Hands typing on a laptop.

Digital work: which professions and skills will be most in-demand?

Technology is continuing to change the way we do business—what’s next in the world of digital work?

5 min read

Agenda Digitale estimates that digital transformation will change the labor market every three to five years, significantly transforming the working world. To be competitive, it’s crucial to adapt to digitalization. So, what are the most requested professions and skills in this increasingly digital job market, and what does the future hold? We’ve done a little digging and rounded up the answers you’re looking for. Let’s go!

The present—IT and communication skills with an eye on the environment 

IFOA places digital transformation and eco-sustainability as a priority for companies in the immediate future.

When it comes to digital transformation, companies will have to work hard to create and keep their identity on the web up-to-date, competitive, and clear. In terms of transitioning to a Green Economy (that is, an economy which aims to balance productivity with environmental impact), we’ll likely see new roles emerging in the green jobs sector. These would be the roles that UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) has defined as “occupations in sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, research and development, administration, and services that significantly contribute to the preservation and/or restoration of environmental quality.” Simply put, these will be eco-sustainability professionals who will help entrepreneurial enterprises to carry out their business while respecting the environment.

Digital transformation will also have a monumental impact on healthcare, transport, and logistics. We’ve seen how the pandemic has punctuated the shortage of healthcare professionals—the Italian Recovery Plan has allocated 20 billion to strengthen the health system, setting goals such as the digitalization of healthcare and technological modernization. What’s more, automation in the field of logistics will be of ever greater importance in terms of increasing productivity. While this could lead to the disappearance of some jobs, an increasing number of specialized employees will be required to support technological improvements and IT systems in the near future.

Following IFOA and consulting firm Spring Professional, the roles that are currently, or soon will be, most requested include:

  • Data analytics experts and Big Data specialists
  • IT engineers, coding, and cyber security experts
  • AI professionals, AI programmers, and robotic engineers
  • Market analysis experts
  • E-commerce experts
  • Communication and digital marketing professionals: Social Media Specialists, SEO Specialists, Digital Marketing Specialists
  • Professionals in the field of browsing experience improvement: User Experience/User Interface Designers
  • Environmental engineers and promoters of sustainable materials
  • Environmental lawyers and green accounting specialists
  • Mechatronics and industrial mechanics (from an eco-sustainable perspective)
  • Social/healthcare workers and home-care workers

Digital skills that are not yet defined

In the last decade, digitization and the internet have profoundly changed the way we work. It’s been such a drastic shift that in 2015, the European System of Strategic and Political Analysis (ESPAS) wrote in its report on global trends that new technologies could trigger a third industrial revolution and change business models and economic balances on a global scale. That said, the EU’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2020, which analyzed the data of the previous year, placed Italy in 25th place in terms of digitization. In 2019, digital skills and implemented technology were extremely scarce.

But as we all know, the global pandemic has forced the entire world to consider the need for digitization more seriously, and Italy has done just that. The government itself has acknowledged the importance of technology in everyday life—the “Next Generation” plan, also known as the Recovery Plan, plans to allocate over 40 billion euros to digital transformation and digital culture. 

What will this mean in terms of job opportunities? Thanks to technology, we will soon be applying for jobs that haven’t even been invented yet. In fact, the World Economic Forum has estimated that 65% of children who are starting elementary school will have jobs that don’t even exist today. Perhaps this shouldn’t come as such a surprise—after all, who would have imagined a decade ago that someone would be able to earn a living as a YouTuber or influencer, or as a computer programmer with languages that had yet to be created? According to Unioncamere and ANPALS’ Dossier 2020 60% of these “unknown jobs” will emerge in the next five years.

Examples of professional, digital, and communication skills for your CV

So what are the most in-demand skills in digital work? According to the Cegos group’s Observatory Barometer 2020, which interviewed HR professionals and employees from four countries including Italy, there are three main skills:

  • Adaptability
  • Digital communication
  • Remote management

The Italian employees interviewed in that study listed the following skills they’d like to improve:

  • Effective organization of activities
  • Learning to learn 
  • Agility and adaptability 
  • Creativity and propensity for innovation

Companies therefore seem to focus on soft skills with a view to continuous training and flexibility, to arrive at a sort of hybridism in the world of work. According to a predictive study by EY, Parson and Manpower Group, a non-linear evolution of professions is about to take place, which will take three forms:

  • Jobs that didn’t exist before will be created by merging multiple professions, such as mechatronics.
  • The disappearance of old professions in favor of new ones—for example, tourist guides will be on the way out, to be replaced by virtual visits and event planners. 
  • Mutation, where one profession is influenced by some characteristic features of another. For example, the role of the journalist will be very similar to that of the digital content creator.

N26 has your back in the digital world

N26 is the 100% digital bank that lets you bank directly from your smartphone anytime, anywhere. Say goodbye to long queues and complicated paperwork—with N26, your bank is wherever you are. What’s more, N26 is designed to help you manage your money with ease. Discover N26 Spaces, convenient sub-accounts that sit right alongside your main account. Give your space a unique name and savings goal, and then create a Rule to start saving money automatically—it’s that simple. Discover even more N26 features and find the plan that’s right for you today. 

Find similar stories

By N26

Love your bank

Advertising message for promotional purposes. Please see the Terms & Conditions for more information.

Related posts

These might also interest you
Person with cat on pink couch.

Solo, pal, or pet dates: Doing Valentine's Day, your way

Whatever your relationship status, here’s how to celebrate love in all its many forms this Valentine’s Day.

A group of friends sits on a bench outside.

How to start saving as a group

Saving for something new can be tough, but having a joint savings goal can increase motivation — and be more fun.

Wedding flowers on an arch.

To tie the knot or not: what marriage means for your finances

These days, people have all kinds of important factors to consider before saying "I do." Here, learn about some of the financial benefits and drawbacks of getting married.