Introducing the Lightcast Digital Skills Outlook 2024

Published on Feb 21, 2024

Written by Mariana Marques

Lightcast Digital Skills Outlook 2024

ChatGPT may be able to put together the content for a sales deck or help you onboard new joiners. But to take advantage of everything technology offers, you need more than the technology itself - you need human resources with specialised skills. 

Luckily, digital skills are not just a necessity for organisations. They also hold huge potential for employees, employers, and the wider economy. According to Amazon research using Lightcast data, digital skills generate $18.5 trillion globally.

But no two countries, industries, employers, or roles are the same. As technology becomes ever more complex and humans find new ways to leverage it, it becomes imperative for organisations to understand digital skills trends and zoom in on some of this data. 

For example, what digital skills are industry competitors currently hiring for, and which are the most in-demand in your market? Looking into the future - what digital skills are emerging and likely to take centre stage in the next few years? 

We developed the Lightcast Digital Skills Outlook 2024 to give you some of these answers. 

What is the Lightcast Digital Skills Outlook 2024?

The Lightcast Digital Skills Outlook 2024 is our new, interactive page powered by Lightcast job postings data and skills insights. It explores the latest trends in digital skills demand across 15 countries, including 10 EU countries, the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It also zooms in on specific cities and occupations, helping you understand exactly what digital skills are being requested in your area or the digital skills required for roles you may be hiring for. 

To make this data more digestible, we spread it across three distinct sections: 

Changing Skills

This section gives you an overview of the top 20 in-demand skills across the 15 countries we studied. We all know of Microsoft Office’s widespread popularity, but did you know that this skill is most in demand in Germany, with 15.72% of German job postings requesting it? 

Aside from the most requested digital skills, we also explore the top 20 fastest-growing digital skills and how much they have grown in 2023. For instance, Search Engine Marketing has grown a staggering 255% on average across the 15 countries. 

Lastly, we showcase the top 10 emerging digital skills. These new kids on the block may not have Microsoft Office’s following just yet, but are certainly worth keeping an eye on. You probably won’t be surprised to see Generative Artificial Intelligence making it into the top 10, but String Search may not have come to mind quite so readily.

City Hotspots

Getting digital skills data on specific countries can give you a lot of hints of what’s to come in national markets. But why not dive a little deeper? In this section, we explore digital skills demand at a city level and the relative concentration of digital skills across cities. 

For example, Germany has the highest relative concentration of digital skills, with 57.04% and 55.77% of job postings in Munich and Frankfurt requesting them. Surprisingly, London has a lower concentration of just 34.75%, helping to put the UK at the bottom of the list. 

However, before we get carried away and assume this means the UK doesn't have as much need for digital skills, there may be local, cultural explanations for some of this. For instance, whereas German employers are legally obliged to mention qualifications for most jobs, this is not the case in the UK.

Occupation Focus

Our Occupation Focus explores the top digital skills requested across five occupations: Applications Programmers, Systems Analysts, Web Developers, Finance Managers, and Graphic Designers. Not all these occupations are IT-related, but digital skills are required across the board, even for non-IT roles. 

This data helps us identify how specific roles are changing due to digitalisation and how demand trends pan out across countries. For example, Computer Science, SQL, and Data Analysis are some of the most in-demand digital skills for System Analysts roles across the 15 countries. Singling out Computer Science - Switzerland shows the highest demand for this skill for System Analyst roles, while France shows the lowest. 

How can the Lightcast Digital Skills Outlook 2024 help you?

As we can see from the few examples in this article, you can leverage a wide range of data from our Lightcast Digital Skills Outlook 2024. The value you can extract from this data depends on your institution’s goals and challenges. 

Public organisations

If you are a public organisation, you must ensure that your city or region keeps up with digital skills trends and is prepared to meet employers' needs. Our new page will give you a glimpse of how such data can help you assess the demand for digital skills in your area, and how it compares to other locations. 

Packed with this kind of knowledge, you can work with education providers to ensure that your citizens are being taught the right digital skills and with employers to ensure they leverage local talent. 

Education providers 

If you’re an education provider, you can use this sort of data to see what digital skills employers seek and adapt your curriculum accordingly. We are going through a period of rapid technological advancements, and your courses must reflect that just as job postings do. 

For example, suppose you offer a course on web development. In that case, it is relevant to know that JavaScript is the most in-demand digital skill for Web Developers across these 15 countries (present in 22.12% of Web Developer job postings). Similarly, if you provide marketing courses or accreditations, you should perhaps know that Search Engine Marketing is the fastest-growing digital skill and include this in your course specification. 

Navigating these trends will give you more agility to adapt your curriculum to specific needs and be ahead of time, rather than merely trying to keep up with changes. 

Employers and HR leaders 

As a business or HR leader, you must ensure that your employees have the right skill set to propel the organisation forward. The sorts of insights shown in the Lightcast Digital Skills Outlook 2024 can help you gain a deeper view of the digital skills market, assess your current gaps, and prepare for the future by keeping an eye on fast-growing and emerging skills. 

If you hire a Graphic Designer, you may already be aware of some of the most basic skills that are absolutely necessary to perform this role. However, there are new design tools and platforms launching all the time, and it may be that your competitors are already leveraging these by employing specialised digital skills in their Graphic Design teams. Knowing this will help you stay one step ahead of the market. 

Beyond the Lightcast Digital Skills Outlook 2024

This article provided some indications of what you can expect from our new page and how to leverage it best, but the proof is in the data. If you haven’t explored the Lightcast Digital Skills Outlook 2024 yet, now is your time. Plus you can get a free report.

While the page is packed with information and can give you some of the answers you may be looking for, it’s worth noting that this is still a very small sample of the insights you can extract from Lightcast data. 

Contact our team if you would like to dive into a particular trend, geography, and occupation or simply explore more of Lightcast data.

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