Digital skills proficiency is important to the economy on multiple levels. It can ensure success for people in the labour market, enable transitions between jobs, and open new opportunities for Australia to lead in the development of digital technologies into the future.

This paper provides an analysis of digital skills in the Australian and international economies using a mix of data sources and analysis techniques. The first part of the analysis addresses key questions about definitions, utilisation, and employer demand for digital skills across the Australian labour market. The second part of the analysis addresses key questions about how digital engagement in Australia compares to Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States. The authors examine the digital skills sought by employers and the roles that require them across the five countries.

The findings suggest the skills needed to respond to the digital world are amongst the fastest growing in the Australian economy. Skills clustered around engaging with the digital economy are expected to increase by up to 28 per cent on current use levels over the next five years. The authors found digital skills are sought by employers in a diverse range of occupations, with the specialist level of these skills higher for ICT related occupations. Despite considerable international consistency in the demand for digital skills such as IT automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence and the internet of things, the share of job advertisements requiring cutting edge skills in Singapore outstrips those of the US and Australia.

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