The numerous restrictions caused by the coronavirus have made remote work or education and hybrid environments a palpable reality in many countries for more than a year. The leading role of new technologies is a fact that, moreover, will be accentuated in the future. “As individuals and as a society, we have to be co-evolutionary with the digital tools we are living with, and if we don’t want to be left out, we have to constantly be acquiring digital skills,” says Gema Requena, director of the consulting firm Nethunting. An effort in which factors such as age and, above all, the level of studies, play a fundamental role, since people with high educational levels demonstrate a greater development of digital competences, according to a recent study by the Observatory of digital competences and occupability, a project of the IMANcorp Foundation and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) .
According to this report, people who have completed higher levels of study have a higher percentage of intermediate and high skills, while those with basic studies have lower or non-existent levels. Thus, for example, the numerical indicator that they include as a reference indicates that people with fewer studies have an index of 7.11 points out of 26, while among the population with higher education it practically doubles (14,14). Age also influences, since, within each educational level, young people present much greater digital self-sufficiency than those over 65 years of age.
“There are three possible explanations for this,” explains Dr. Rafael Merino, professor of Sociology at the UAB and academic head of this study: “The first is that cognitive skills are related to digital skills. The second, that many of the learning activities have to do with the development of these digital skills (use of email and word processors, graphics software , creation of presentations …). And the third is that, at a higher level of studies, the type of work carried out requires greater digital skills ”.
Impact of digital acceleration
The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), an indicator of human capital based on digital skills, reveals that Spain is slightly below the European average . And yet, the changes caused by covid-19 show a clear commitment to digital transformation: more than half of Spanish companies (51%) have redesigned their Information Technology (IT) infrastructures to meet the needs of new demands for remote and hybrid work, and nearly three in four digital leaders believe there will be long-term changes to where and how people work within their organization, according to an Equinix study. On the other hand, and despite the negative effects of the pandemic, 71% of companies in Spain still intend to expand into new markets, and of those, 73% want to do so virtually.
“As time goes by, day-to-day activities, both in the workplace and professional, are increasingly done digitally, and the mobile phone has become the basic tool par excellence to carry out any type of procedure ”, Says Juan Luis Moreno, Chief Innovation Officer at The Valley. Another example can be seen in the use of virtual and augmented reality, for which, he indicates, before they had to have special devices but that today are accessible through mobile phones, and it is already a common technology in areas such as education, since makes distance education more interactive.
In the same way, other disruptive technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) or robotics are being incorporated into our daily lives in an almost imperceptible way: “It is already common to see around us in homes, hotels, shops and work environments How many tasks are automated through mobile phones or voice, and that is thanks to the artificial intelligence of voice assistants and the sensors that will allow us an increasingly hyper-connected world. The use of autonomous cars in a more popular way or seeing robot cooks and waiters in restaurants will soon be a reality, ”adds Moreno.