In today’s digital world, it is mandatory to have basic digital skills for survival. Advancements and efficiency offered by technology made companies to adopt them in no time. While the companies and the market adopts to the need and growth of technology expects the same from the present and upcoming work force. In the past, it is considered digital & computer skills are required only for IT streams but it’s no longer the case. Basic digital skill is a must-have for everyone to communicate, collaborate and work effectively and efficiently.
However, the traditional education system is still the same and haven’t adopted to the latest required skill sets. We have seen people securing top ranks in universities but struggling to find the right information on the web. This shows the gap in the education system in “what it’s offering” & “What it has to offer”.
We did some on-field research through our Cyber Cafe in a tier-3 town called “Perundurai” located in state of Tamilnadu, India. At Cyber Cafe, we had diverse set of audiences from elders to working professionals to school and college students. We observed that, having good credits students don’t have the self-confidence to try something on their own in the digital medium. Eg:- Filling of online exam/job applications, creating resume, making payment online etc.,
Lack of self-confidence and awareness leads to very limited employment opportunities. There is a difference between, NO JOB & Having No Job. To understand the local market’s employment opportunities at our cafe we offered free employment SMS service connecting employer with those look for employment. That’s where we realized there are employment opportunities available but not enough skilled work force.
Based on the observation, we came up with a set of Digital Skills that are very important for anyone irrespective of their field of study in increasing their chances of employment.
Cloud Storage : In today’s time, it is important to have personal files readily available anytime from anywhere. Having resume readily available online will open up opportunity any moment there is no need to rely on printed copies.
Image Editing : Having the ability to edit images is very important as most of the exam/job applications have their own set specifications. Image editing can also open up new opportunities in variety of fields.
Word Processor : It is very important to have good proficiency with word processor, spreadsheets and presentations as the communication happens online more often than older methods.
Search Engine Expertise : According to us, this is the very important and crucial skill out of all. When someone have the ability to ask right query on search engine and find the right results after evaluation of credibility it will help in finding RIGHT information about anything and everything in the entire world. Asking right query and verifying of information can improve chances of employment in large scale.
Online Self Identity : Having a good online presence can improve the chances of employment. It is not too far, that HR will google for information about us and find useful information about our work, nature, character, etc.., from various sources.
Banking Apps : After recent demonetization and government efforts in promoting cashless transactions it is important to be Digital Financial Literate.
Content Creation & Curation : With sound knowledge in search engine usage and finding right information can open up lot of opportunities in content creation in various fields as well as curation of content for business and end users.
We will be launching our training program officially in near future focusing on rural youth and expected to train atleast 50 people by end of May 2017. We wanted to offer this training program for free so looking for collaborators or sponsors who can help us get the program on ground for free.
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