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The importance of digital skills for starting a career


When I was growing up, technology wasn’t introduced as early on as it can be now, but looking back, my first memories consisted of playing with my Nintendo DS’ and sneaking my dad’s laptop upstairs at any opportunity. My reliance on technology to communicate with friends and enjoy my spare time, soon became clear. Technology was an up and coming venture for my generation and was second nature to me as I grew up.

Throughout education, 'ICT' was either an opportunity to develop their knowledge, or for others, it was the chance to engage in games online. Unfortunately, I chose the latter. Distractions are all around you when using technology, which can put a strain on a young persons learning. Although I didn't use the time given at school to my full potential, I still gained skillsets within the likes of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint which I can thankfully say I use in my current job. You learn new digital skills everyday without even realising.

I finished education and have recently entered the workplace as a young person, and it's only now I realise how important basic digital skills are. Simple tasks such as using word processing applications to create documents, posting on social media and visiting forums appropriately, became part of my daily workload. It surprised me how much digital knowledge I didn't have behind me and how I needed to work on improving them as well as learning new skills for my apprenticeship. 

When I first started my journey with Practice Labs, I noticed the gap in my essential digital skillset, even as someone who had grown up surrounded with technology. Excel was one of the first signs. I soon discovered my skills within Excel and online security within the workplace were very limited. Luckily, Practice Labs gave me a head start by putting me through courses online to develop my knowledge in these areas. This is an example of experimental learning which has given me a hands-on experience whilst learning new skillsets within the digital world.

With so many people entering the working environment without the foundational skills research revealed;

EDSQ blog image (1)

Essential digital skills framework - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

This shows how big the skills gap actually is and how important EDSQ can be for young people and adults. 

At Practice Labs we offer a Digital Literacy live lab, which allows you to build on your confidence and practice your digital literacy skills needed for employment and lifelong learning. This is an entry level virtual lab.

You will explore:

  • The fundamentals of Microsoft Office
  • Learn about different types of hardware and software
  • Practice web browser tasks
  • Discover how to use operating systems and networks
  • Find out about Internet security and how to spot cybersecurity risks.

Digital skills are key in this current day and age. Ensure you fill the gaps.

My experience has shown me the importance of filling the digital skills gap before entering a new workplace. The last thing you want is to be ill prepared for a new career by being without essential skills. Being caught out can be avoided by making sure you are aligned with a business’s job spec before applying.

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