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The skills that can increase your salary by $5,914

Aussie businesses are losing $9 million a day by not having staff with the right digital skills.

People walking Sydney city and Australian money notes
Aussies could add thousands to their salaries by learning in-demand digital skills. (Source: Getty)

Aussie businesses are in desperate need of digital skills and Aussie workers could boost their salaries by thousands by adding them to their resume.

The digital skills gap is costing Aussie businesses $3.1 billion each year, or $9 million per day, according to a new study by RMIT Online and Deloitte Access Economics. This includes skills in data science analytics, cyber security tools and coding.

Three in five (58 per cent) Aussie businesses said they lack one or more of the digital skills they need to do business.

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For Aussie workers, digital skills can boost their wages by 9 per cent on average. That means the average Aussie can stand to add $5,914 to their salary on average, the report found.

Interim CEO of RMIT Online Claire Hopkins said now was the time for businesses to invest in their worker’s skills and development.

“As the demand for digital skills continues to grow, the cost to businesses will also grow if decisive action is not taken to address these gaps,” Hopkins said.

To fill the skills gap, businesses don’t have a strong preference between upskilling their existing employers (48 per cent) or hiring externally (52 per cent).

Hiring external people is often a good way to get specific skills quickly, the report noted, but businesses often need to pay a premium for staff with the right skills.

On average, businesses pay 18 per cent more for new staff, equivalent to $12,000 per year for the average Aussie employee.

In-demand skills

Proficiency using office productivity software was one of the most in-demand skills for professionals, the report found. It came behind the soft skills of communication, teamwork or collaboration, and planning.

Demand for sophisticated and complex digital skills were also on the rise, the report found. Almost half (46 per cent) of businesses said they were lacking artificial intelligence and machine learning skills. Another 43 per cent said they lacked sufficient knowledge of cybersecurity tools or processes.

Some of the fastest growing skills for professionals in the past five years were also digital skills. According to Lightcast data, managing student data topped the list, followed by open-source software Kubernetes, Microsoft Power BI and Facebook skills.

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