Canada’s economy is fast becoming a digital one. In 2017, the value of digital activity across the economy totalled $109.7 billion, or 5.5 percent of Canada’s total economic activity. All this digital activity requires a digitally adept workforce. From 2010 to 2017, jobs associated with the digital economy grew over four times faster than the economy as a whole, reaching a total of 886,000. Meanwhile, the digital requirements in jobs across the economy are also increasing.
However, rarely are digital skills alone enough to land a job. As demand for digital skills increases, so too does demand for candidates with a suite of soft skills to augment digital tools. But while we have a fairly good sense of the direction of changing skills demand, we lack visibility into the specific skills Canadian employers are looking for. This can inhibit our ability to effectively prepare workers to succeed in this rapidly changing job market.
To help better understand the demand for digital and complementary soft skills across Canada, we partnered with Burning Glass to investigate nearly 7 million English-language job postings from 2012 to 2018, containing 13,000 unique skills. Drawing on this large dataset, we have developed a new, demand-driven taxonomy for understanding the full spectrum of digital skills. Using this novel definition of digital skills, we also identify the specific combinations of digital and soft skills Canadian employers are looking for. Our aim is to empower service providers, product developers and policymakers with the granular data they need to translate insights on the importance of digital and soft skills into practice.