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Two women working in a mechanics looking at an iPad to assist them with their work.
Not only are skills like digital literacy in demand, they also command higher salaries.

Digital literacy and employability

Did you know the demand for employees with digital literacy skills is growing? In this article, Trina Jorre de St Jorre discusses digital literacy in the workplace.

Globalisation and digital technologies have had a profound effect on the world of work.

Changes to the way we work

Workers now have access to digital tools and platforms that can access, curate and communicate an abundance of information and services.

Many industries have responded to these global shifts by making changes to their products and services, including how they are made and delivered, and competition in price and quality.

These changes affect the way we work.

For example, you might associate teamwork and communication as face-to-face skills, but virtual teams and a wide range of digital tools - from email, to apps, to virtual meetings – are becoming more and more common in the workplace.

The diversity of tools and information also means that we must be able to adopt new technologies. We must be able to identify, compare and select the tools and sources of information that are best suited for their purpose.

Ethical and legal use of information and maintaining the security and privacy of information is also paramount.

Demand for digital literacy is increasing

According to ‘The New Basics’ report, jobs that require digital literacy skills are not limited to those that are traditionally associated with technology.

Analysis of detailed occupation codes suggests that at least 90% of Australia’s workforce will need to use technology to communicate, find information and transact as part of their work over the next 2 - 5 years.

graphicSelect the image to open an accessible PDF version.

Source: Based on ‘The New Basics’, FYA ‘New Work Order’ report series (2016). Images: Getty

According to that same report, jobs requiring digital literacy skills were associated with a mean salary differential of AU$8,648 more than jobs without that skill. Employers are willing to pay more for employees that have enterprise skills such as digital literacy, communication, problem solving or financial literacy.

graphicSelect the image to open an accessible PDF version.

Source: Based on ‘The New Basics’, FYA ‘New Work Order’ report series (2016).

Your task

How important is digital literacy in your workplace, career or industry?

What is your prediction about the importance of digital literacy to jobs of the future?

Drawing on your own experience, knowledge or research, share and discuss your thoughts in the comments.

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This article is from the free online course:

Career Credentials: Evidence Your Expertise in Digital Literacy

Deakin University