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This week, Amazon Web Services (AWS) released the report, “Unlocking APAC’s Digital Potential: Changing Digital Skill Needs and Policy Approaches.” Prepared by strategy and economics consulting firm AlphaBeta and commissioned by AWS, the report analyzes the digital skills applied by workers in their jobs today and the digital skills required by workforces over the next five years. The report focuses on six Asia Pacific countries: Singapore, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea.”

Divided into three parts, the report assesses the extent to which different digital skills are being applied at work in 2020 for the surveyed countries in APAC, identifies potential digital skill needs over five years, and provides workforce skills development recommendations for policymakers. The report also identifies current skill levels and gaps for each of the six countries.

Key findings show gaps in current workforce

Almost 150 million workers in the six countries in the study apply digital skills in their jobs today. Each country varies in their level and extent of skills, but cloud computing expertise is among the most commonly applied digital skills in each country. The study found that 48% of the digital workers across these six countries who are not applying cloud skills today believe cloud skills will be a requirement to perform their jobs by 2025.

The report identifies four types of workers who will need to gain new digital skills by 2025: currently digitally skilled workers, currently non-digital workers, future workforce (today’s students), and individuals who are unemployed or involuntarily excluded from the workforce.

The findings showed that digitally skilled workers will need to enhance their skills, non-digitally skilled workers will need to learn digital skills to remain in their roles or access better jobs, students will need to learn in-demand skills to improve their employability, and unemployed individuals will have to learn digital skills to gain access to jobs.

Skilling the workforce for the future

To keep pace with technological change, the number of workers applying digital skills in these countries will increase by over five-fold from 149 million workers today to 819 million workers in 2025. To achieve this level of skilling in the six countries, the average worker in the six surveyed countries will need to gain seven new digital skills by 2025, and 5.7 billion digital skill trainings will be required.

Advanced cloud computing and data skills will become more important for current digitally skilled workers and future workers (today’s students), with these skill needs projected to triple by 2025. Cloud architecture design consistently emerged as one of the top five most “in-demand” skills by 2025 in all countries. Another advanced cloud computing skill—specifically, the ability to help organizations transition from on premises-based to cloud-based infrastructure—will also become more important, including in non-technology sectors.

Current digital workers will need to focus on training in advanced cloud computing skills as well as advanced data skills. These skills include cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML), and are projected to see the largest required increase across all digital skills in the six countries by 2025, with the number of workers needing these skills expected to triple over the next five years.

Bridging Digital Skills Gaps with AWS

AWS helps bridge digital skills gap with training programs for the most in-demand cloud computing skills.   To date, AWS offers more than 500 free, on-demand online courses with many courses available in multiple languages such as Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese; interactive labs, and virtual day-long training sessions through AWS Training and Certification.

AWS also provides in-person and virtual classroom training courses taught by accredited AWS instructors for workers interested to upskill or reskill, and organizations who want to upskill employees. These one-to five-day foundational, intermediate, and advanced courses cover a range of topics like cloud architecture, cybersecurity, and data analytics.

Additionally, students can gain access to free, self-paced, online learning content for cloud career pathways related to in-demand jobs such as cloud engineer, cybersecurity specialist, machine learning scientist, and data scientist.

Click here for more information on how to get started with free AWS skills training.

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