Digital skills add thousands to your earning potential in Wales
Having digital skills can add more than £11,500 a year to your earning potential in Wales because digitally skilled workers are in such short supply here.
New research from Barclays reveals that digital skills are so in demand in Wales that Welsh employers are willing to pay more than most of their counterparts across the UK for workers with word processing, data analysis and social media capabilities (£11,529 for “expert” skills versus the national average of £10,000).
The Barclays Digital Development Index 2017, which analysed 88,000 UK job adverts and 6,000 adults, found almost a quarter (24%) of jobs advertised in Wales require advanced digital skills such as graphic design, data analysis or 3D modelling. This compares to a national average of 15%.
Welsh employers are also willing to more for these skills compared to most other UK employers.
Across the UK, employers will pay a premium of up to £10,000 a year for digital skills including programming and software design, enabling workers to generate £100,000 of wealth in just 10 years. Earnings boosts of £3,000 a year are also up for grabs for those with graphic design, data and 3D modelling skills.
However, employees in Wales score among the lowest of all UK regions for their digital skills. Wales ranks in 10th place overall – above just the East of England and the South-East for digital skills. Welsh respondents score only 5.28 out of 10 in a test of digital skills commissioned for The Index.
Also, while one in five individuals (20%) in Wales are aware of local digital training being available, only 4% have taken action and made use of this.
Digital skills across the UK are not keeping pace with demand. The Barclays Index finds that 63% of UK jobs require digital skills such as word processing, database spreadsheet or social media management skills, but only 57% of the workforce have these capabilities.
This mismatch will worsen as digital skills become even more vital to British businesses.
And although they have up to 30 years left in their working lives, it seems Generation X (35 to 54-yearolds) are being left behind. Those aged 35-44 are 11% less likely than their millennial colleagues to say they are confident about their digital skills.
Generation X workers are also more worried about their ability to keep their digital skills up-to-date – 21.5% have confidence in their ability to do so, versus 28% for millennials.
Education also boosts digital scores. Graduates with a Masters degree score 35% higher than those who leave school without any qualifications. And those in management positions score far better in the tests than those in junior positions, and 20% above the UK average.
Kath Myers, Barclays Community Banking managing director for Wales, said: “People’s level of digital prowess is fast becoming a key determinant of their earning power, yet the UK today is a patchwork of digital skills.
“Where you live, how old you are, what you do and your education level have an impact on your digital abilities and confidence.
“Digital skills can provide a vital boost to household finances and everyone deserves the opportunity to benefit from this.
Ms Myers added: “At a time when wage growth is so important to families in Wales, we must act fast to improve our homegrown digital skills if Wales is to compete in the global digital economy post-Brexit.”
> Possesing in-demand digital skills can significantly boost your earning potential in Wales