We live in a digital world and not getting a digital skill as a student isn’t an excuse. In fact, with digital skills, students are even preparing for jobs that don’t even exist. Over the years, companies across industries have digitized their operations and processes.
As at today, a lot of businesses are employing smart and digitalized way of operations thereby streamlining workflows and supply chains. Thus, as a student who will soon turn a job seeker, you’ll need specialized digital skills to stand out from the crowd.
While some colleges, universities and training providers have modified or expanded their curriculum to meet this growing demand for digital know-how, many educators are struggling to provide the essential skills students need.
Furthermore, the trend of personalised learning and education for multiple intelligences has made it imperative to employ technology to cater to the needs of each learner. As such, students are expected to be skilled in using digital tools and methods for more effective learning.
In this article, we explore the 10 key digital skills that every student should must learn before graduating.
1. Social Media Skills
Social media has brought forth a revolution in education by providing scope for a wide range of communication and interaction among peers. According to a recent study, there are about 2.7 billion active social media users worldwide. Of these, about 2.5 billion are active users on mobile devices.
Most businesses today need a social media presence for marketing. As such, the ability to understand and utilize social media effectively is a core skill every professional should have. As a social media marketer, you need to understand the dynamic relationship between brands, influencers and consumers.
To put it simply, businesses need to reach out to customers in ways that will drive traffic to their website—or product—for potential conversion.
This is simply because social media has eaten deep into our society and become the primary source of communication and information flow between content creators and consumers. Educators who recognize social media’s influence should understand the intricacies of each platform and its potential influence to maximize community engagement in order to provide graduates with valuable and applicable skills.
2. Search Engine Marketing Skills
Search engine marketing (SEM) is one of the outstanding disciplines that marketers have come to rely on in addition to social media. It is worthy of note that more than 6.5 billion SEM results are carried out each day with Google accounting for 77 per cents of that traffic.
Students with SEM skills and experience will be able to increase the visibility of a company’s website on a search engine (e.g., Google) primarily via paid advertising. By doing so, the business will attract valuable web traffic from the search engine results page.
Since the 6.5 billion daily search traffic result is for grasp, marketers, content manages and webmasters spend a great deal of time optimizing their websites and ad campaigns to ensure the highest conversion rates possible.
Most companies are in the business of selling products or services. It is therefore imperative that their brand is easily found online amongst their competition. Job seekers need to have a working knowledge of search marketing if they can understand the bigger context of their job function.
3. Content Marketing Skills
Content is the bedrock of digital marketing. It may come in many forms – blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, even social media status updates.
Marketers may spend their time optimizing keywords and advertising campaigns, but content is still king. After all, a website or social media page is driven by its content and without it, customers have no way of understanding the benefits of a product or service.
Content is crucial in driving brand awareness and can establish brands or influencers as thought leaders. Therefore new hires need to understand the importance of creating not just content, but content that is relevant to keyword research and optimizing them is a strategy.
4. Analytics Skills
Analytics skill is very important in data management. Data analytics essentially allow students to make educated and data-driven decisions in their roles. Numbers define whether a campaign was successful, and by what percentage.
The key to analytics is knowing what data to collect and measure in order to improve the next campaign. Companies do not want to waste money based on trends or gut instincts. It’s all about maximizing each campaign’s effectiveness and optimize the return on investment.
Analytics typically go hand-in-hand with SEM. These two complementary skills work together to ensure a business understands what consumers want, and how best to attract and retain their attention.
5. Email Marketing Skills
One of the best ways of marketing is via email. Email marketing is the oldest form of direct marketing with a lot of sales and customer retention. From startups to multi-national corporations, email helps launch many successful campaigns.
To succeed in email marketing, every step needs to be optimized in order to attract and retain users and build engagement.
People may change social media accounts or home addresses, but people aren’t prone to change their email addresses. That is why professionals that understand the power of email to connect directly with consumers are in high demand.
6. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing Skills
PPC marketing skill is one of the most sorts after skills in digital marketing. Businesses need a higher conversion rate for every amount they spend on acquiring customers.
With PPC, bigger companies with a big budget can easily get their search result to appear on Google’s first page. The essence is to get massive search engine traffic and sales. One of the most popular advertising models is Google’s Adword program.
As a student even before graduating, you should have an in-depth understanding of what impressions, reach, cost-per-click and click-through-rates means. This will set you apart from your peers in the job market.
7. UI/UX Design Skills
Persons with user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) skills are in high demand for businesses with an online presence. While they’re related, UI and UX are totally different.
UI (user interface) specialists design interfaces for websites and apps to be visually appealing, flow well and be easy for users to navigate. UX (user experience) specialists do a lot of research and testing to consider every element of how the user will interact with the company and website, coordinating with developers and UI designers.
Ultimately, UI is better for those who want to focus on the visuals, layout, and general look and feel of a page or product. UX is better for those who want to use analysis and testing to help a business seamlessly meet their users’ needs.
8. Strategy & Planning
Businesses that embed strategic planning in their marketing agenda are most likely to see measurable results in the long-term. Instead of planning on an ad-hoc basis, digital marketers need to create and implement campaigns that are based on analytics and quantifiable SEO data.
For example, setting specific KPIs and identifying methods for measuring each indicator can help a marketer remain accountable. It is also imperative that they analyze past campaigns and decide which metric is worth measuring.
Strategy and planning is a leading skill gap in most organisation. By providing skills in how to plan and execute a digital strategy, graduates seeking new roles will have a clear advantage over their peers with little or no knowledge.
9. Video Editing Skills
In digital marketing, videos have evolved from being just a form of entertainment to a major content drive. Youtube, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat are now powerful and influential platforms for visual marketing.
Most smartphone users are easily drawn to video content than a typical blog post. It is also more entertaining and appeals to millennials. By combining the emotional power of social video with the reach and scope of digital advertising, markets can tap into a growing market of engaged consumers.
Most jobs need digital skills and adding a video editing skill to one of them will distinguish you from other applicants.
10. Coding Skills
Coding is the language of the future, and one of the essential skills required for the workplace of tomorrow, not only because of the hi-tech nature of 90% of the jobs but also the skills honed by it.
It encompasses functions like understanding structures, variables, sequential planning, learning the functions of various objects and harnessing different methods to complete tasks.
Coding also helps develop creativity, problem-solving and higher-order thinking skills. Many IT-related jobs need graduates with coding skills.