What is digital capability and why is it important for your career?

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

In this blog we look at Digital Capability; an attribute you are developing while you are studying at Surrey.

We use this term to describe the skills and attitudes you need to live, learn, and work in a digital society.   It’s an important attribute to develop as technology has entered every aspect of our life and the workplace.

The level of digital capability you need will vary depending on your subject specialism, career choices and the specific role(s) you want to apply for. 

As technology is constantly changing, students that develop their digital skills not only make themselves more employable now, but in the future too.

To thrive in the workplace, it is important to develop skills and knowledge for using digital devices, applications, software, and services.  

At work you will need to use digital tools to access information, communicate and present information and you will also need to develop the ability to evaluate the reliability of the information you access.

Increased home and hybrid working practices mean that many employers will expect you to use Video chat software such as Zoom and Teams every day to communicate effectively within the workplace and externally. 

You may already be engaging with online communities and platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. As you enter the professional world you will need to know how to manage your online presence and digital identity appropriately.  This will also involve knowing how to keep yourself and your organisation safe and secure online.

Artificial Intelligence and automation are also advancing and playing an increasing role in the world and so it is important that graduates can assess the potential and limitations of new technologies.  An agile mindset and an understanding of the impact of technological changes may help you adapt to these changes more easily.  

Ideas for developing your digital capability

  • Reflect on the digital skills you already have, and those you will need in the future.  Consider IT and digital skills you are developing on your course, in work experience and extra-curricular activities.
  • Remember you can learn many digital skills for free.  For example, many jobs will expect you have a good working knowledge of Microsoft packages.  There are plenty of free courses on Surrey Pathfinder to help you upskill. Have a look at these ones: ExcelOutlook, PowerPoint, Word
  • Check your digital footprint as you enter your professional life. You may like to increase your privacy setting for some of your social media as some employers may well google you.
  • Use the Careers Service to help you to develop your Profile on LinkedIn, the professional networking platform to help you start connecting with employers.
  • Research which digital skills and technologies might be relevant to your chosen field or career ideas and develop your skills and knowledge through modules and projects you take part in on your course.
  • Show curiosity for learning new digital skills that interest you whether learning to code or reading up on the impact of Artificial intelligence

Find out about Employability and Global and Cultural Capability, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience in the other blogs in this series.