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7 Skills that will help you stand apart from the crowd in the digital age

The success of any business is staying abreast of what their customers want. It is knowing whether their customers are willing to pay the price for the goods or service at the time it is offered, at the right quality and the way it is delivered.

It is no doubt that businesses that are digitally transformed, can predict customer needs way ahead of time as compared to its competitors. These are companies that upskilled and right skilled their employees with the technical and soft skills to be able to perform optimally within a digitally transformed environment.

The Economic times (August 2021) posted that digitalization and digital transformation have profoundly affected customer expectations and business models across all industries, on a global scale.

In this era of the fourth technological revolution, it is no doubt that technical and soft skills are crucial. This forces educational institutions to recalibrate their learning content to include the 7 top skills to deliver in a digitally transformed environment. According to the Economic Times, they are:

  1. Computer and software skills

Without a doubt, general ICT skills are a basic requirement in the modern workplace, across almost all industries. Students demand not just the ability to learn how to use different devices but also expect institutions to provide access to them throughout their program. This is in addition to the need for exposure to any specific software or programs they are likely to be using in their target day-to-day role after graduation.

2. Communication skills

While the demand for communication skills is not synonymous with digital evolution, it is the complexity of the channels, and the relationships that students will manage - both internally and externally - that is creating a need for support. Add to this, the flat team hierarchy often implemented within digital-first businesses, and demand from employees and businesses for a less authoritarian and more cooperative leadership style, and advanced communication skills are a key need for students.

3. Self-organisation skills

Time is the most precious commodity and modern life demands so much of individuals, both professionally and socially. The result is a need to be as productive as possible. Self-organization skills such as time management, prioritizing, planning, and maintaining a work-life balance are all in demand by students. In addition, any tools or tech that can assist with these skills should also be recommended and supported by educational institutions, as students are likely to be using them in the workplace.

4. Analytical skills and computational thinking

At almost every level in a modern business, workers are inundated with data and content, this is both the challenge and opportunity of digitalization. Students want to be prepared to deal with these streams of data, filter it all, look for synergies and utilize it to the benefit of all stakeholders. As a result, there is a demand to be analytically minded and acquire expertise in computational thinking to understand a goal or problem and break it down to present solutions.

5. Networking skills

Like communication skills, networking is not exclusively linked to digital transformation, but the way in which it is increasingly carried out is. With home working on the rise, conferences heading online, and platforms like LinkedIn, or Hosco in hospitality, becoming the centre of the networking universe, support with virtual networking is a big need of modern students.

6. The entrepreneur skillset

In the digital age, innovative start-ups are at the forefront of growth, investment, and employer satisfaction tables. Students not only require the entrepreneurial mindset to work for these businesses, but they also have more motivation than ever to innovate and create their own venture, with one of their major goals being to shape a sustainable future. Our digital society has also made starting your own business more accessible than ever before.

7. Soft skills

While some of the six skills listed so far could easily fall under soft skills, it’s important to single the requirement and provision of them out as a single entity. Here we’re talking about the student's desire to acquire skills such as active listening, adaptability, collaboration, creativity, emotional intelligence, persuasion, and teamwork. They all impact not only a professional's ability to effectively perform their job function, but also their ability to align with brand culture.

To stand apart from the crowd, consult now with Rita Govender on Cell: 082 804 6391 or email:


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