A 2015 survey by Burning Glass Technologies – funded by Capital One – provides a broader look. This report, now supplemented with new data on hot IT skills jobs and roles, is different because it looks at the impact of digital on “middle-skilled” jobs in the US – not sophisticated “high-skills” digital roles.
Burning Glass compiled the Digital Skills Gap in the Workforce report by analyzing 100 million job postings collected since 2007, along with “other publicly available data sources.” They used “advanced text analytics” to analyze more than 70 data fields on job postings.
Middle-skill jobs are roughly defined as jobs that require more than a high school education but less than a bachelor’s degree. Given these jobs comprise an estimated 39 percent of U.S. employment, they are worth keeping an eye on. Burning Glass found:
- Nearly eight in 10 middle-skill jobs require digital skills. Spreadsheet and word
processing proficiencies have become a baseline requirement for the majority of middle-skill opportunities (78%).
- Digitally intensive middle-skill occupations are growing faster than other middle-skill jobs. Digitally intensive jobs have grown 2.5 times more rapidly than middle-skill jobs that do not require spreadsheets, word processing, or other digital skills (between 2003 and 2013, 4.7% growth for digitally intensive jobs compared to 1.9% growth for other positions).
- Digitally intensive middle-skill jobs pay more than middle-skill jobs that do not require a digital component. Digitally intensive middle-skill occupations offer 18% higher wages on average: $23.76 per hour compared to $20.14 per hour for all other middle-skill jobs.
Burning Glass notes these “digitally intensive” middle-skill jobs have grown at the same rate as high-skill positions since the recession. That’s not the case for middle-skill jobs without a digital core. Those have the slowest growth of any category – even low-skill positions. For white collar workers without college degrees, it’s digital or bust.