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As the global economy becomes increasingly technology-intensive, the nature of the workforce is changing dramatically. Basic digital literacy is a prerequisite for employment and more specialized technical skills are in high demand. Organizations and individuals alike understand that workers must become lifelong learners who continuously acquire new skills throughout their careers. These fundamental shifts clearly have massive implications for the competitiveness of countries, cities, businesses, and individuals.

In our work with governments worldwide, we’ve heard similar themes that are fueling this focus on skills: ensuring workforces are skilled, competitive, and tech-savvy; and upskilling government employees to increase digital and technical literacy. These issues are flip sides of the same coin. Governments must lead and therefore need to be at the forefront of using digital technologies to serve citizens, and citizens must have the skills needed to power advancements in government and other industries.

A two-pronged approach to skills

It’s common these days to hear the statements that all companies are technology companies and all jobs are technology jobs. They reflect the reality that technology is increasingly ubiquitous and is woven into the fabric of our professional lives. While organizations have centers of excellence and technology offices that require deep technical knowledge of “tech experts,” basic technology skills are becoming a prerequisite for all career paths.

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2020 Jobs of Tomorrow Report states that within the next ten years, entirely new occupations will emerge that will require skills that do not even exist or are not prevalent today.

The skills required to master cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and productivity tools are already in high demand in organizations around the world, yet jobs remain unfilled. Also according to WEF, 42 percent of core job skills will change by 2022.

Microsoft provides governments with the tools to upskill both technical and non-technical learners in the public sector. The goal is to provide ongoing learning opportunities for employees who need to acquire additional skills to retain their current job or to get a new one.

MS Learn is Microsoft’s flagship resource for technical skilling. The platform contains free, on-demand modules and learning paths to help learners upskill for in-demand jobs and to prepare for industry-recognized Microsoft Certifications, including Azure Data Scientist and Azure AI Engineer. Take a look at this video to see what MS Learn has to offer.

For less technical content focused on general knowledge of digital technologies and business skills, government employees can turn to LinkedIn Learning.  It combines a library of more than 15,500 up-to-date courses—covering both hard and soft skills—with an engaging, intuitive, and personalized learner experience.  Each course is taught by an industry expert.

LinkedIn’s labor market data on new and in-demand skills drives content creation for the platform, ensuring LinkedIn Learning offerings are current and relevant in the market. LinkedIn Learning also enables organizations to contribute their own content to create customized learning paths that focus on specific needs within a government agency. And LinkedIn Learning includes real-time skills insights that help learning administrators proactively identify and address skills gaps. Check out how Dubai Municipality is using LinkedIn Learning to power learning and development for its public sector employees.

The future is now 

Ensuring that government employees gain and maintain the technical and non-technical skills necessary to succeed in a tech-intensive workplace is not a concern that can be deferred to some future date. The need exists now and governments at the forefront of digital transformation are taking decisive action to invest in human capital. Governments must become modern workplaces that recognize the power of digital technologies to transform the public sector so that their employees can learn and thrive in a workforce where in-demand skills will continue to evolve rapidly.

 

To learn more about how Microsoft is helping governments digitally transform, start here.