a growth mindset, workers can fill the skills gap by learning the top digital skills employers are looking for.
It’s no longer secret that we live in a digitalized world. We have things like Self-driven cars, AI robots, flying cars, smart TVs etc. As more and more inventions spring up daily, now is the time to follow the trend and learn as many digital skills as possible to improve your career, earn a better income, reach more audiences, become your own boss and most importantly, become financially independent.
You may be wondering about the kind of digital skills you need to learn to keep up with the technological trends. Some of them include:
- Digital Marketing and social media
- Web Design/Development
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC)
- Email Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Video Editing
- Graphic Design
- Content Writing
- Mobile App Development
- Data Analytics
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
The best part yet? Anybody can learn digital skills as long as you have the passion, the willingness to learn and a computer system. You don’t need a degree to learn and start earning big.
What are Digital Skills?
Before we go into specific digital employability skills, let’s look at what they are. As more and more people go online to research, seek out information and purchase, companies of all shapes and sizes need people that know how to operate, promote and communicate online. Digital skills are crucial for businesses across industries that want to raise brand awareness, offer great social customer service, generate leads, and increase revenue.
Unesco’s definition of digital skills is ‘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.’
Students that learn digital skills not only make themselves more employable but future-proof their career by understanding key digital channels.
So let’s dive in to find out what are the top 10 employable skills for students and employers
Digital Marketing and social media
With traditional marketing media slowly dying off, the battlefield is now online. Recent statistics show that there are 4.66 billion active internet users online, or 59.5 percent of the world population. Therefore, with proper skills and training on how the internet works and what or how users are searching online, digital marketing has tremendous potential; and rightfully so.
With the help of analytics, digital marketers can create the perfect digital marketing strategy. Thus, they can craft digital marketing campaigns to promote their business or increase organic traffic with the help of search engine optimization (SEO).
While considering what digital skills to learn, digital marketing and social media is an approachable way to tap the potential of technology and directly impact the revenue of a business.
Web Design/Development (Coding)
Web Design Course has always been one of the most lucrative jobs which attract thousands of young ones every year. Web design is one of the important departments in any company and without which creative and beautiful website design cannot be imagined. Because of a promising career, the scope for creativity, high paying salary and challenging job, a lot of Nigerian youths go for website design
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in Google, Bing, and other search engines. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.
Here are a few basic questions to ask yourself about your website when you get started.
- Is my website showing up on Google?
- Do I serve high-quality content to users?
- Is my local business showing up on Google?
- Is my content fast and easy to access on all devices?
- Is my website secure?
- Great user experience including a fast load speed and compelling UX
- Title, URL, & description to draw high CTR in the rankings
- Crawl accessibility so engines can read your website
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Beyond social media, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is one of the most influential disciplines that marketers have come to rely on. To put things in perspective, 81% of internet users search online for a product or service to buy, with Google accounting for 70% of that traffic.
Students with SEM experience can increase the visibility of a company’s website on a search engine (e.g., Google or Bing) primarily via paid advertising. By doing so, the business will attract valuable web traffic from the search engine results page.
By using SEM, students will be able to capture precious organic search traffic results. That’s why marketers, content managers, and webmasters spend a great deal of time optimizing websites, particularly for mobile and ad campaigns to ensure the highest conversion rates possible.
Most companies are in the business of selling products or services and want to outshine their competition to be easily found online. During the Covid-19 pandemic the number of customers going online to purchase led to a spike in e-commerce transactions. According to Statista, in June 2020 there were almost 22 billion visits to retail sites up from 16 billion in January. Plus this online behavior shows no signs of slowing down post-Covid.
This means that jobseekers with a working knowledge of search marketing will be very valuable to organizations to ensure they are searchable and visible.
Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC)
According to Larry Kim, the average landing page conversion rate is 2.35% but the top 25% convert at double that, at 5.21% or higher. In addition, for every $92 spent on acquiring customers, only $1 is used to convert them.
