Digital tools are being utilized in nearly every workplace. The usage has increased in 517 of 545 occupations since 2002, with a noticeable rise in lower-skilled occupations, according to a study by the Brookings Institution.
The study highlights the escalating necessity for all types of workers to advance their digital skills and describes why employers struggle to fill positions. There are high concerns regarding automation replacing workers and novel digital tools reduce the number of employees by allowing one to complete the work of many.
The 545 occupations signify 90 percent of all occupations in the U.S. economy. The study concluded that the occupations with more digital content had higher salaries and are for the most part concentrated in high-tech centers like Austin, Seattle and Silicon Valley.
The study used the U.S. Department of Labor data to give a rating of zero to 100 to each occupation to determine the amount of required digital technology use. The average score increased 59 percent, from 29 in 2002 to 46 in 2016.
Several occupations that required little or no digital usage in 2002 are more probable to require those skills by their employees. Warehouse workers’ average score rose from 5 in 2002 to 25 in 2016, now using handheld devices to track inventories and such. The digital score for roofers increase from zero to 22 and for parking lot attendants it increased from 3 to 26.
“What we found is that the more digital a job is, on balance the better the pay—and also the less chance there is for total displacement of your job,” said Mark Muro, coauthor of the report.
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Software developers rating had dropped to 94 from 97. Muro believes that the field has grown and there are advanced positions now for a software developer such as management of other developers, which equates to less programming work.