A new report suggests that we may not be living as much in the “digital age” as you might think. The Salesforce 2022 Global Digital Skills Index found that 76% of respondents said they do not feel prepared for the future of work. That’s 3 out of every 4 workers across the world who think they’re not equipped with the digital skills required to succeed in the current and future workforce. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the study itself, some interesting tidbits to take note of (especially regarding the generational divide), and then finish up with a few ways organizations can help to close the digital skills gap.

Salesforce 2022 Global Digital Skills Index—Key Takeaways 

Salesforce conducted this survey across 19 countries between November and December 2021 and looked at 14 workplace digital skills ranging from cybersecurity to creative design and encryption. The survey also considered everyday digital skills like web navigation and social media. Based on the 23,000+ workers who completed the survey, here are some of the most interesting pieces of info:

  • Over half of respondents (51%) want to learn new skills to help them grow their careers… 
  • …but only 28% of respondents are actively involved in digital skills training. 
  • A mere 17% of respondents consider themselves “advanced” in workplace digital skills, while 49% consider themselves “beginner.” 
  • The use of collaboration technology is considered the most important digital workplace skill for workers over the next five years. 
  • There is a gap between everyday digital skills and those needed for work, especially among younger workers.
  • Younger respondents have greater confidence and ambition to learn new skills. 83% of Gen Z respondents are actively learning and training for skills needed over the next five years compared to 15% of Baby Boomers. 

Generational Divide 

Despite younger generations having greater confidence in their ability to learn new skills, their current outlook isn’t as optimistic as you might expect. Only 31% of Gen Z respondents—the first generation of truly “digital natives”—reported feeling “very equipped” for a digital-first job at the moment. And when it comes to advanced skills, Gen Z’s numbers are even lower—coding (20%), data encryption and cybersecurity (18%), and artificial intelligence (7%).

Of course, Baby Boomers report a bigger challenge. Only 17% believe they are “very equipped” for digital-first employment. 

How Organizations Can Help Close the Digital Skills Gap

If there’s any good news we can take away from this study, it’s that people are ready to take that next step of improving their digital abilities. 82% of respondents reported planning to learn new skills to help them grow in their current career, or even a new one. 

Whether they’d like to attract new talent or retain their star performers, businesses can provide training and educational opportunities to meet those eager workers on their skills journey. The question then becomes, where do you start? Respondents ranked these five digital skills as the most critical for businesses to invest in over the next five years, so we recommend starting here:

  1. Collaboration technology 
  2. Digital administration
  3. Encryption and cybersecurity
  4. eCommerce and digital trade
  5. Project management technology 

We’ve all experienced the shift to online work as a result of the pandemic, which has made workplace technology a “must-have”. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that a digital-first world requires a digital-first workforce. By developing programs to help workers succeed, you can empower employees and make an impact on the future of work.

And our team of senior-level technology consultants at Surety Systems can help you get there. By partnering with us, you can take advantage of our consultants’ years of experience in a variety of technologies, including JD Edwards, Kronos, Infor Lawson, Salesforce, SAP, and Workday. We can partner with your organization to train your employees on the technologies they need to succeed right now and in the future. 

Whatever sort of custom training you need, our experts have got you covered. Contact us today to get started.