As such, PPC is a popular way for brands to get traffic quickly. Companies with big budgets can get their search result to appear on Google’s first page to drive massive traffic. One popular PPC advertising model is Google’s AdWords program and a great way to monitor spend is by using a PPC for eCommerce tracker.
For the digitally adept jobseeker, understanding impressions, reach, cost-per-clic
One of the best ways to obtain and retain leads is via a tried and tested method: email.
Email is one of the oldest forms of direct marketing and still packs a punch in customer acquisition and retention. From startups to multinational corporations, a great email marketing strategy helps launch successful campaigns.
An experienced digital marketer knows that each funnel stage has to be carefully planned. From the signup page—including its placement on a website—to the welcome email, every step needs to be optimized to attract users and build engagement.
People may change social media accounts or home addresses, but people aren’t prone to change their email addresses. That’s why professionals that understand the power of email marketing to connect directly with consumers are in high demand.
Educators should not see email as an old-fashioned tool but challenge students to rethink ways to use email in their roles – current and future.
According to We Are Social and Hootsuite’s Digital 2021 report, mobile connectivity continues to grow, with 97% of the world’s population using mobile phones, and 96% of all active connections coming from smartphones. Since smartphone traffic now exceeds desktop traffic (64%), mobile-first indexing is now used by Google when crawling pages and prioritizing content.
To comprehend the impact of this change, we need only to look at Google who has created a mobile-friendly web app designed to test the usability and speed of mobile websites. Using mobile-friendly content can enhance your search presence amongst consumers who don’t have access to desktops.
Job seekers can use this knowledge to their advantage by optimizing campaigns using the latest developments in mobile search and user experience.
Video has evolved from being just a form of entertainment to a major social media content driver. YouTube is now a powerful and influential platform while networks like TikTok and Instagram have turned video on its head to create wealthy influencers.
Why is video so popular? With smartphone users becoming younger and younger, social media apps like WhatsApp, Weibo and WeChat are becoming the de-facto tools of instant message communication. In fact, WhatsApp has more than 2 billion users worldwide with most downloads being from the United States.
Video as content is easier to consume than other formats e.g. a blog post. It’s also more entertaining and appeals to Millennials. By combining the emotional power of social media video with the reach and scope of digital advertising, markets can tap into a growing market of engaged consumers.
To help your students advance their digital careers, we offer a range of great resources
Graphic design is a craft where professionals create visual content to communicate messages. By applying visual hierarchy and page layout techniques, designers use typography and pictures to meet users’ specific needs and focus on the logic of displaying elements in interactive designs, to optimize the user experience.
Popular graphic design tools
The graphic design tools that help get the job done. One of the most basic, and least expensive, tools designers use is a sketchbook. Graphic designers will often sketch out ideas or rough drafts on paper before turning to a computer to complete the process.
That being said, computers and design software are essentials in today’s digital climate, even if you are designing for print. The type of computer you need is based on preference, but when it comes to software, CorelDraw, Adobe products such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign are mainstays in the graphic design world. If you are just beginning and don’t want to commit to the high price tag Adobe products often carry, similar free open-source software such as GIMP can help you begin to master the basics.
Content comes in many forms – blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, even social media status updates.
Marketers may spend their time optimizing keywords and advertising campaigns, but content is still king. After all, a website or social media page is driven by its content and without it, customers have no way of understanding the benefits of a product or service.
Content is crucial in driving brand awareness and can establish brands or influencers as thought leaders. Therefore new hires need to understand the importance of creating not just content, but content that is relevant to keyword research and optimizing them in a strategy. With experience and knowledge in content marketing, students will have an valuable and employable skill that will set them up for a career in any industry.
Mobile App Development
Data analytics is one of the most prominent digital skills to learn in the digital age. The digital penetration in businesses has created so many digital touchpoints collecting data, thus making data analysts’ jobs a must in every industry. The data analytics application is business-wide. Its advantages cover many different roles from digital marketing to supply chain management, to name a few.
