Our 5 tips to improve your digital skills this summer

Summer is no longer just round the corner, as if the recent heatwave in Europe did not serve as a reminder of this. Scorching temperatures made the headlines in virtually all EU Member States, highlighting the need for urgent action and full mobilisation of green and digital solutions. So how can we make sure new digital solutions do in fact open the door to a more sustainable and green future? Investing in people’s skills holds one of the answers to this question. More than ever before, Europeans need to be equipped with the right mix of basic digital (and advanced ICT skills) so they can drive forward tech innovation and remain competitive in a world forever changed by digital technologies. 

Europe has made sound progress in digital skills over the recent years, but there is still a long way to go if we are to reach the Digital Decade targets of 20 million ICT specialists in 2030, and 80% of Europeans with at least basic digital skills. More and more Europeans go on the internet every day, but only 54% of citizens actually have the skills needed to do so. More than half of EU companies struggle to recruit ICT specialists, and less than 4% of graduates come out of university holding a diploma in ICT.

The good news is that a degree in ICT is no longer a prerequisite for jobs in tech, and there are a number of ways to build your skills further, even if you don’t feel very deeply rooted in the digital world. From digital skills resources to short courses, training programmes, and MOOCs: this summer can be the perfect time to improve your digital skills, at your own pace. We put together 5 tips to help you get where you want to get – faster. 

Step #1   Take our digital skills test & start your digital journey

Know where you stand and open up a world of possibilities of where you can go. Did you know that people in general tend to overestimate their level of digital competence? 

Take our digital skills self-assessment test to identify strong and weak areas and chart the path to your dream career. 

Bonus points: The tool is aligned with DigComp, the European digital competence framework, and available in 30 languages. 

Want to know more about DigComp? Its latest update, 2.2. now takes into account emerging technologies like AI. Check out this opinion by JRC’s Dr Riina Vuorikari, one of the masterminds behind the framework, and her tips on becoming more aware of the way we interact with new technologies. 

Step #2   Take a MOOC and level up your digital skills 

Remember how we mentioned that university is no longer the only way to get a job in tech? The world of digital is so much more than programming and coding, but we all have to start somewhere. Take a look at our list of MOOCs and evolve from an absolute beginner to a confident digital expert. The Digital Skills & Jobs Platform has it all. 

Get to know the digital transformation, its challenges and opportunities. The future of work is changing, and to adapt to the new forms and roles at work, we need to understand how these came about, and why they are becoming so important. We suggest starting your journey with the Digital SkillUp courses – a great introduction to the Digital Revolution, an overview of Emerging Technologies and a deeper dive into Cybersecurity. 

And if you’re really interested in the ways technology has changed our daily lives and want to dig deeper, take your pick from the list below. 

Want to start coding, programming, or analysing data but you’re not sure where to start? The MOOCs we’ve selected below require no prior knowledge but set a sound foundation to build further on. 

Interested in emerging technologies, their potential, and what they have to offer? The MOOCs below can help to get you up to speed with this not-so-emerging-anymore world and take you to the smart cities’ vision of the future. 

Already some knowledge, but not exactly digitally savvy? Check the Introduction to Parallel Programming, a MOOC developed by PRACE and the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. 

Step #3   Find content in your language & get to know the National Coalition in your country

You may have seen more and more national-level trainings and stories of success in EU Member States pop up on the Platform, and the news come directly from National Coalitions for Digital Skills and Jobs and their respective websites. 

Not sure what the National Coalitions are, or what they do? This summary will help you learn more and lead you to discover some of the latest developments on digital skills. Select your country from the list of National Coalitions and dive into the trainings they have to offer. 

Step #4    Get up to speed with the latest stories across Europe

Much has happened on the ground in EU Member States over this last year: Bulgaria launched its new AI powerhouse institute INSAIT, Slovakia’s largest campaign on digital skills, the IT Fitness Test scaled up, and now takes place in all V4 countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), while training programmes of the Greek employment agency OAED are expected to create more than 85.000 jobs in 2022 alone. 

In France, 3 government agencies joined forces to offer improved digital learning in cybersecurity, bridging education and VET knowledge to the skills needed for work through the online platform PIX. Since its kick-off in 2021, DigiSkills Belgium, the website of the Belgian National Coalition, has succeeded in putting together a rather large repository with training opportunities at all levels, available in several languages. 

Many successful events in the EU countries took place too. Italy and Spain hosted National Digital Skills Awards, highlighting innovative digital projects with the potential for social good. The Latvian edition of Digital Week brought together 4150 stakeholders from all over Latvia to discuss the future of digital skills. The Maltese public hackathon MaltaPi saw students from Finland and Malta talk about turning digital and video games into a career passion and practice their skills in basic robotics and programming. Hackathons organised under the Connected Lithuania project brought together almost 200 children, rewarding the most innovative digital solutions. 

Step #5   Keep up to date with the latest digital skills trends

Learning is no longer this passive process of simply receiving well-processed and compact information. To learn means to explore, to open up new doors to other bits of knowledge, to branch out to topics that have sparked our interest along the way. Want to know everything that’s happening with digital skills in Europe? 

Head over to the Digital Skills & Jobs Community, the EU home for digital skills. Share your knowledge, ask questions, exchange tips – and get to the root of recent skills developments in Europe. 

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