Do you need to study programming if you want to become a chef?

Thirty per cent of workers in the UK are in occupations either highly likely to grow as a share of the workforce or highly likely to shrink. 70% of UK jobs are much more uncertain. There is an opportunity for people within the uncertain or rapidly changing occupation to improve their prospects by investing in the right skills.

McKinsey predicts that 11.5 million adults in the UK who lack one or more of the five basic digital skills are more likely to face unemployment, poverty and poor health in 2020. Consider digital skills to be a top priority for the investment. They will offer a greater employability and job resilience. Occupations which we are more certain will have poor prospects (such as finance officers, HR professionals), are more likely to require a digital skill than the occupations that are most likely to grow by 2030. This is because the relationship between the digital intensity of an occupation and its potential for growth is not straightforward: there are occupations that are currently not digitally intensive, but are expected to grow in the next 10–15 years (Nesta, 2018), as varied as teachers and chefs.

The type of digital skills needed for a job will also make a difference in the future: digital skills most likely to be needed in growing occupations are ones that are used in non-routine tasks, problem-solving and the creation of digital outputs. The analysis carried out by Burning Glass in 2018 shows that skills related to using software for administrative purposes (e.g. payroll, accounting, supply chain, sales, etc.) are more prevalent in occupations that are predicted to decline. Examples of these software tools include ADP PayrollNavision and SAP Warehouse Management.

Those finding are corresponding with the research we conducted at PitchMe in order to build a skills map for internal use. We carried out the research of more than 40,000 online job boards, newspapers, and employer sites in the UK since 2017 and identified three groups of occupations, which will experience the rise of digital skills demand by 2020.

There are three categories of digitally intense occupations:

  • Door Openers: These are middle-skill occupations with a high demand for digital skills, but which are typically entry level and do not regularly require a bachelor’s degree.
  • Career Advancers: These positions are more advanced in both the level of required experience and the sophistication of the required digital capabilities than their feeder positions.
  • Specialised Roles: A set of specialized roles, especially in manufacturing and health care, that require domain- or even role-specific digital skills. This requires a base digital competency for workers to enter the profession.

Implications of the PitchMe findings:

· Digital skills promote advancement along career pathways: in addition to serving as baseline requirements to enter the market, digital skills provide concrete steps for movement towards higher paying jobs in career pathways. Employees adding additional digital skills have precise opportunities to advance.

· While advanced digital skills, especially coding and programming, are in high demand in high-skill occupations, there is a large set of digital skills that open opportunities for middle-skill workers. Basic CRM skills, such as use of Salesforce, and social media skills, are door openers into several high-paying career areas.

· Productivity software is a basic requirement across the fast growing occupations. Eight in 10 positions predicted to grow by 2030 demand facility with productivity software, and these digital jobs pay a premium over non-digital middle-skill roles.

Jobs are changing. Whether you are optimistic about the impact of digitalisation or fear an automated dystopia, it is clear that technological innovation will continue to reshape almost every workplace over the coming years. People who embrace new skills and ways of working throughout their careers are likely to thrive in this transforming environment; those who do not will be left behind.

P.S. If you are new here, let us tell you a bit about PitchMe. PitchMe is an AI based platform that helps you to get matched with your best fit job, for free. We capture your skills, measure them and pitch you to employers. Employers compete for your talent. To try PitchMe now and get matched with your next job, register here. Completing your profile takes less than 5 minutes.


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