Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bridging the Digital Skills Gap

Computer courtesy of http://www.morguefile.com/archive
Computer courtesy of http://www.morguefile.com/archive
According to the recently released Digital Skills Gap Report from Burning Glass Technologies, knowing how to use Excel can make a big difference for job seekers. The report finds that people looking for “middle skill occupations” must be able to use spreadsheets and word processing software, programs for medical billing, or they should be able to run computerized drill presses to be seriously considered for employment. Middle skill jobs pay more than the median national living wage of $15 a hour, but don't necessarily require a college degree.

It's no longer enough to be engaging on the sales floor if you want to succeed in retail.  Retail employees can earn more if they have strong skills with software like Excel.

Another report, 5 tech skills every job-seeker needs, from Business News Daily, April 2014, recommends that candidates looking for jobs in administration, marketing, and sales should be able to effectively use social media and learn how to develop web and mobile applications.

How can you help your patrons build their skills?
Refer them to computer training classes held in your library, or made available through the Wisconsin Technical Colleges or Job Center of Wisconsin.  

If your patron is comfortable with self-guided online learning, you can show them the BadgerLink Computer Software resources, including the Learning Express  Popular Software Skills Center.

GCF LearnFree.org  courtesy of GCFLearnFree.org
GCF LearnFree.org
courtesy of GCFLearnFree.org
The Goodwill Community Foundation Learn Free website offers a comprehensive assortment of job-skill building resources including Microsoft Office computer software  tutorials.

You can help your neighbors build the digital skills they need to succeed in today's job marketplace  - and your colleagues in public libraries across Wisconsin can tell you what's worked for them.

Written by:
Martha Berninger, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning