10 Digital Skills to master in 2021



In a COVID-19 context, with businesses and activities moving online, many economic, social, and educational actors acknowledged, sometimes to their own dismay, the urgency to invest in digital skills learning. Likewise, digital trailblazers such as Google or Microsoft led initiatives to help people acquire digital skills; in June 2020, Microsoft, together with LinkedIn and GitHub, launched resources to <<bring more digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of [2020]>>. To keep the wheels turning, follow up on Prisma European Network’s top 10 digital skills to master in 2021 and tell us which digital skill you will master this year.  The following list is not hierarchical, each skill was chosen on the basis of its presence in a corpus of articles listing the most sought-after digital skills. 


1: Blockchain

Since its creation in 2009, along with the birth of cryptocurrencies, Blockchain remained at the top of the most sought-after digital skills. Despite its longevity, there still is a shortage of competence in Blockchain. What is Blockchain ? Similar to an index, it is a base in which one can stock data. However, this database can be shared simultaneously and without any intermediary with as many users as necessary. All they need is the ability to access the database and edit it. As such, Blockchain is used to stock and disseminate information while benefiting from high levels of data security. 


2: Digital Business Analysis (DBA) 

Evidence-based policy-making, as well as leadership or marketing, needs data to be efficient., Data analysis provides decision-makers with essential knowledge on the use of their service, on their customers, on the context in which their actions are deployed …  so that data-driven decisions can be carried out. DBA allows for heightened effectiveness and returns on investment if applied to marketing. It can also benefit the public sector in tailoring its services to specific needs and capabilities. Across professional activities, data analysis is an essential tool to achieve a positive impact. It helps to understand what a  targeted audience wants or needs, as well as how to retain their attention, foster engagement, and efficiently provide for their needs. 


3: Data Visualization

Analyzing data is not enough. As not all professional actors are data literate, the competence to visualize complex data is crucial to decision-making. Data Visualization requires creativity, critical thinking, and technical skills.


4: User experience design (UX Design) 

Nowadays, heightened attention is being paid to the consumers’ experience of digital content. Drawing digital services’ updating from user’s interaction with such content allows for evidence-based decision-making. Changes are now objective, rather than solely derived from the decision-maker's directives that may not take into account the user’s experience of the digital content. A UX Designer needs to merge the strategies of his leader with the concrete experience of the user. A complex but collaborative task! 


5: Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing refers to the supply of digital services via the Internet. Using it, an NGO or firm can benefit from economies of scale as they do not need to invest in traditional software. Once on the cloud, coworkers can navigate swiftly through databases. It has been proven to facilitate collaboration and foster innovation in the workspace. Cloud Computing encircles many skills, from Programming to environment and database management or Cloud security. 


6: Social Media skills 

The mastery of this skill seems unavoidable: 2.5 billion users are active on social media, worldwide. Social media is the main channel of communication, at work and in daily life.  Knowledge needs to be acquired on the specific identity of each platform, on their interoperability, on the design of social media strategies as well as technical mastery of social media analytics tools. Related challenges include engagement, interactions, and traffic generation on the website. 


7: Smartphone skills 

Mobile connectivity is a strategic European public policy invested by the European Commission. Intensifying across the world, smartphone traffic now exceeds desktop traffic. To take into account a growing trend, firms, NGOs and public services need to adapt their digital services so that they become mobile-friendly, with the development of an App, the optimization of their website or the overhaul of their presence on social media. Related skills include Web Design or App Development


8: App development 

In 2020, over 592 million apps were downloaded every and the App Store registered more than 500 million weekly visits. If many firms have now developed their own apps, NGOs are still lagging behind despite great opportunities to digitize their activities on an app. App development requires skills such as Programming, as well as Web Development, Data Analysis or Ux-Design


9: Content creation: Videos

At the core of digital skills, video creation is becoming one of the most compelling digital content. Easier to consume than data or articles, videos reach a younger audience and can attain virality. Videos, once solely understood as entertainment, are now used to promote products, services or to share information. It is also versatile with competencies ranging from visual storytelling, video production, video editing, technical skills such as camerawork to special effect or post-production … 


10: Emailing

It may come as a surprise ... However, if one morning you woke up to hundreds of unread and superfluous emails, you must acknowledge that emailing is in its own right a most needed skill!  Emails can be powerful marketing and engagement tools with the Email Marketing Skill and have the potential of an effective yet simple communication channel. 

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