The maturing of ubiquitous computing and the Internet environment has nurtured collaboration and collective intelligence from knowledge workers to solve problems of all kinds. Data analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, chip designs, cloud computing, virtual reality, augmented reality and e-commerce are creating high value added in the era of digital economy. Digital economy has changed our lifestyle, work methods and pace. It is also a vision for industrial competitiveness and economic strength in a country. As the professionals with digital competences are the cornerstone of a digital economy, talent development is the key to a country’s competitiveness.
The developed countries educate their digital talents by augmenting their IT infrastructure and constructing an e-learning environment. Meanwhile, the key is to build a talent supply chain from compulsory education to universities, internships and on-the-job training. Programming is taught as part of national education curriculums. Digital competences of different levels, from basic, intermediate to advanced, are developed via internships and learning by doing. This builds up the pool of talents and paves the way for the transformation into a digital economy.
The key elements of a digital economy are communication networks, computing, software, applications and e-commerce/operations. Digital cross-disciplinary skillsets will drive the change and innovation of industries. The continued evolution and sophistication of digital technologies (particularly with regards to intelligence and smartness brought by computing) are bound to gradually impact all the industries from agriculture, manufacturing to services.
Therefore, the demand for human resources and digital competences will be anchored on the understanding of computer science, as a subject matter of concepts and skills and the application of computer skills (particularly infomatics and computational thinking) into other sciences in order to solve problems.
The OECD Skills Strategy includes: (1) the development of digital literacy from a young age (from K-12 to university); (2) the promotion of digital competence for the labor force, including the unemployed, middle-aged, senior citizens and females; (3) the construction of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for lifelong learning. More than 50% of the students on MOOCs hope to develop additional work skills and 30% are for academic purposes. Among those who pursue employability skills, 26% of them find new jobs, and 3% get a raise. Among those who pursue higher education, only 12% of them complete their academic programs.
The action plan for the development of cross-disciplinary digital talents consists of five venues: elementary schools, junior high schools, colleges and universities, on-the-job training and introduction of software competences from overseas. The purpose is to accelerate the development of professional knowhow in both hardware and software, in support of innovation and development of 5+2 industries.
- Construct a smart learning environment for high and elementary schools;
- Establish the foundation of K-12 education and explore the potential elite ;
- Expand the cultivation of university student’s inter-disciplinary digital skills ;
- Support the cultivation of inter-disciplinary digital skills of the workforce ;
- Link international open innovation resource to facilitate the talents’ ability to design and develop .