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The Importance of Digital Economy Skills
Most resumes begin quite formulaically with a short section listing relevant employment skills such as conscientious, hardworking, and team player, however these are often recognized as well-known cliches. These are qualities that anyone can claim they have, but it really requires you to already have the job in order for others to judge how well you deliver on what you’re selling. Some people, however, have much more tangible skills to advertise.
Not your typical employment skills
These are hard skills, or technical ones that they’ve learned themselves, and which can end up having a real positive impact on a potential employers bottom line. Employers are obviously looking for people who will fit well into their organizational culture, and who are going to be able to competently perform their assigned duties, but they also want people who add unexpected value to the existing business. To add value, you need valuable skills. Below is a list of some of the most valuable new digital economy skills.
Learn to use Microsoft excel
For many people, the words ‘Microsoft Excel’ conjure up images of unbearable dryness. Eye-burning, multi-thousand cell spreadsheets containing next quarter’s budget projections, links to other spreadsheets, and headache-inducing colour-coordinated lists of names and dates. This, however, are basic Excel competencies. What we are talking about here is more advanced Excel skills such as understanding and creating macros, graphs, and complex formulas. You see, our current economy, and to much greater extent, the economy that current undergraduate students will be making their way into, is based on data analytics.
That, in fact, is the exact claim made by a 2017 article in Entrepreneur magazine entitled “Data Analytics Will be the DNA of the new Economy.” Most large companies are attempting to leverage data analytics in order to identify business potential and develop merchant and customer relationships. Being able to design macros for your employer (a skill that takes time to master) can help automate certain data analysis functions, compile information quicker, and provide decision making capabilities to your employer much more efficiently than manual work.
There are free (and paid) excel courses that you can take online, at your own pace, which you can work into your academic schedule (even easier if you are not currently taking a full course-load) that might end up giving you the edge when you start applying for jobs.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is the secret language of the world wide web. Most of what you see, click, and read online has been designed with SEO in mind. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it means creating content which will rank favourably, and highly on large search engines when you look for certain combinations of words (or keywords).
There is a reason certain companies and websites appear at the top of the Google rankings when you look for words associated with goods and services they provide: their written and multimedia content has been specially designed so that the Google algorithm recognizes their content as high, or the highest quality, and their webpages subsequently show up on top of the list of hits on Google. There are numerous guides on the internet which provide a list of free SEO learning resources.
If an employer recognizes that you understand the concept of SEO, especially if that employer currently does not have an employee or department specifically dedicated to SEO, your resume could very well move to the top of the pile, even if you don’t necessarily have the ‘work experience’ a given position claims to require.
Learn about the Adobe Creative Suite
The Adobe Creative Suite is the name given to a package of 15 different Adobe products used in everything from graphic design, to advertising, to all kinds of different multimedia development. It includes programs like Photoshop, After Effects, InDesign, Illustrator, Lightroom, Flash Builder and a number of others. Most people outside of a handful of creative industries either don’t receive any creative suite training during their education, or never have to use it on the job. This, however, doesn’t diminish its usefulness.
Adobe programs like Photoshop, InDesign, and Lightroom can be used to create logos, promotional and marketing material, advertising campaigns and much more. If an employer knows you are able to utilize these programs, and, more importantly, if they know you are able to provide a communication nexus between creative and more traditional business divisions, you have a unique skill set that will be hard to replicate. You might find yourself given more responsibility, more job flexibility, and be able to present yourself as a well-rounded, more versatile employee.
Social media marketing
The term ‘social media’ attached to anything has a bit of a buzzword feel to it, but the fact of the matter is, many companies, especially those who have been slow to adapt to the changing digital landscape, are well behind the social media curve. They don’t understand how it works, how companies can, and are expected to engage with their current and prospective client base, and why they need to pay as much attention to is as they should. Knowledge of things like cross platform promoting, how to edit and make short videos, tips for increasing traffic to various social media accounts, and how to put out social media PR fires are invaluable tools in the current digital economy – ones which many employers are in dire need of.
In addition to SEO and Microsoft Excel courses, there are a wide range of free and paid social media marketing courses and seminars, as well as hundreds of thousands of words of literature on the constantly evolving world of social media marketing, and doing business in the era of social media. All of this can help impart valuable digital economy knowledge and skills that make you a more attractive employee.
There will be times throughout your university career when you start to question if what you are learning, and, more importantly, what you are paying incredible sums of money for, is really setting you up for professional success in the future. If you find yourself in the middle of a course that you feel is holding you back from pursuing other, more fruitful educational and professional development, consider hiring a professional essay writing company like Homework Help Global. We offer a diverse range of professional essay writing services, which could help you find time to pursue some of the valuable digital economy employment skills mentioned above.
(2017). “Guide to the Best Free Sources for Learning SEO.” Marketing Insider Group. Retrieved from: https://marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/best-free-online-seo-courses/
Suh, A. (2017). “Data Analytics Will be the DNA of the New Economy.” Entrepreneur. Retrieved from: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/298906Share: