Digital skills on the labour market

Digital skills on the labour market

Microsoft and Ancor conducted a study, determining that Russian employers are in a short supply of employees with digital skills.

Digital skills on the labour market

Most of all, employees of Russian companies lack digital skills. This was stated by 44% of Russian employers. 24% of employees reported that digital skills are extremely important in their profession. In addition, experts observe an increase in the need for digital skills: they are close in importance to hard and soft skills and even outstrip soft skills in terms of investment attractiveness. 67% of employees are ready to invest in the development of their digital skills.

The most notable digital skills deficit is among professionals in the healthcare industry. At the same time, this sector is one of the three industries with the highest requirements for digital competencies of employees, along with consulting and retail.

Both employees and employers agree that skills need to be substantially updated at least once every three years to meet the modern technologies and needs of the company. More than 53% of executives consider a period of one to two years to be the best time to renew their skills.

As part of the study, digital skills were divided into three main levels: basic level (e-mail, knowledge of basic programs, computer literacy), intermediate level (digital marketing, graphic design, basic knowledge of programming languages, use of advanced programs for specific company goals) and advanced level (artificial intelligence, machine learning, Big Data, internet of things, virtual reality, advanced use of programming languages).

The report assumes an advanced level of digital skills.

Digital skills are critical in production, human resources, marketing, finance, and sales. The study is being conducted for the first year, so there is no data on how the statistics have changed over the past years.

Vitaly Terentyev, Director of the Special Projects Department at, notes that today digitalization has accelerated transformations in the labour market: the active introduction of digital technologies into the work processes of companies not only stimulates the development of the economy but also allows companies to build a successful business at super-speeds.

Today, it is most important for recruiters that digital skills are primarily owned by specialists with a technical background - they are in second place in importance among other skills required by employers (49%). At the same time, for specialists with a non-technical education, advanced digital skills are in the penultimate place (10%). For sales professionals, the skill is at 8%. Digital skills, according to recruiters, are almost insignificant for administrative personnel (3%), shares the results of the study Vitaly Terentyev.

He notes that digital and information technologies are at the top of the list of potential career paths today. This is likely due to not only increased opportunities in these areas and generally high wages, but also to the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers in almost every industry have already begun to worry that they might lose jobs due to advances in technology. 

“Therefore, many people are ready to either completely change their careers or undergo retraining. At the same time, the vast majority would like to “elevate” their skills or get new ones in the future (98%). Thus, according to a study by BCG and The Network with the participation of, more than 20% of respondents around the world working in the creative field or in the arts, media and consulting said they are ready to retrain to work in the digital field. In Russia, the figures are even higher: for example, 24% want to go digital from the creative sphere and the sphere of art, and 48% from the research sphere".

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