2019 digital skills update—creative pros across industries identify key trends

by | Feb 22, 2019 | Public Relations

New research from digital skills training firm BrainStation aims to identify digital trends for companies and individuals, and better understand the day-to-day experience of professionals.

The firm’s 2019 Digital Skills Surveysurveyed thousands of professionals across six disciplines and job functions: datadesigndevelopmentproduct managementmarketing, and executive.

Findings include:

  • 74 percent of organizations are involved in digital transformation.
  • 50 percent of Executives said they’ll be doing the most hiring in development.
  • 79 percent of Data Professionals did not start their career in data.
  • 88 percent of Product Managers started their careers in a different field.
  • Only 35 percent of Marketers work at a company that sells products online.
  • 84 percent of Designers primarily design for the web.

“The findings point to a dramatic shift, across industries, which really highlights the digital transformation initiatives companies are undertaking around the world,” Jason Field, founder and CEO of BrainStation, in a news release. “They also underscore the growth of fields like data science, user experience design, and product management, as well as the gap in skills needed to meet that demand. There are, in fact, a number of roles being introduced that did not even exist a few years ago, and the results point to this trend continuing, which puts additional importance on continued learning and skills training,” he said.

Key findings for marketers

Mondo’s most recent Tech and Digital Marketing Salary Guide reported a “huge demand” for digital marketing professionals, with a 70 percent increase between 2016 and 2017. Marketing respondents were involved with a number of marketing activities, including content creation, research and strategy, campaign implementation, and content optimization, according to the report.

2019 digital skills update—creative pros across industries identify key trends

Despite their size, marketing teams are leveraging many digital marketing channels. Content marketing is the most widely cited, with 79 percent of digital marketing professionals making use of this channel. Content marketing is followed by organic social, email marketing, paid social, and SEO, the report says.

2019 digital skills update—creative pros across industries identify key trends

Marketers ranked the overall level of digital marketing literacy within their organizations quite low, in fact, 73 percent ranked teams outside their own as having only basic or intermediate knowledge of digital marketing. When it comes to professional development, marketers have done it all. With the exception of MOOCs, all other learning formats (webinars; workshops, seminars, or conferences; and in-person and online courses) had been explored by over 50 percent of respondents, the study reports.

2019 digital skills update—creative pros across industries identify key trends

Marketers were asked what areas they will be focusing on as they move into 2019, and while responses were varied, content strategy, social media strategy, and brand strategy came out on top.

2019 digital skills update—creative pros across industries identify key trends

When it came to what would have the most significant impact in the next five to 10 years, marketing respondents were the first group in the survey to cite AI as being significantly more impactful than machine learning. Voice-based experiences were the second most cited, but interestingly, 89 percent of respondents have yet to work on voice-related marketing projects. Similarly, 87 percent have yet to work with augmented reality and virtual reality.

BrainStation worked with a number of partners to distribute the Digital Skills Survey, including Techvibes, WeWork, CreativeMornings NYC, Designer News, and Dribbble, among others. The next edition of the Digital Skills Survey will be released in early 2020.

“Our goal is to create a comprehensive, annual analysis of the digital landscape, which will help spot digital trends and prepare for the future. It’s always been our mission to future-proof the professionals and companies that we work with, and the Digital Skills Survey is another tool to equip them with the insights they need,” Field said.

See the full report here.

Established in 2012, BrainStation has trained professionals from a range of industries and global organizations, including Amazon, Tesla, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, among many others. The company now offers diploma programs and certification courses online and at state-of-the-art campuses in New York, Toronto, Chicago, Vancouver, and Boston.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter