Eight in 10 German Occupations Now Demand Digital Skills

Eight in 10 occupations in Germany now demand digital skills, evidence of how technology is reshaping the job market globally.

Employers are also willing to pay for these skills. The most digital occupations in Germany offer a salary premium of 48% above average, according to new research from Burning Glass Technologies and Bertlesmann Stiftung. By contrast, the least digital German occupations pay 26% below average.

Previous Burning Glass research has shown the demand for computing, coding, and other digital skills is changing the nature of jobs worldwide. In the U.S. eight in 10 middle-skill jobs demand some level of digital skill, while half of the jobs in the top income quartile require coding. In the UK, two-thirds of occupations are asking for these skills.

In Germany the proportion is even higher: 79% of all occupations demand some level of digital competency, according to the report, Digitalization in the German Labor Market. This is the first Burning Glass report that uses data from Germany.

The speed of change in Germany is significant. All occupation groups increased in digitalization in the 2014-2018 period; those that were the least digital in 2014 saw their demand for these skills grew the most.

Other findings include:

  • As in other countries, occupations that have higher education levels (and higher pay) are more likely to require digital skills.
  • Some regions of Germany have higher demand for digital skills than others: areas dominated by the auto industry and service industries have the greatest demand for digital skills.

Germany diverges from the U.S. in several ways. For example, in the U.S. one of the biggest drivers of digitialization is the health care industry, but German health care is actually below average in digital skill demand.

In addition, the occupations that ranked highest on Burning Glass’ digital skill index in Germany were all male-dominated. By contrast, in the U.S. occupations held by women tend to have a slightly higher digital index score, largely because of the greater demand for digital skills in fields like health care.

The full report is available at the Bertlesmann Stiftung website.