What is digital upskilling? And who needs to implement it?


As we enter a new era of digital growth, commonly dubbed ‘the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, job displacement, talent shortages and skills gaps are increasingly becoming the norm.

PwC describes the digital transformation as ‘a new world that needs new skills’. And considering the skills gap in the US is expected to total a loss of $8.5 trillion by 2030, something has to change.

That’s where digital upskilling comes in - it can prepare your organization for success. But what is it? We’ll answer all your questions and more in this blog:



What is digital upskilling?

Digital upskilling provides employees with the training and opportunities to utilize ever-changing and developing digital technologies in the workplace. Although this may sound simple, it isn’t as basic as teaching an employee how to use a new digital device or platform.

It's about the whole process — how to think, strategize and advance in a digitally transforming world.

Why is digital training becoming an increasingly important part of organizational strategies and goals? There are currently an estimated 1.37 million workers in the US who are projected to be displaced in the next decade due to technological advancements. Digital reskilling helps close the skills gaps that are becoming increasingly present and enhance current workforce capabilities.


The organizational benefits of digital upskilling.

If organizations want to grow and succeed in the digital age, then digital upskilling can’t be ignored. 54% of organizations surveyed by Capgemini and LinkedIn stated the digital talent gap is hampering their digital transformation programs and they have lost competitive advantage as a result.

There are many organizational benefits training in digital skills can help achieve. The first and most obvious benefit is it prepares your employees and organization for the future. 

The technological revolution shows no signs of slowing down, so to ensure organizations keep up, investment in training and upskilling is essential for business success in the future.

Another way to deal with the digital talent gap is by recruiting skilled experts, but this doesn’t mean it’s a better alternative to education. Hiring new talent can take time, cost money and there’s always a risk that skilled candidates might be poached by other organizations or tempted to move to new, higher-paying positions. 

Upskilling your current employees minimizes the risks associated with the recruitment process and allows you to train your employees in a way that best suits your organization’s needs and goals.

However, the benefits don’t just exist for the organization itself — employees also have a lot to gain. Digital upskilling gives them the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the future, which will be transferable to other roles, disciplines and areas of life. On top of this, an organization's investment in learning and development will also motivate employees, meaning it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.


How to implement a digital upskilling program.

While digital upskilling will ensure the continuity of the workforce within your organization, implementing a program requires all stakeholders to work together to achieve true digital transformation success.

There are traditionally two routes you can take — creating a program in-house with your own learning and development team or working with a qualified external provider.

While there are some benefits to creating a platform in-house, working with a provider removes a lot of the extra leg work. You can often capitalize on their experience and skills in the area.

First of all, you shouldn’t create a digital upskilling program just for the sake of it. Your program should be closely aligned with your organizational goals to measure and determine whether the initiative is worthwhile and if it provides valuable ROI.

A key determinant of success for upskilling programs is employee engagement. Employee engagement is essential to make sure skills are learned, the knowledge will stick and the training is actionable in real-life settings. 

45% of employees surveyed by Capgemini described their organization's training program as ‘useless and boring’, meaning uptake will be low and the quality of learning may suffer.

Working with an external digital skills provider will ensure your upskilling program is successful. They can work with you to determine your learning objectives and provide the content and lessons to match, as well as allowing you to report on the success of the program.


Start your digital upskilling journey today.

You’re ready to invest and you’re looking for the right partner, but you don’t know where to start? We get it. The learning and development landscape can be tough to navigate, with many providers available, all claiming to offer the best solution.

We’re here to help you break through the noise and find the provider that works for you. To get started, download our comparison guide, where we’ll take you through the benefits and drawbacks of some of the biggest players and showcase what we at Circus Street have to offer.


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