The third one is of special interest if you don’t plan to die anytime soon…

Three Reasons to Study Digital Skills — and Three Pieces of Advice.

Things you should know before embarking into a digital course.

Alvaro Perez
The Startup
Published in
5 min readSep 18, 2020

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Yes, studying a digital course is a great idea. But if you need some reasons to reassure you a little bit, here you have three — with three tips that you can apply while you are at it.

Reason #1: digital skills are more and more in-demand, but change fast

Many of us are geographically restrained because of the pandemic, but the chances to move are broader than ever. Remote jobs and home offices are all around in 2020. The opportunities are vast for those with the right knowledge and skills because companies will look for talent anywhere. Several investigations have supported the benefits of workforce diversity, driving innovation, and results. According to McKinsey, companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians.

Online learning platforms such as Udacity, Coursera, or Udemy are supporting organizations to avoid digital disruption by offering digital courses to their employees. What are these courses about? According to LinkedIn, the most in-demand hard skills in 2020 are blockchain, cloud and distributed computing, strategic/analytical thinking, UX design, business analysis, affiliate marketing, sales, scientific computing, and video production.

But these demanded digital skills will change. We will need to up-skill and remain curious forever.

Some workers in industries in decline fall into negative spirals: most career transitions go into other declining jobs in never-ending loopbacks. Technology skills are important, but they have a shorter-than-average lifespan and it is easier than ever to gain the skills needed, so soft skills like adaptability and resilience are in high demand — and more they will be. And then you have the ever-increasing labor interference: the one who mines the data is more and more often required to do some storytelling around it. The separation of roles is burning.

Tip: develop a breadth of knowledge and curiosity to learn about everything

Some things seem not to go with you. You are an accountant, a Finance woman o man, you look at numbers, you do accounts. You may have a 15-year-old son who spends his time on Twitch streaming videogames like Call of duty or Among Us. And you think it is all a waste of time and money when they ask you for microphones, webcams, and lightning. And then 2020 arrives and everyone is suffering the most terrible Zoom and Google Meet presentations ever. There are basic principles to look good in video conferences that have to do with correct lighting, placing the camera at eye level even with books, etc. in which perhaps you had not stopped to think because you never had these many video calls and you believed those lightning and audio and video production things were for gamers or filmmakers or photographers. But they are necessary as hell in this new world. And you may not need to learn how to use OBS Studio, but always ask yourself how can youlearn to use tools to improve you productivity. Keep always an open mind towards knowledge.

Reason #2: freedom and independence.

You need not think about your job when seeking to expand your digital knowledge. For the dreamers, there is room to imagine building the world or life we want. Can you imagine a world where technology helps everyone succeed and prosper? There are people setting up eCommerce sites and earning a second stream of income or even dedicating themselves only to that. There are people studying new digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies and Fintech, and making a lot of money out of it. But to make that money or gain that freedom, you need to know what you are doing or investing in.

Tip: traditional university degrees will get more and more depreciated. Learn practical things.

Some degrees are accolades for social recognition. But more and more companies are going to overcome language and geographic barriers, and it will be easier for them to hire someone who does the job better, maybe for less money. Knowledge is going atomized. A degree in Computer Science is great, but also is a broad specimen, ranging from design to software development to hardware management. Companies are going to require things more and more specialized, and if you missed the chance to study a technical degree, now is your opportunity to find your new niche. Gain a required skill, learn to do things in high demand for employers, or that serve your life purposes.

Reason #3: be aware of the future

Some people fear robots replacing human workers. While this may hold true for some people and employments, this is the wrong way of looking at it. While digitalization is indeed altering the workforce, it is less about subtracting and more about adding. Automation will make it possible to produce more goods with less energy. While this will threaten people to unemployment or lower wages, higher productivity will translate into lower prices, novel products, higher aggregate demand, and more employment. But it is not just about job creation, but also about new skills. Those you want to learn to avoid that gap.

Tip: boost your online presence and branding

I love this quote by Gary Vaynerchuck: “the number one mistake e are all doing is not generating enough content”. And if you don’t know Gary, I recommend that you search for him on social media and follow him for more advice. If you are now learning new stuff and gaining fresh kills, you might want as well people to notice. Before, degrees were almost the only way. Now you can create and broadcast content. You can teach on Udemy, you can post videos on YouTube showing how you solved a problem. You can learn to use social networks to sell or to communicate professional content. Instagram is not just about vain vacation photos. Companies go there more and more and use less and less traditional media.

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Alvaro Perez
The Startup

I blog about innovation, technology and digital transformation. Check my site at sagabria.com