Welcome to the next article in our National Careers Week series – the theme for 2022 is “Career. More than just a job” and we’ve taken an in-depth look into what your career actually is, and what you can do to take control over it.
Today, we dive into digital literacy, and in other posts we’ll look at:
- The difference between career, job, and work
- What it means to be a lifelong learner
- What you can do with your core skills
- When things go wrong and how to handle career chaos
- When is the right time to start learning about careers
- How to find career-related information you can rely on
The Foundation for Young Australians has predicted that within a couple of years around half of all people in the workforce will need the digital skills to use, configure and build digital systems.
That’s a lot of people who will need to be digitally literate.
The driving force behind this is the rapid pace of technological advancement across every industry – more repetitive, simple tasks are being automated, and to keep up you need to be able to use the systems that are replacing them.
Fortunately, most of the young people who are entering the workforce are considered to be ‘digital natives’, but knowing how to wield an iPad does not equate to having the digital skills needed for the workplace.
That’s why in this article we’ve taken a look at what digital literacy is, and what it could mean for your career.
Am I digitally literate?
Back in 2015, a UK Government committee categorised digital literacy into four levels in the Make or Break report.
- Digital Muggle – No skills – “technology may as well be magic”
- Digital Citizen – Can use tech in daily life, for example to buy things online, look up an address, chat on zoom, or send and receive email.
- Digital Worker – These people understand technology and can choose and configure digital systems. A basic understanding of coding may be necessary. These people could build a website with WordPress, set up an email server, or integrate new technology into the workplace.
- Digital Maker – They have advanced digital skills and can create digital technology.
The same report breaks down the percentage of each digital group, and found that there are more jobs that require the highest level of skill than there are jobs which require no skills (UK figures).
Where do you think you fit in?
Digital Literacy is in demand
As the number of jobs that require digital skills grows, the number of jobs that don’t require those skills is shrinking. This doesn’t mean that you need to take computer science at school (although it could be a good idea, and not many students take it), but it does mean that having digital skills could increase your employability, and open up access to a wider range of jobs.
What can you do about it?
One of the good things about digital technology is that there are literally thousands of ways to learn the skills you need, and you can access just about all of them online and for free.
If you want general knowledge then perhaps look for an online introduction course, otherwise you can learn specific skills in a few different ways.
The most obvious is to get stuck in and start building sites. WordPress is free to download and use – and they state that 41% of the web uses WordPress, so you’re in good company. W3Schools provide a huge range of web tutorials that cover the main programming languages.
Next in the National Careers Week Series we’ll be looking at when we should be teaching about careers.