Digital Skills Academy: The Ultimate Guide To Digital Skills
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That we are living in a highly digitalized world is no longer news and the need for digital skills has moved from “essential” to “required” in almost all industries including agriculture.
The COVID-19 pandemic was quite instrumental in accelerating this need as billions of people were locked up in their houses across the cities of the world and communication, commerce and work restricted to only digital devices. The need for digital skills became apparent and the need for digital skills academy became immediate.
Some people who are currently caught in the web are asking what are digital skills and why do I need them. May be you too are asking the same question and that’s what brought you here. In this brief article, I will attempt to answer your question and also proffer solution on how to easily acquire basic digital skills which is a MUST for anyone desiring to advance whether in career or business today.
What are Digital Skills
According to UNESCO, Digital Skills are defined as a range of abilities to use digital devices, communication applications and network to access and manage information. They enable people to create and share digital content, communicate and collaborate, and solve problems for effective and creative self-fulfillment in life, learning, work, and social activities at large.
In other words, digital skills are the abilities to use digital devices, communication, application and networks for business, work and leisure. It can range from basic online searching and emailing to specialist in programming and development.
Basic Digital Skills
According to futurelearn.com and quoting a framework written by Department of Education (DfE) UK, alongside Accenture and other organizations outlines the basic digital skills under six areas:
(i) Digital foundation skills: These are fundamentals of being able to use digital technologies such as using a browser, connecting to the internet, and keeping passwords secured.
(ii) Communicating: Sending emails securely, using attachments, and participating on social media.
(iii) Handling information and content: Using search engines, being aware that not all online contents are reliable, accessing content across the devices.
(iv) Transacting: Setting up accounts to use or purchase goods/services online using different secured payment methods, filling in online forms.
(v) Problem solving: Finding solutions to problems using FAQ/tutorials /chat, presenting solutions through software and improving productivity.
(vi) Being safe and legal online: Understanding best practice in data storage/sharing, updating and keeping passwords secured, and taking precautions against viruses.
According to the publication, these basic digital skills are what one needs in a day-to-day professional or personal context and they will be sufficient for most people working in traditional workplaces which have adopted digital systems to improve efficiency, security and connectivity
Advanced Digital Skills
If you are considering working in the ever-growing digital sector, you will need to acquire more advanced digital skills in your area of interest or niche. Some of the advanced digital skills include but not limited to:
Digital Marketing: According to investopedia, the term digital marketing refers to the use of digital channels to market products and services in order to reach consumers. This type of marketing involves the use of websites, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other similar channels. Digital marketing became popular with the advent of the internet in the 1990s.
Digital Marketing is simply using digital channels to connect with customers and prospects with the aim of building life-time demands for products and services which will in turn increase sales and profit for the organization and value for the customers.
Want to learn digital marketing? Join Windave Digital Skills Academy’s 360 degrees digital marketing training and acquire the skills needed to start and grow a profitable business or career.
A website is simply a collection of web pages that are linked to a single domain and typically created by a single person or organization. A website is one of the most important assets of a modern business. Building a website is no longer complicated and expensive.
In fact with just computer appreciation knowledge, you can build your own website in a few days or hours. Software/content management system such as WordPress makes it easy and simple to create a website fast and with cheap hosting and domain from Namecheap, there is nothing stopping you.
Mobile App Development: Mobile application is a software created to run on mobile devices with the aim of delivering a tailored made solution for a particular product or service. According to Wikipedia, it is the act or process by which a mobile app is developed for mobile devices, such as personal digital assistants, enterprise digital assistants or mobile phones.
These software applications are designed to run on mobile devices, such as smartphone or tablet computer. Most businesses who have a website are also looking at having a mobile application and this skill can put a lot of money in your pocket.
Search Engine Optimization: Search engine is all about creating content on your website that search engine loves to show at the top of their first page when people search for related terms.
According to Google, SEO is about helping search engines understand and present content. Businesses are constantly looking for ways to optimize their content to rank higher on search and if you have the skill to do that, you will have lots of money to play with.
Digital Advertising: Digital advertising simply means advertising products and services using digital channels such as websites, mobile apps, social media, search engines etc. Understanding how to run ads across various platforms is a digital skill that is in high demand today and if you can master this skill, there is no limit to how much you can earn monthly.
