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Digital Skills in Online Job Ads in Germany – The share that required at least one digital skill rose from 38.1% in 2014 to 47.5% in 2018

Digitalization is becoming commonplace in the world of work. Of all the online job ads analyzed for the study, the share that required at least one digital skill rose from 38.1% in 2014 to 47.5% in 2018. In terms of the digital intensity of different types of jobs, the findings show that, in 2018, almost 80% of online job ads were for occupations for which digital skills and knowledge are a basic requirement. When qualification levels are examined, however, several key differences become apparent: Among high-skill jobs, 94% of the postings are for occupations that require digital skills, a figure that drops to only 62% for low-skill jobs, such as assistants in the logistics or catering industries.

Differences are also apparent across economic sectors. In addition to the information and communications industry, digitalization has become prevalent in the financial services and insurance industry, and among people providing professional, academic and technical services. Conversely, the hospitality and healthcare industries require relatively few digital skills, as do jobs in the social services sector. Those are the findings from our study carried out by the US-based data analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies.

Key Findings

• Digital skills are in high demand across occupations and over time. Across jobs of all skill levels, 79% of postings are in occupations that require digital skills.
◊ The most basic digital skill, “use a computer” grew fastest at a rate of 17% in the period 2014-2018. Baseline digital skills are also the most highly requested digital skills in job postings, with 22.3% of postings calling for “use a computer” and 12.1% calling for Microsoft Office.
◊ All occupation groups have increased in digitalization in the 2014-2018 period; those that were the least digital in 2014 grew in digitalization the most. Digital skills grew over time at a faster rate than non-digital skills.
• Regional differences in digital intensity of demand are largely driven by industry composition and digital intensity by industry. The most digitally intensive regions, including Regierungsbezirke (Administrative Districts)
Oberbayern and Stuttgart, reflect high levels of digital intensity within the automotive industry. Digital intensity of demand is also high in service-oriented areas such as Regierungsbezirk Frankfurt (Main). Some industries high in digitalization in other countries, such as Health Care in the US, show below average levels of digital intensity in Germany.
• Digitalization is correlated with various socioeconomic factors, including higher frequency of employing those with an Academic Qualification, higher salaries, and male- dominated occupations:
◊ Academic Qualifications are associated with high levels of digitalization: On average, the labor market employs 50% fewer people with an Academic Qualification than the most digital occupations. In contrast, the least digital occupations employ 78% fewer people with an Academic Qualification than the labor market overall.
◊ The average monthly salary for the least digital occupation is 60% lower than the average monthly salary for the most digital occupation. The most digital occupations enjoy a salary premium of 48% above the average occupation; the least digital occupations have an average salary 26% lower than the average occupation.
◊ All 10 of the top most digital occupations are highly male-dominated. No female- majority job has a digital score over 80. In contrast, in the United States, average digital scores for women are higher than those for men.

Conclusions and Outlook

• Job postings data can offer valuable insights into the demand for skills by employers in an economy. This information should be used when re-skilling workers to ensure their long-term employability – especially those at highest risk of losing their jobs due to digitalization and automation trends.
• Most workers in the economy would benefit from learning digital skills. These are valuable across education levels and demand for them is widespread across occupations. Nevertheless, efforts should be targeted at understanding and differentiating which digital skills would be most suitable for each education level. Studies like ours can be used as one source of information for such a process.
• The ability to analyze skills demand on a regional level can be very valuable to governments and businesses. Local digital skill requirements should be assessed in order to close digital skill gaps according to the specific challenges and mismatches faced by regional economies – something that information available in job ads can help with.
• Without well-designed efforts, the benefits from digitalization may become concentrated among high-salary, highly-educated, male- dominated occupations. Upskilling efforts in digital skills should consider groups who so far have not benefited from increased digitalization as much, including women and those without Academic Qualifications.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Digitalization in the German labor market: analyzing demand for digital skills in job vacancies

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