56% of employees lack digital skills needed for future jobs

Only 29% of employees globally said their digital skills are sufficient, according to a Vodafone report.

Why employers need to build workers' digital skills

More than half (56%) of employees worldwide said they don't have adequate digital skills needed for future jobs, according to a recent Vodafone report. While the US is considered one of the world's digital leaders, employees don't feel prepared to handle future digitization, the report noted.

The report, conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the Vodafone Institute, surveyed 9,000 employees across nine countries to determine employees' attitudes around the future of digitization. Overall, most counties felt like they lagged behind in learning future digital skills, the report found.

SEE: Digital transformation: A guide for CXOs (Tech Pro Research)

The majority of respondents (85%) said digital skills are necessities for their jobs, but only 29% of employees felt their skills are currently strong enough, according to the report. Specifically in the US, only 32% of respondents said their companies give them the opportunities or tools to continue gaining digital skills.

"This study really shines a light on the reality that employees do not feel prepared for future jobs. The good news is that individuals largely do not lack ambition for digital skills, what they're lacking is the support of their employer," Johan den Haan, CTO at Mendix, said in a Thursday press email commenting on the findings. "Digital has become the new 'language' employees are required to speak fluently, yet many businesses expect that without providing adequate learning opportunities or support to nurture new skills."

The majority of US employees felt that companies (26%) should be responsible for teaching and developing workers' digital skills. Coming in second, some 24% of respondents said the responsibility falls on the government to teach skills, the report added.

In China, on the other hand, more than half (53%) of respondents said they spend between one and five hours of their own time each week improving their digital skills, and 14% of employees said they spend even longer. The majority (76%) of respondents in China said they receive up to five or more hours of digital training each week, and 83% of respondents from India said the same, the report found.

Check out this TechRepublic article to learn more about why employer should help develop employees' digital skills.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • More than half (56%) of employees said they don't have the digital skills needed for future digitization. -- Vodafone, 2019
  • Most US employees pointed to employers as responsible for teaching and developing digital skills. -- Vodafone, 2019

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Image: iStockphoto/Olivier Le Moal