Email Marketing: Email marketing is the act of sending promotional email messages to large number of people with the intent to inform, educate, entertain and ultimately sell your product or service. It is one of the most powerful component of online marketing and has been around for a very long time. It is very cheap compared to other forms of online marketing and also very easy to learn and implement.
There are numerous softwares that can be used to carryout email marketing such as Getresponse, Aweber, Sendpulse, Active Campaign, etc. Email marketing can turn a business around if implemented correctly and it all begins with building an email list. It is one digital skill that everyone must have to succeed in today’s digitalized economy. At Windave Digital Skills Academy, we teach email marketing from scratch.
Social Media Marketing: Social media marketing is the use of social platforms to promote a company’s products/services. The primary goal of social media is to engage with customers and prospects while educating, informing and entertaining them and with the intent to build brand awareness, patronage and loyalty.
It is important to note that social media for business is quite different from social media for pleasure and even though most people use social media for pleasure, when it comes to business, you will need to learn this digital skill to understand how to get results. As a social media manager, you can earn up to N100k to N500k monthly managing about 5 to 10 accounts. You can learn Social Media Marketing at Windave Digital Skills Academy.
Graphics Design: As a graphics designer, you help create visual content to communicate specific messages across diverse channels and also for physical printing. It is a digital skill that is in high demand today.
It is important to note that for social engagements, you may not have to learn complicated applications such as Corel Draw and Adobe but with applications like Canva, you can create all kinds of designs within few minutes and it will still give you the professional output that your customers will love. If you plan to build websites and manage social media platforms, Canva is your best companion.
Why You Need Digital Skills
1. Employment: If you live in Africa especially Nigeria, you will understand what it means to have a good job. The rate of unemployment is above 30% and rising and many who are employed are underemployed. Therefore, digital skills can give you an edge and ensure you are not only employed but gainfully employed.
2. Business: Starting a business today without digital skills is like committing suicide. You need digital skills to succeed especially as a small business owner who may not have the resources to hire.
3. Communication and collaboration: We are living in what is now known as the connected economy and this economy is powered by communication and collaboration. Digital skills enables you to communicate effectively using various digital channels and you can build your own community where you can collaborate and create massive wealth.
How To Acquire Digital Skills
1. Free Training: You can leverage on various free digital skills training online and offline to get the basic knowledge on digital skills. One of the best digital skills trainings online is the Google digital skills for Africa. If you are yet to enroll, simply go here to get started. You can also leverage on platforms like Udemy, Futurelearn, edx, etc or you can attend one of Windave Digital Skills Academy’s free physical training.
2. Paid training: Our 360 degrees digital marketing training will equip you with everything you need to start and sail through any type of online business and if you choose to pursue a career, you will have all you need to excel in your career as a professional digital marketer.
3. On the Job Training: If you are interested in digital skills, (ofcourse you must be, because without it, your job may be in danger), you can learn from your bosses and colleagues on the job. The secret is to show enough interest and passion and you will be surprised how willing your bosses/colleagues are to teach you.
4. Mentorship: Another effective way to learn digital skills is to get someone who already has the digital skills you are looking for and find a kind of value you can offer to the person as you present yourself for mentorship. The key here is to be hungry for knowledge and be ready to learn and also undergo some sarifices.
5. Internship: You can also apply to work with a training firm or an organization where these skills are already in use as an intern. That way, you can learn very fast and in a short time, you would have acquired the digital skills you need to excel.
6. Trade By Barter: Do you know someone or an organization that can teach you digital skills? Find out what they need badly and if you have it, go ahead and approach them for an exchange (trade by barter). For instance you can have accounting knowledge and you offer it to an organization for a training on the particular digital skills you need.
How Digital Skills Can Help Your Career
1. Increased earning: Digital skills can significantly increase your earning as an employee or business owner. As an employee, let’s say you acquire digital marketing skill, you will automatically qualify for higher pay or you resign and get a job in another firm that will pay you your desired salary based on your new skill.
2. Proof against loss of job: With digital skill, you have employment proof meaning that, you can never be out of job unless you are not willing to work
3. Entrepreneurship: Digital skills empower you with the tools you need to start your entrepreneurship journey and with it, you will always succeed.
4. Life fulfilment: There are various digital skills that you can acquire in line with your area of passion and if you master these skills, you will be able to fulfill your purpose and find fulfilment in life.