85.3% Believe That Problem-Solving Is The Most Relevant Skill In The 21st Century: Survey

Wiley's Digital Skills Gap Index 2021 Report conducted across APEC economies shows what people believe to be the most important and relevant skills of the 21st century.

Building on its mission of powering discovery and learning, Wiley conducts a study on digital skills across several APEC economies including India. The objective of the Digital Skills Gap Index (DSGI) survey is to reveal a fuller picture of economies’ digital skills ecosystems. 

Below are some interesting key findings from the report: 

  • 85.3 per cent of the survey respondents across APEC believe that the most relevant skill in the 21st century is problem-solving, while the most important technical skill turned out to be data analytics and algorithms as agreed by 80.3  per cent of the participants.
  • Only 4.2 per cent of APEC respondents are completely satisfied with the level and availability of digital skills.
  • Nearly half of the respondents believe that present-day employees are not equipped to handle data in a moral manner.
  • Across the APEC economies, the Education and Training sector has been identified as the sector with the widest digital skills gap. 
  • 54.8 per cent of the respondents believe that the education system is only somewhat responsive to the digital skill requirements of the employers.
  • The survey revealed that 61.8 per cent of the graduating students from tertiary education institutions possess the relevant digital knowledge for an entry-level job.
  • 48.6 per cent of people from APEC agreed that there is a significant gender gap in the STEM fields.
  • About 60.6 per cent of survey respondents admit that the availability of digital skills training programs is not at par with the requirements of the day.
  • The percentage of respondents who find that the employers’ needs and applicant's skills in terms of digital knowledge are at par is 51.4 per cent.
  • More than 10 per cent of the respondents feel that poor digital awareness and understanding as well as resistance to re-skilling and upskilling are the biggest challenges in closing the digital skills gap.

Commenting on the findings of the study, Philip Kisray, SVP and GM, International Education, Wiley, said, "The global pandemic Covid-19 has proven to be a powerful force in disrupting the way in which organisations work on a day-to-day basis. Amidst such disruption, technology has been an enabler for both employees and employers alike in helping them adapt to the new normal working conditions. Not just this, with the heavy use of new and advanced technologies such as AI, Blockchain, Data Analytics etc. across industries, the demand for niche digital skills and workers has seen a tremendous upsurge. 

Through Wiley’s bridge innovative learning solutions, WileyNXT and mthree, we are working towards closing the talent deficit and skill gap. The data clearly points out that in order to prepare the workforce of the future, we must be ready to embrace skilling, upskilling and re-skilling.”

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