If I’m going to be completely honest, when I came to university, I really didn’t even think about what technical skills I would need. And when it came down to it, I really struggled to teach myself what I needed, in order to do the basics for my degree. Even something as simple as a literature search (even after help from my lecturers) would take me ages. If I had been shown this tool at the very beginning of my degree I probably would have thought “well, I’ve gotten by so far so why do I need it” but the truth is that I did need it and probably would have utilised it much sooner.
When I was presented with the task my first thought was along the lines of “how is this going to help me improve?”. But the task outlined the areas in which I was lacking in my technical skills in a very understandable way and enabled me to see where I needed to improve. For example, I’m not very good at using Excel, but the task showed me how much I really didn’t know about it. One of the main things that I didn’t even know about Excel is that you can use it to analyse data! The brilliant thing about the Digital Discovery Tool is that after you’ve completed it, not only does it show you where you are not as strong, it points you to FREE resources to help you improve your skills. Like I said before, Excel was a particular weak point of mine and after following the links to the suggested resources I could better understand why I was struggling as much as I was. And it helped me so much! In my degree we have to analyse data frequently and being able to use Excel to quickly do something has been such a timesaver!
The Tool itself isn’t necessarily a quick task but when you see how detailed the results are, it explains why it may take longer than anticipated. As well as providing a very detailed, easy to understand break down of your digital skills, the questions themselves make you think about how you are using technology and really makes you think about the way in which we do things. If you’ve gotten this far on this post and are still asking yourself “but why do I need this?” then let me explain.
Technology is everywhere and it is influencing the way in which industries work. a report conducted by the British Chambers of Commons (BBC, 2017) found that across the UK, 84% of businesses say that digital and technological skills are more important now than even two years ago! The report also shows that more than ¾s of businesses show a digital skills shortage, where the workers just don’t have the basic skills needed! The report also shows that even basic digital and IT skills are important to companies when hiring employees. With the current influence that technology has over the workplace, which is predicted to continue for many years, having digital skills is going to make you seem a more suited candidate for businesses. If you are able to do something as simple and easy as the Digital Discovery Tool to set you up in good standing for your future, with the possibility of gaining more skills in the process, go for it!
Shelby Clackworthy (Digital Champion)