If you’ve ever wondered if you’ll actually use the Microsoft Office skills you’re learning, you’ll be interested in a new study by the Brookings Institute. The study analyzed the ways American jobs have incorporated digital skills — basic computer literacy, spreadsheets, etc. — between 2002 and 2016.
The results? As you might expect, more jobs than ever require digital skills nowadays. In particular, jobs that didn’t used to require digital skills now do.
Overall, the Brookings report suggests the window of opportunity for workers without basic digital skills or a college degree is closing. “With the availability of jobs that require no to very low digital skills dwindling, economic inclusion is now contingent on digital readiness among workers,” says Mark Muro, a senior fellow at Brookings who led the study. “While tech empowers it also polarizes.” He recommends that companies, government officials, and educational groups invest in programs that train workers in basic digital workplace tools.