Businesses are already using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve workflows and supply chains. As a result, today’s job seekers must possess specialized digital skills to stand out from the crowd.
While some colleges, universities, and training providers have modified or expanded their curricula to meet the growing demand for digital know-how, many educators struggle to provide students with the necessary skills.
This blog reveals the ten most valuable digital skills educators should provide their students to land the top digital jobs across industries.
What are Digital Skills?
Let us first define digital employability skills. As more people use the internet to research, find information, and make purchases, businesses of all sizes require people who understand how to operate, promote, and communicate online. Digital skills are essential for companies across industries that want to increase brand awareness, provide excellent social customer service, lead generation, and increase revenue.
According to UNESCO, digital skills are a set of abilities that allow people to access and manage information using digital devices, communication applications, and networks. People can create and share digital content, communicate and collaborate, and solve problems to achieve practical and creative self-fulfillment in Life, learning, work, and social activities.’
Students who learn digital skills increase their employability and future-proof careers by understanding critical digital channels.
So, let’s look at the top ten employable skills for students and employers.
Social Media Marketing
A recent study found 4.2 billion active social media users worldwide. 4.15 billion of these are active mobile device users. These figures show a 13.2% increase in global social users in just one year, with no signs of slowing.
Understanding and effectively using social media is a core and valued skill every professional should have. Social media marketing is more than just sending out a tweet or updating your status on Facebook; it is about understanding the dynamic relationship between brands, influencers, and consumers. Simply put, businesses must reach out to customers to drive traffic to their website—or product—for potential conversion. It is also crucial in providing good customer service, as many customers use social media to ask questions or comment.
Educators who recognize the impact of social media should understand the complexities of each platform, from YouTube to TikTok marketing, and its potential to maximize community engagement to provide graduates with valuable and applicable skills.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Aside from social media, one of the most influential disciplines marketers have come to rely on is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). To put things into perspective, 81% of internet users search for a product or service to purchase online, with Google accounting for 70% of that traffic.
Students with SEO experience can use paid advertising to increase the visibility of a company’s website on a search engine (e.g., Google or Bing). As a result, the company will receive valuable web traffic from search engine results pages.
Students will be able to capture valuable organic search traffic results by using SEO. That is why marketers, content managers, and web admins spend so much time optimizing websites to achieve the highest conversion rates possible, especially for mobile and ad campaigns.
Most businesses sell products or services and want to outperform their competitors to be easily found online. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of customers who went online to purchase increased, increasing e-commerce transactions. Statista said nearly 22 billion people visited retail websites in June 2020, up from 16 billion in January. Furthermore, this online behavior shows no signs of abating post-Covid.
This means that job seekers with a working knowledge of search marketing will be extremely valuable to organizations in ensuring their visibility and searchability.
Many marketers used mass communications to target customers rather than data-driven precision marketing during Covid-19. This was a blunder. According to McKinsey, one consumer goods company predicted that demand for beauty products would rise as people came out of lockdown. They focused their media spending and saw a double-digit increase in sales by tracking re-openings and using data.
What is the takeaway? Data can provide a wealth of information to your students that, when used correctly, can result in effective marketing campaigns that drive conversions, sales, and revenue.
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” says Peter Drucker, a pioneer in management education and widely regarded as the father of modern management.
Data analytics enables students to make informed, data-driven decisions leading to better business insights. The numbers define the percentage of success of a campaign. The key is understanding what data to collect and measure to improve the next campaign. Companies do not want to waste money on marketing based on trends or gut feelings. It is all about maximizing the effectiveness of each campaign and optimizing the return on investment.
Analytics and SEO ensure that a company understands what its customers want and how to attract and retain their attention.
Send your students to this ‘Life as an Analyst’ podcast to learn about data analysis.
Blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, and even social media status updates are all examples of content.
Marketers may spend time optimizing keywords and ad campaigns, but the content remains king. After all, content drives a website or social media page; without it, customers cannot understand a product’s or service’s benefits.
Content is critical for increasing brand awareness and positioning brands or influencers as thought leaders. As a result, new hires must understand the significance of creating content relevant to keyword research and optimizing it in a strategy. Students who gain experience and knowledge in content marketing will have valuable and employable skills that will prepare them for a career in any industry.
Without “Email marketing” the list is incomplete. This is one of the most popular and effective internet marketing strategies. Because of its versatility, email marketing is a well-known digital marketing skill.
This type of marketing has been used effectively over the years to convert leads, engage dormant customers, build brand loyalty, and so on. Email marketing platforms such as Mailchimp, Mailpoet, Creative Mail, Constant Contact, and others are available online. The majority offer free mailing services for up to 1000 subscribers.
This is a highly paid skill that is used by the vast majority of businesses operating in the digital space. Graphics design is creating graphical images such as logos, posters, flyers, letterheads, infographics, and so on using a computer application package.
You can use CorelDRAW, Inkscape, and other programs to learn how to be a vector graphics designer. To be a raster graphics editor, you should learn to use Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, and other programs.
Canva is another online graphical tool that will help you. You can use the free basic plan to create logos, flyers, and other materials as a beginner. You can also look into other free graphic design software.
You don’t need to be an expert in coding to understand how websites work, but having a basic understanding of coding will help you add more customization to your website and become more familiar with how websites work.
Numerous online platforms and apps teach people how to code. The options are Codecademy, The Odin Project, Udemy, and Mimo.
Copywriting, a component of effective digital marketing, is a lucrative career opportunity because businesses always look for copywriters to help them increase sales, either as freelancers or as full-time offers.
If you want to learn this digital skill, use the Hemingway App. It is a free copywriting tool that ensures your copy is excellent and well-written.
Advanced Computer Skills
This is the first digital skill you should learn because it will make your work more flexible as you progress to other digital skills. Knowing basic computing skills will allow you to use tools like Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and others, as well as spreadsheet packages like Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, and others. This can include presentation software such as Google Slides, Microsoft PowerPoint, and others.
This digital skill enables you to present Data visually in charts or schematics. It is a critical skill because large datasets are useless if they cannot be efficiently understood. Knowledge of this skill gives you an advantage in management, allowing you to make critical business decisions.
Data visualization can also help you improve your digital content creation and communication skills. To learn data visualization, use beginner-friendly tools like Tableau and Power BI. Your ability to present visually appealing, interactive and compelling data is a significant advantage in the job market and will enhance your portfolio.
It is obvious that digital skills are required for activities in the digital space, and one only has a basic understanding of most of them.