New Foundational SkillsThe New Foundational Skills of the Digital Economy
Our report on underemployment uses a new data source, so we thought we would address some of the common questions we’ve heard about our methodology.
New research finds that a bad first job isn’t just a phase—it can be the start of a job market trap that keeps college graduates underemployed for a decade.
The demands of the digital economy are reshaping what workers need to know to thrive, creating a set of New Foundational Skills that are becoming crucial for employees and jobseekers.
Not every worker will need every one of the 14 New Foundational Skills, identified in this research by Burning Glass Technologies in partnership with the Business-Higher Education Forum. But they are more powerful in combination with each other. Each skill brings salary premiums and opportunities to workers, but bundles of skills are even more desirable.
The New Foundational Skills break into three groups:
Human Skills apply social, creative and critical intelligence to problems. These skills – critical thinking, creativity, communication, analytical skills, collaboration, and relationship building – appear on many lists of sought-after “soft skills.”
Digital Building Block Skills are increasingly useful outside traditional digitally intense job families. These skills are especially useful to analysts and data-driven decision makers. These skills include analyzing data, managing data, software development, computer programming, and digital security and privacy.
Business Enabler Skills allow the other skills to be put to work in practical situations, and include project management, business process, communicating data, and digital design.
Despite the fact that having skills from all three groups can provide a significant advantage, Burning Glass’ examination of resumes showed that only one-fifth of workers claim skills in all three categories.
Future Skills, Future Cities: New Foundational Skills in Smart Cities
Smart cities are defined as those that have adopted digital technology into their infrastructure, governance, and workforce, and are home to disruptive innovations and emerging industries. The companion report finds that these bellweather cities have greater demand for New Foundational Skills than the nation as a whole. Seven in 10 job openings in these cities ask for at least one New Foundational Skill, compared to half of job openings as a whole.