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Digital skills for all? From computer literacy to AI skills in online job advertisements


Publication date
2 November 2022
Joint Research Centre


The digital transition of the economy is widely expected to change the nature of work. This may happen both through creating new digital job profiles, and by digitising existing jobs. We track the trends in demand for digital skills across occupations, using data from over 60 million online job advertisements in the United Kingdom over 2012-2020, the longest-running such data source in Europe. Although online job advertisements tend to understate the prevalence of basic digital competence (like computer literacy or office software) compared to representative surveys, they are particularly precise in tracking skills related to emerging digital technologies. We classify over 13,000 different skills required by employers in the data into clusters, through a community-detection algorithm based on the co-occurrence of skills in job advertisements. We identify several clusters that relate to advanced digital skills in emerging domains. We also find that digital skills are at the core of some “non-digital” domains, like the administrative and clerical cluster. Advanced digital skills also pay a notable wage premium: premium: skills in the AI & Big Data cluster are associated with about 10.8% higher offered wages, compared to similar advertisements. For skills in the Advanced ICT cluster, the wage premium is about 15.9% and for ICT Support the premium is about 6.3%. Overall, online job advertisements provide a unique view into the process of competence definition of emerging skill profiles.




JRC130291_Digital skills for all? From computer literacy to AI skills in online job advertisements
(2.7 MB - PDF)