A must digital skills for college students. The undeniable reality that stares us in the face in this present 21st century is that our world has become highly digitized. It has really become very important for students now more than ever before to get acquainted with various digital skills. Although, a huge part of our school curriculum in this part of the world is yet to be fully immersed in the practical training of college and university students on these hot skills. Students themselves have a concrete role to play with regards to being intentional about learning and honing these vital digital skills. Before moving on, it is needful to quickly state what exactly digital skills are.
The comprehensive definition offered by UNESCO is salient here. It defined digital skills as a range of abilities to use digital devices, communication applications, and networks to access and manage information. They enable people to create and share digital content, communicate and collaborate, and solve problems for effective and creative self-fulfillment in life, learning, work, and social activities at large. In essence, there are numerous forms of hot digital skills that smart college students must utilize any opportunity to learn and aspire to master. Some of these skills are highlighted as follows:
Digital Marketing Skills
As we now live in a world where almost everything, particularly businesses have gone digital, the acquisition of digital marketing skills has become so imperative for students and individuals who care to boost their employability skill sets or even have side hustles as they study. Just as its term rightly implies, digital marketing simply involves any form of marketing that utilizes electronic devices or the internet to convey business promotional messages, advertisement of goods, services or brands to targeted audience or customers. Without mincing words, this form of marketing is fast overtaking the traditional means. Digital marketers are undoubtedly in hot demand.
College students who have been keenly searching for legitimate ways to generate income online can explore this field by getting appropriate training on what it takes to be a professional digital marketer. Interestingly, this field is quite broad and there exist various forms and channels where one can always utilize as a digital marketer. One can carry out digital marketing through pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, online copywriting, email marketing, social media marketing among many others.
Programming/ Web Development Skills
This is another lucrative digital skill that students are highly recommended to acquire. Its importance will continually increase as long as the internet exists. Web design specifically involves all forms of design elements and components that make up a website. Web designers create website designs right from the beginning, or they can work for a brand and contribute to assets and graphics of a site or app, such as the layout, aesthetics, icons, images, logos, and more. Acquiring the needed skills to do this and being very creatively good at this can turn you into a hot cake in the digital economy where companies are getting really interested in having a quality online presence.
These two are distinct aspects and skills in the broad world of digital design. Some also regard them as sub-categories under web design. Although used interchangeably, the work of a UI and UI designers is quite different. While UI design stands for “User Interface” and it involves the design of control buttons or visual interface through which users easily navigate a website or an app. More specifically, a UI designer focuses on creating the interactive features of an app which include the layout, scroll bars, typography, colour and so on. UX design on the other hand stands for “User Experience” and deals with how effective and easy to use an app or website is for the users. They investigate and understand the wants and needs of the users and work with the UI designers to create an app or website that meets these needs. The acquisition of these two skills is a huge plus to any student in this digital age.
This is undoubtedly another money making digital skill. It primarily involves the use of special computer softwares like Corel Draw, Photoshop, Illustrator, and so on to design graphics, create and manipulate images like logos, advert banners, fliers among others. The focus of a graphic designer is to creatively make appealing artwork that will convey intended messages to people effectively. Nowadays, companies seek to create good logo designs, advert banners, business cards that will represent their brands in a distinct manner and as well make adverts to boost sales. A professional graphic designer is who renders this design service and gets well paid for it. A major advantage of this skill is that it doesn’t require huge capital to turn it to a business. All you need do is to learn the rudiments of using relevant computer software for designs, get creative and advertise your skills and works to business owners for patronage.
Blogging/ Digital Content Writing
If you are an avid reader and writer, aspiring to be a professional digital copywriter might just suit you perfectly. The ability to communicate effectively, educate and enlighten people through writing has always been a great skill on its own from time immemorial. Now, with the presence of the internet and the digitalization of almost everything, this skill still remains highly relevant. One can learn to make cool money online through the publishing of interesting and educative content, blogs to entertain and educate an online audience.
Businesses are in constant search of copywriters that could come up with beautiful and original write-ups about their brands for the purpose of marketing. As a matter of fact, digital copywriters are strong marketing agents with the ability to write various digital content like blog posts, articles, product descriptions, brand stories, sales, and advertising copy, and lots more. One good thing is that a student can effectively combine studies and being an income earning digital copywriter if the needed skills are acquired and practiced.
Tech inclined students are often more interested in mastering the rudiments of this important skill. No doubt, software developers are responsible for the creation, programming, concept, testing, maintaining, and improving software or an application on the computer system and mobile devices. Hence, they are the ones behind the creation of your favorite game app, dictionary app, and so many others. Acquiring this skill and consistently improving at it is always a smart step taken by any interested student.
Although, this particular digital skill may sound too technical to acquire for many college students, then, it is really in high demand. As a matter of fact, the World Economic Forum has projected that 85% of companies will have implemented data analytics and Big Data technologies in their daily work activities by the year 2022. This suggests how important this digital skill is. What then is data analytics about? Simply put, data analytics is an effective blend of theoretical knowledge and practice to identify and communicate data driven insights that enables business owners or organizations to make the right business decisions. In essence, standard firms in most industries rely on the findings of data analysts before making critical business decisions like which new product to develop, which market to penetrate into, new investment opportunities to take, which consumers to target among many others. College students or other individuals with an interest in this field can learn the nitty-gritty of this increasingly lucrative profession and skill.
Affiliate Marketing Skills
This particular digital skill is the best for lovers of passive income. The internet keeps making a lot of things easier and creating more opportunities for people to earn income even while sleeping. Smart people are always quick to recognize these opportunities and tap into them. Affiliate marketing is one such way to earn online at anytime. It simply involves the process where an individual (i.e an affiliate) earns a commission for marketing or promoting the sale of a person’s or company’s product. There are different channels like websites, blogs, emails, and so on through which affiliates can promote a product and earn a share of profits made from the sales.
To wrap up this article, the importance of these above highlighted digital skills can not be overstressed. Hence, college students and wise individuals are advised to utilize any chance to learn at least one of these skills. This can be done by getting trained in any physical IT training school, pursuing online training through online courses, watching relevant YouTube videos among many others. Possessing these skills will give any student good leverage by boosting their employability or providing an opportunity to have a side hustle.