In the digital world, data is everywhere, carrying information from one point to the other. A data analyst is the necessary interpreter of that data trained to derive conclusions and give meaning. Understanding this information is the crucial step before using it to the business’ advantage.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
With the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), businesses can spice up the products and services they provide. This innovation can make them more relevant, customized and innovative and AI rightfully belongs to the digital skills to learn list.
You do not need to become an AI engineer to take advantage of what AI has on offer. You need to learn how AI and machine learning would impact your job and the business. Possessing that knowledge would make you an essential asset in any business setting. AI will undoubtedly revolutionize the way companies work as several AI tech solutions can improve internal processes and save costs.
Reasons why you need to learn Digital Skills in 2022
The reasons below are why acquiring digital skills should be your top priority in 2022.
1. Good Paying Job
There are jobs and there are good jobs. If you are looking to get a good-paying job in 2018, then your best bet is to acquire digital skills. As long as you are good at what you do, there will always be the need for your services.
Before, I use to think that there were no jobs so I ended up settling for random, unfulfilling jobs with little pay. This was until I realized the reason why people say there are no jobs is that majority of job seekers are fighting for the same jobs. Now I tell people one simple thing. Acquire one or more digital skills and say bye-bye to unemployment/underemployment. Trust me, I’m a living testimony.
Moreso, as the digital world evolves, so will the need for more & more digital skills. So irrespective of your profession, if you are searching for a job or you need to change an unfulfilling job, acquire a digital skill now!
2. Organizations are Digitally Evolving
Most organizations now know that majority of their customers are on the internet. This is why there is an increase in the demand for websites, digital marketing skills, mobile apps, content etc. Having one or more of these skills sets you apart from other candidates in the labour market. Even if you have a job, you are more useful to the organization than your colleagues due to your versatility.
Also, organizations are downsizing staff due to automation. People no longer need to go to banks to make a deposit, transfer money, open accounts etc. So in the nearest future, the ones who will be left with jobs are the ones who take advantage of the digital transformation.
3. Change your Career
Let’s face it! You probably don’t like your job either because you are being over utilized and underpaid or it’s not a career-fulfilling job. I was once in those shoes. But when I found out about digital marketing, I made the bold step to quit my job because there was no time to learn. The rest, as they say, is history.
Don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying you should quit your job as well but if you can dedicate few hours per day or week to learn and perfect one or more digital skills, then you are well on your way to becoming financially independent. You can start as an intern (which was what I did) and work your way up to the top from there.
4. Start/Grow your Business
With digital skills, you can start your own web design, digital marketing or content writing company. The owner of Ckdigital, Mr. Charles Dairo learned web design while he was still in school. Who says you can’t own your own web design company tomorrow. Other notable founders of top digital agencies in Nigeria started by learning as well.
Also, you can use digital skills like digital marketing, content writing, SEO to grow your business by creating brand awareness and reaching more people. Rather than pay a large sum of money to agencies to help you grow your business, having digital skills can go a long way in helping you maximize your Return on Investment (ROI).
5. Side Hustle
You have bills to pay, and having one source of income will not pay them all. This is why you need other sources of income. With digital skills, you can work as a freelancer for different organizations and still do your normal day job. There are many freelance sites you can work such as:
Many Nigerians are making thousands of dollars in a month just by freelancing. The amount you make depends on the amount of time you are willing to put in.
it’s now obvious that acquiring digital skills and gaining new qualifications is the key to achieving your dreams in this digital age. Those who take bold steps to learn new digital skills or to upskill themselves will be the ones to reap the benefits of long-term success. Though, all these require adequate planning, training, patience and the passion to succeed.
So whether you are looking to start your career, change your job, grow your business or get a promotion, failure to ignore learning digital skills can have unpleasant consequences in the long run.
Start a digital skills training today and ensure you aren’t left behind.
Adopting the necessary growth mindset that modern employees possess, this list serves as a good starting point. If you are on an upskilling path or looking for a career change, choosing to learn one (or more) of these digitals skills will certainly make you more relevant than others. In turn, this translates into increased chances to find a new career that will be future-proof for at least the near foreseeable future.