Digital skills for everyone
We live in an increasingly digital world – online tools are more and more used in our daily life activities, ranging from online banking and administrative services to the way we spend our free time. The COVID-19 pandemic made this phenomenon even more evident. Schools shifted to an online learning system; food and medicine could be delivered at our door with a few quick clicks; even the daily entertainment, from cultural events to gym training sessions, moved to online spaces. All these solutions were possible thanks to emerging technologies.
And yet, not everyone is able to use the advantages offered by the digital transformation. According to the latest DESI Index, as many as 42% of Europeans still lack at least basic digital skills. This means that almost a half of our society cannot catch up with their family members via a video call, pay their bills with online payments or process an e-prescription at a pharmacy.
Gaps in digital skills are a challenge – they can create a huge digital divide between people who can make use of the opportunities that emerging technologies provide, and those, who, often unfairly, do not have the capacity to fully benefit from these advantages. There are many actors who should work together to make digital skills a standard for everyone – policy-makers, educational institutions, industry, civil society organisations, and others. And while they collaborate on creating high-level strategies and tools for teaching these skills, regular citizens can contribute too. How? By being proactive, investing their time in building new competences, welcoming new learning experiences. Digital SkillUp is a great place to start.
Skills on emerging technologies
Among various technological developments, the wave of emerging technologies is impacting businesses and citizens all across the globe. It continues to fundamentally transform the economy and society in almost every aspect of living.
Although emerging technologies bring up some challenges in themselves, they offer an enormous potential to reinvent business processes, make our daily lives safer and more comfortable, and boost the European economy. No surprise that these technologies have already convinced the majority of Europeans. According to the European Barometer (2017), 75% of European citizens think that the most recent digital technologies have a positive impact on the economy; 67% think these technologies improve their quality of life, while 64% consider emerging technologies to positively impact our society.
Why should we know more about emerging technologies? First and foremost, to make sure we apply them to our benefit in a safe and responsible way. Think about smart devices – a smart TV, lighting system or coffee machine can save us time and bring extra quality to our lives, not to mention their accessibility features. But at the same time, we should understand how they work in order to protect them from being hacked. On the other hand, comprehending the basic principles of media algorithms and the technology behind them can make us more aware content consumers.
To boost effectiveness and productivity, European businesses are incorporating emerging technologies into their processes at a great speed. From big data analysis, to cybersecurity measures to the adoption of IoT, blockchain, AI or robotics – all those topics are on the radar of European companies. Especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), emerging technologies offer a great way to become more competitive in the market. But the fast pace of technological advancement paired with the lack of adequate on-the-job training, often makes it difficult for employees to keep up with the newly implemented and continuously updated solutions. Now here comes the opportunity: considering that in the future, 9 out of 10 jobs will require to have digital skills, all of us will have to adjust our digital competencies. Befriending emerging technologies sooner rather than later will provide a good start into a new digital career across the EU and in the global market.
Why else should we skill up to use the newest technologies? Here are a few more ideas:
The implementation of emerging technologies comes with new employment opportunities.
New skills and knowledge can boost our entrepreneurial mindset and contribute to developing new business ideas.
Increased productivity of individuals and teams can improve the outputs of the entire organisation.
Wider automation of repetitive tasks can help to skip all boring and monotonous tasks, making space for performing higher-value, more creative activities.
Becoming conscious users will help to apply emerging technologies to our advantage and protect ourselves from possible cyberthreats.
Are you ready to boost your knowledge?