Are you prepared for the digital workplace?

Chances are, you’re not.

A recent survey by Jisc revealed that less than half of students believe their courses prepare them for a digital world of work.

The survey of just over 37,000 students showed that almost 70% of university students think digital skills will be important for their chosen career. However, only 41% believe their course actually prepares them for the digital workplace.

Last year, the Government’s Industrial Strategy predicted that: “Within two decades, 90% of jobs will require some digital proficiency, yet 23% of adults lack basic digital skills.” Clearly showing a current digital skills gap, which will grow in the future.

In the foreword of the report, Sam Gyimah, Minister of State for Universities and Science writes: “Most importantly, students continue to express concerns that their courses do not fully prepare them for a digital workplace. This issue must be addressed as a matter of urgency if universities and colleges are to deliver for students, employers and the country as a whole.”

Some students noted that the academic teaching sometimes isn’t up to date in their method of delivering information digitally and students often become frustrated when they cannot use digital systems competently.

Jisc chief executive, Paul Feldman, has expressed the importance of learning and working digitally. “Technology is playing an increasingly important role in our lives and, consequently, within the education sector. It holds the real potential to empower both staff and students, saving time and making the learning experience more flexible, immersive and engaging for all. More importantly though, it’s vital that we ensure students are equipped with the digital skills they will need to flourish in the workplace, something that’s crucial for our learners and the future workforce of the UK.”

The report explains that students enjoy the flexibility and independence afforded by technology, with 73% of HE students agreeing that they are more independent in their learning when digital technology is used.

At Sussex, we fully understand the way organisations work and how business is done is changing. Global companies are moving with the (digital) times and need adaptable employees who are comfortable working in virtual environments and teams. Education is also beginning the shift to this more flexible and modern way of learning.

Our online Masters courses have been designed to be delivered entirely online, with all teaching and learning taking place within a virtual environment. Developed and taught by the same world-leading academics as our campus courses, students studying virtually with us not only have the opportunity to study an internationally recognised Masters from a leading UK university, from wherever they are in the world, but learn vital skills for working within digital workplaces.

By studying within a virtual environment, you can develop new skills and demonstrate your ability to work in an agile way, communicating with co-workers and working in teams across the world. Many students studying online do so whilst continuing their careers, enabling them to bring their experiences of working in global organisations to the classroom.

As we can see from Jisc’s research, it is vital to learn digital skills. This is how business is done in the 21st century; as the world gets smaller, competition gets fiercer. In an age where almost all companies harbour global ambitions, cross-cultural perspectives from experienced, savvy professionals are in high demand. And by learning online you may just give yourself the skills they are looking for.

Find out more about learning online with us.