Digital skills are in high demand. Today, according to a Burning Glass report, eight in 10 middle-skill-level jobs require digital skills, such as online communication and productivity tools. Adult workers often do not have this training, and increasingly employers report difficulty finding qualified workers with digital middle skills. Unfortunately, this gap between digital skill level and skill need is expected to continue increasing over the next 10 years.
Various efforts are underway to address this digital skills gap, including bootcamps and other computer-science efforts. Most, however, are aimed at more advanced skills, not the middle skills that make up a sizable part of the current digital skills gap. In addition, the majority of the courses offered in these programs are long-form (lasting several months), in-class, and often cost-prohibitive.
Digital Promise worked with Facebook to create a set of micro-credentials focused on helping adults in the workforce learn these “middle” skills in the area of digital marketing. The micro-credentials, and the accompanying in-person workshop focus on the basics of social media marketing using Facebook and Instagram. Students have the opportunity to earn four micro-credentials that demonstrate the skills they have learned.
Closing the digital skills gap will create job opportunities and a new pool of qualified applicants for employers nationwide. The program initially launched in Michigan in October of 2017 with 18 local partners facilitating workshops. In 2018, the program expanded to 15 cities across the U.S. This is a big step forward and an exciting opportunity, and we look forward to working with our local partners to close the digital skills gap.