top 5 digital skills you need in 2021.

With digital transformation changing traditional workplace roles and creating new jobs, there is a pressing need for employees to develop and deepen their technical skills to improve work quality, drive creativity and stay employable.

When you have a growth mindset, you’ll be able to plug the skills gap and create more exciting employment opportunities for yourself.

digital and technical skills that employers look for

While soft skills address how we work with each other, technical skills address what we are working on. With rapid digitisation, technical skills such as digital and data analytical skills have become more important. It is also important to note that with the ever-evolving digital landscape, the skills requirements will only continue to change. It is significantly relevant to arm yourself with the basic digital skills and continuously upskill yourself to keep pace with the latest developments.

No matter your industry or role, here are some of the most common technical skills that employers often look for as well as tips on how you can acquire these digital skills!

1. digital marketing or social marketing

Marketing teams use data that they collect through various digital channels to determine how well their campaigns are performing and to ideate new strategies. However, the skills that go into creating marketing strategies campaigns like keywords optimisation, social media marketing as well as enhancing user experience and engagement, can be helpful for everyone.


It’s valuable to learn more about search engine optimisation (SEO) and how social media promotion works. You can apply digital skills to help you build a good personal online brand. By amplifying your online profile, you can be positioned as the go-to thought leader within your professional community and be more employable to prospective employers. Digital marketing skills are not only useful for social media marketers, but as well as for roles in content writing, content marketing, e-commerce, digital sales and search.


Business activities must always have a direct or indirect impact on revenue, and these include marketing. It is hence important to what digital skills and competencies are needed to drive the marketing of the future.

2. business data analytics

data analysis process

There are countless data that’s being collected from all our digital touchpoints. Knowing how to use these data to your advantage will be key for many roles in the future, such as compliance and risk management, supply chain management, corporate financial planning, digital marketing and even inventory management. For those working in healthcare, data analytics for data science is also critical during clinical trials and to improve patient outcomes.

There are many data analytics tools that you might already be using at work, such as Microsoft Excel, Google Data Studio, Tableau and R Programming. Excel allows you to manage your data while tools like Google Data Studio and Tableau allows you to identify trends and extract insights through visual analytics. 

Find out what are some of the most common analytics tools in your industry and learn how to navigate them to grow in your career. Most software companies upload video tutorials on Youtube or offer a free trial for a limited period of time, which is enough for you to learn the basics. If you’re keen to further develop your data analytical skills, you can always sign up for courses that are usually hosted by these software companies.

3. coding

Many people think that coding skills are only meant for tech professionals. However, there are many roles that require coding skills now, such as compliance and risk management, digital marketing as well as quality assurance. In fact, the opportunities that coding presents are endless and can impact all of our lives in the future. Furthermore, it’s fun to learn! 

Coding changes the way you view the world and teaches you logical problem-solving skills that you can use in every aspect of your career and personal life.

While it may require more time and resource commitment at the beginning, you can learn and apply the basics of coding to your job rather quickly. Java, SQL, Python and Ruby are some good programming languages to learn because of their versatility, efficiency and automation capabilities. If you’re interested to try your hand at it, Codecademy offers free online classes for you!

4. cloud

Most businesses are already in the process of transitioning from traditional infrastructure to cloud to enable remote working, better collaboration and connectivity, as well as tighter data security.

cloud computing

Most of us are already familiar with the typical cloud computing products like Microsoft 365, Slack and Google Cloud platform,  which have allowed us to work seamlessly from anywhere and anytime around the world. Other cloud products like Microsoft Azure, Hubspot, Amazon Web Services and IBM cloud are targeted towards unique business operations and needs.

It is key that we learn how to use a variety of such digital tools, particularly in a professional capacity, to ensure that we remain agile and adaptable in new environments. Professionals who are skilled in navigating various cloud systems are seen to be more employable as they demonstrate keen learning attitude.

5. artificial intelligence

Harnessing the power of AI and machine learning (ML) can help you deliver more relevant, customised and innovative products and services to your clients and customers. 

It may seem daunting as it is a highly technical skill, and you are not wrong in thinking so. You do not need to learn the technicality of what goes into AI development, but you will need to know how using AI and machine learning  would impact your job. 

For example, chatbots often use AI and ML to constantly improve their conversations with customers. By knowing how to input data into the system and when to step in for human reviews would make you a valuable asset to any organisation. Employees from various departments such as human resources, sales & marketing and business development can also learn how these AI tech solutions can improve internal processes and save long-term costs. 

looking for a job?

At Randstad, we use several HR technology tools to screen, qualify and engage with candidates. These tools help us quickly shortlist the best candidates for our clients and significantly shorten the hiring process. As we upskill ourselves to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, so should you! 

Let us know what your ideal job looks like, and you will get an update when the right opportunity comes along. You can also view the vacancies on our job portal to kickstart your search.

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