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Future Skills - The Importance of Digital Skills in the Digital Economy

The Digital Economy is defined in the G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative (2016) “broad range of economic activities” that use (i) “[digitised] information and knowledge as [key factors] of production”; (ii) “modern information networks as an important activity space”; as well as (iii) information & communication technology (ICT), to drive productivity growth.

According to a recent World Economic Forum report titled “Jobs of Tomorrow: Mapping Opportunity in the New Economy (2020)”, by 2022, close to 30% of new job opportunities

globally will be in data, artificial intelligence (AI), engineering and cloud computing. These trends reflect the growing potential of the Digital Economy that will impact the skills needed and job availability worldwide, including Singapore.

The 2021 Skills Demand for the Future Economy released by SkillsFuture Singapore discovered that Digital Economy jobs are required across all 23 sectors identified under Singapore’s Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) classified under Tech-lite and Tech-heavy roles. Tech-Lite roles that do not require specialized and advanced IT skills in roles such as data analysts, digital marketing analysts and customer insights specialists. On the other hand, Tech-Heavy roles include software engineers, data scientists and AI engineers. These roles are mostly demanded by sectors such as ICT, media, aerospace and land transport (Diagram 1)

Diagram 1: Breakdown of Tech Roles by Industry

As shown in Diagram 1, the majority of Digital Economy jobs in Singapore are tech-lite roles that can be found in many industries. These are not necessarily new job roles; they can include existing ones that evolve through digitalisation, requiring digital skills to perform new job functions and/or processes.

Diagram 2: Top 20 Clusters of Priority Skills for Tech-Heavy Roles in Digital Economy

Diagram 2 shows the Tech-heavy job roles that entail specialised and highly complex functions. The clusters of skills required for these job roles are critical to lead digital transformation in tech-reliant industries and organizations.

Why Students Need to Learn Digital Skills

As the digital economy continues to grow at an unprecedented speed, it has become critical for students to develop digital skills that will prepare them for future jobs due to the following reasons:

  • Increased Job Opportunities: The digital economy has created many new job opportunities. Students can position themselves for these new and emerging jobs with their digital skills to guarantee employment opportunities in the future.

  • Higher Salaries: Digital skills demand is projected to grow and will be in high demand. This translates into higher salaries than employees without these skills.

  • Competitive Advantage: In a competitive job market, having digital skills can give students a significant advantage. Employers demand that their workers possess a wide range of skills sets such as digital skills, social media marketing, web design, data analysis etc.

  • Entrepreneurship Opportunities: The digital economy opens up opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to utilise their digital skills and take advantage of emerging opportunities.

The digital economy has transformed the way businesses operate as well as how people communicate and interact with one another. Digital skills will help students position themselves for future job opportunities, earn higher wages and remain competitive in a competitive job market.

To find relevant courses that can help your students in their digital skills learning journey, you can consider some courses that Mastereign provides for secondary school students.

Courses we provide include:

  • Applications Developer

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engineer

  • Augmented Reality (AR) Designer

  • Blockchain Developer

  • Cyber Security Specialist

  • Data Analyst

  • Smart Homes Designer

  • User Experience (UX) Designer

  • User Interface (UI) Designer

  • Virtual Reality (VR) Designer

  • Web Developer

Contact our Education Consultants for more details in a discussion.


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