Digital talent shortages – where will they end?

Digital upskilling offers a way to bridge the increasing talent gap, says Jelly Digital Marketing and PR founder Darian Kovacs.

Photo: Unsplash

By Darian Kovacs, founder of Jelly Digital Marketing and PR, and digital marketing school Jelly Academy.

We are living in an era where digital transformation is booming. Undoubtedly, our digital environment is rapidly changing due to the rise in social media, generative AI, and the increase in video content consumption.

With big changes come big barriers. And our global workforce is facing a shortage of digital talent.

According to a report by the World Economic Forum, by 2025, an estimated 50 percent of all employees will need reskilling due to adopting new technology. As many industries shift towards digitization, the demand for skilled professionals is increasing. With factors including our ageing population, reduced immigration of skilled workers, and the shift to remote work, the digital talent gap continues to widen.

There has been an accelerating pace of innovation in fields like artificial intelligence, data analytics, and digital marketing, requiring a workforce that can adapt and evolve alongside these changes. Many industries are struggling with an insatiable desire for individuals who possess these skills.

According to the 2022 Salesforce Digital Skills Index, 76 percent of global workers said they were unequipped for the future of work, with 82 percent of respondents saying they were planning to learn new skills to help them grow. With an increasingly tech-centric future coming our way, a critical question looms over us: “Where will the digital talent shortage end?”

There used to be a time when career paths were linear: go to college, get a degree, and start a career. However, digital transformation is disrupting that traditional path, and in 2023, continuous learning and digital upskilling are now coming to the forefront.

Continuous learning refers to the ongoing, self-motivated pursuit of knowledge, and digital upskilling is the process of acquiring or enhancing new skills. These methods are our solution to closing the digital talent gap. Now, it is just a matter of embracing it. Individuals who entertain continuous learning gain a competitive advantage and become more resilient, qualified, and equipped to handle fluctuations in the job market.

Companies can also benefit from supporting and encouraging continuous learning. It’s said that 70 percent of employees would likely leave their current jobs to work for a company known for investing in employee development and learning.

To an organization, continuous learning can contribute to organizational goals and innovation in the workplace, and reinforce employees’ sense of value and overall capability to meet the growing demands of our current workforce.

Individuals must embrace continuous learning and digital upskilling opportunities to keep up with the demand for skilled workers in the digital era, remain competitive in the job market, improve their employability, and foster innovation.

Darian Kovacs is the Indigenous founder of Vancouver-based SEO company Jelly Digital Marketing & PR and digital marketing school, Jelly Academy. He is the host of the podcast Marketing News Canada; is a contributing writer for the Globe and Mail, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Canadian Business Quarterly, Future Economy; and is on the board of NPower Canada. He was recently nominated by SME Magazine as Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year. Darian lives in Fort Langley with his wife and four children, and likes to mountain bike, watercolour and read in his free time.

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