The New Landscape of Digital Literacy

By Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, May 20, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought home the importance of digital skills for workers in virtually every industry and occupation. Throughout the United States, people are scrambling to adapt to a new reality in which paramedics are triaging patients via telehealth technology; retail workers are using customized apps to process inventory; and educators are moving their classes online. But even before the pandemic, many workers lacked the foundational digital skills necessary to quickly adapt and upskill as their jobs evolve.

According to NSC’s latest report, The New Landscape of Digital Literacy: How workers’ uneven digital skills affect economic mobility and business competitiveness, and what policymakers can do about it, nearly one in three workers lack foundational digital skills, according to the report, In particular, 13 percent have no digital skills and 18 percent have very limited skills. Another 35 percent have achieved a baseline level of proficiency, and the final 33 percent have advanced skills.

The New Landscape of Digital Literacy provides hard data to illustrate the uneven landscape of US workers’ digital literacy skills, and outlines opportunities to invest in digital skill-building as part of an inclusive economic recovery.