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What are digital skills or competences

August 26, 2020
August 26, 2020 Njla772

When we talk about professional digital skills, Genis Roca you're clear on that. We're not digital natives because we have a Playstation at home. It's not about using a word processor, but about knowing how to use knowledge resources in networks.

The illiterates of the 21st century are not those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.

Alvin Tofler

What is digital competition

The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training defines digital competence as follows:

The digital literacy (CD) is one that involves the creative, critical and safe use of information and communication technologies to achieve goals related to work, employability, learning, leisure, inclusion and participation in society.

The proper development of digital competence needs to be addressed:


Ministry of Education and Vocational Training



According to the UNESCOare defined as a spectrum of skills that facilitate the use of digital devices, communication applications and networks to access and better manage information. These skills enable people to create and exchange digital content, to communicate and collaborate, and to solve problems for effective and creative development in life, work and society at large.



From GoogleAs a result, digital skills are seen as a lever for equality and for fighting the digital divide. On their website, they offer a free training course in the use of operating systems, security systems and communication.

Digital skills for professionals from Google


The evolution of digital skills

In this fascinating TEDxTalk, Genis Roca explains the characteristics of the digital transformation, and why they are so disruptive, changing our society profoundly.


Digital technology has changed both production systems and knowledge transmission systems.

On the one hand, the digital transformation has brought about important changes in production and business models. We are talking more and more about subscription models, replacing ownership models. Some people still buy their own car, but leasing models, changing the car every 2 or 3 years, is becoming more common. In urban areas, even the models of the so-called collaborative economy appear, such as Uber or Cabify, which allow to do without the ownership of a vehicle or accommodation. In some areas of England, the 25% of homes are on the AirBnB platform. Similarly, we no longer buy music on vinyl or CD, but subscribe to a service with a monthly fee, either Spotify or Netflix.

We have platforms to create and publish our own content, such as videos on YouTube, Podcasts on Spotify or Articles on our Blog. There are more and more amateur creators, who do not have a professional training as photographers, journalists, etc.

The Internet is the space that has allowed anyone to generate and publish

This requires the acquisition of information management skills. We have to learn how to search, how to assess the validity of information, how to recognise hoaxes, etc. And it is not only humans who are creating content. The 25% of tweets denying climate change are created by bots.

Having a Facebook profile or Cabify account and searching for accommodation on AirBnB is not equivalent to being a digital native.



What are the most relevant digital skills in the professional sector

According to studies such as the ICEMDIn the field of digital technology, 23 key digital disciplines in the workplace are highlighted:

Keep up with the digitization: Industry 4.0

Digitization and Industry 4.0 are already causing major changes in our daily lives and in our world in terms of information and work. However, these numerous changes have not yet become clearly visible and understandable. For the same reason, it is especially important to pay attention to the large amount of new information and all innovations. To do so, it is necessary to acquire digital skills. The authors of the framework concept have defined exactly what that might entail in five different areas of competence.

1. Information and innovation go hand in hand

Information and data competence and data processingWhether in the field of science, the skilled and specialized work sector or in industry: to keep up with the latest developments in your area of expertise, today you have the ability to search for information online with the help of various search engines, and to be able to filter, evaluate and manage the enormous amounts of data, content and results obtained in searches.


2. Communication and project management

Competence area 2 includes communication and cooperation, important skills for project management Communication via email, mobile devices and voice over IP, such as Skype or Google Meet, is already routine, but data and content are also increasingly exchanged and shared in the world of work. More and more services, whether at the bank, in the hospital or in municipal administrations, are managed digitally. Communication with digital tools follows certain rules. Even the popular German book of social behaviour rules, 'Knigge', has a section on social network etiquette.


3. Active participation in the Internet with your own content

Competence area 3 comprises all skills related to the creation of digital content. Texts, tables, images and illustrations, audio files, videos and tutorials: all this content is developed, produced and integrated into existing structures. For these purposes, knowledge of copyright and licensing issues is necessary, and (basic) programming skills are also useful.


4. On the safe side: new corporate culture and staff development

Area of competence 4 involves the securityThis is a particularly important issue in terms of corporate culture and staff development. In this case, it is a matter of effectively protecting your own devices, content and applications, so that important company data (and, of course, private personal data) relating to employees or customers, for example, cannot be stolen (hacked). However, the EU Commission also includes the protection of health and welfare (including important energy saving measures) in this area, as we are now aware that the extensive use of digital technologies can cause health damage (vision, sleep problems...). Responsible managers must keep an eye on digital security.


5. Problems are there to be solved

Competence area 5 covers all problem-solving skillsbecause the authors have realized that technical problems of all kinds are a natural part of digitization and in the digital ecosystem. New devices, programs and applications increasingly require new skills, and adjustments rarely occur without incident. Whether as a private individual, employee or member of management: digital evolution more or less frequently causes people to find gaps in their knowledge, having to regularly update their digital skills, and also perform support tasks for their colleagues and colleagues.



Recommended reading

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Proyecto Cofinanciado por el Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional. Beneficiario: Conecta Software Soluciones SLU. Nº expediente: EATIC2019010001. Inversión Aprobada: 173.800,00 €. Comienzo: 01/04/2019. Finalización: 30/09/2020. El presente proyecto tiene como objetivo el desarrollo de una capa de usuario multilingüe y dashboards para entornos web y windows de solución de Business Intelligence.

Project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. Beneficiary: Conecta Software Soluciones SLU. File number: PI2019010001. Approved Investment: 6,444.80 Start date: 17/10/2018. Completion: 16/10/2019. The present project aims at developing a connector software that automates the generation of virtual catalogues so that the company can offer in its Online Store products with a wide description and with images that make the user experience richer and more complete.


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