Erfurt, 21 January 2021 - "Labour market experts assume that around 30% of today's jobs will no longer exist in the year 2030," explains Prof. Kurt Jeschke, Professor, and Vice-rector at the IUBH International University of Applied Sciences. "Companies are under increasing pressure to invest in upskilling their own teams in order to maintain their ability to act. Therefore, we wanted to know which key digital skills will be particularly sought after in the future," explains the author of the study.

The result: There is a need especially for the basics

When it comes to future digital skills and the relevant task panes that employees and companies need in order to be successful in the professional world 4.0, the IUBH study of 546 HR, technical and managerial staff is doing its best to respond to this challenge. A total of 16 areas and 108 different digital skills were specified and evaluated. "Even at the top 10, the picture is very heterogeneous, with skills covering a wide range of areas," says Prof. Kurt Jeschke, summarising the results. "At the top of the list, we have the basic skills: Computer use in the first place, data security in the second place and the use of digital tools in the third to fifth place: for communication and collaboration, for creating digital content and for increasing productivity," he explains. On the other hand, ranked 6th to 10th are various skills, from communication and PR to cloud computing, use cases, consumer behaviour, and IoT. "This is a clear sign that at present there is uncertainty and a need for training in a wide range of disciplines," says Jeschke. This is also confirmed by the results of the question concerning the areas in which the participants would like to have further training options: the areas of basics in digital work, artificial intelligence (AI), management, marketing, and computer science top the rankings.

In addition to our focus on the most relevant future skills, according to the study, future training solutions should also be designed in such a way that they are geared to the individual goals of the participants and enable them to build up or deepen one or more competences in their existing role. Further education should also focus on the personal aspect. Because, as the results make clear, the drive and motivation for education arise primarily from the desire to develop and optimise oneself and one's personal skills. Therefore, the further training programme should always focus on the employee themselves.


Overall, the study shows a clear need for action on the topic of further training. While 35.4% of respondents rated their digital skills as high or very high for their job, they still wish to further develop their digital skills. Almost 40% feel that they have a high or very high need for further training. Around 53% of respondents even believe that their employees need to be upskilled. Jeschke: "From our point of view, the development is dramatic because the digital skills gap, i.e., the gap between existing and required digital skills, is growing steadily. At the same time, the 'war for digital talents' is intensifying. The consequence: Companies urgently need to invest in the further training of their employees to qualify them for the tasks of the future."

Study with tips: The way to make further training a success

The Future digital skills report provides recommendations on how HR and company management should shape further training to ensure a successful digital transformation. Jeschke: "In the end, the understanding of the digital skills that are critical to the success of professional and managerial staff will determine whether a company will be more productive, more innovative, and thus more competitive in the long term. At the same time, the targeted transfer of digital competencies through upskilling ensures more work motivation, higher satisfaction, and long-term employee commitment. So it's a clear win-win situation for everyone."

You can find more information about the study here

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