The Disparity in Skills and Industry Needs: Why We Need Digital Initiatives

A digital initiative is an effort to connect people regardless of distance in order to increase digital literacy and bring us closer to the next industrial revolution. Why has the digital initiative become so important in the path to restore the economy and industry post-pandemic? This is because there’s a disparity between human resources’ stagnant skills and increasing industry demands.

This topic was discussed by Ricky Haryadi (Partner Technology Lead of Microsoft Indonesia) in the second session of the ‘Connecting the Dots’ webinar series, held by BINUS Business School and BINUS Graduate Program. Ricky Haryadi is an alumnus of the Master of Management program at BINUS Business School and has been working in the IT industry for 8 years. This session was held via Zoom and YouTube on March 19, 2021.

COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation

COVID-19 brought change not just in our society, but also in business operations. In fact, since the pre-pandemic era, several companies were planning their own digital transformation frameworks with the goal of innovating and as a step to make their operations more cost-efficient.

At the start of the pandemic, it was clear how the companies that survived the crisis were the same companies that had moved towards digital transformation or at the very least had planned on it. The goal of transforming digitally had shifted, from the goal of cutting operational costs to fulfilling the new market demands.

Moreover, Satya Nadella as the CEO of Microsoft stated that in only two months, the world had seen two years’ worth of digital transformation. So, it’s safe to say that digital technology advancement will move faster than we thought before.

High demand jobs need technical skills

The shift in market demands that resulted in business transition is also influential in the current job opportunities. Ricky uncovered data from Microsoft that claimed 800 million people would need to learn new skills by 2030 and 149 million new tech jobs would arise in the next five years.

We don’t have to wait for the upcoming years; the disparity between our human resources and technical skills is very apparent even now. Based on data gathered by LinkedIn, most of the ten most in-demand jobs require technical skills.

Furthermore, if we analyze further, all ten of the most in-demand jobs are guaranteed to rely on digital technology. Several of which are software developers, sales representatives, IT support, financial analysts, and graphic designers.

Lack of tools and drive to learn more

Speaking of technical skills, we also must discuss the learning process on hand. The conventional classroom learning concept needs to be left behind because digital initiatives should be about preparing for a continuous learning system, available for anyone. So far, the biggest challenge of technical skills development is the lack of tools and drive to learn.

The things that we studied at school most probably are no longer relevant in the upcoming years. So, what skills do we need to stay on track with our careers? This is the importance of the digital initiative, to help create new technical skills learning and development that are needed by the industry.

Hard to match skills with jobs

After requiring the technical skills needed and learning new things, the next challenge would be how to match the skills that we have with the available jobs. Have you ever felt lost while thinking about which career would best suit your passion and skills?

Students often feel this confusion, but a lot of workers in their productive years also feel this dread. Therefore, the digital initiative is needed to match the technical skills with the right job position, for example, platforms like LinkedIn.

How Microsoft seeks to help

In answering the present challenges, Microsoft has its own mission to help build a greater Indonesia. The solution is to launch the Digital Skills Initiative, part of a partnership with LinkedIn and GitHub. This program is not only made to empower the human resources in Indonesia but also to increase digital skills and literacy. Microsoft provides free tools, systems, and skill learning content to job seekers, students, educators, and employers, so together we can push for inclusive economic recovery.