Demand for Digital Skills in the US Labour Market: The IT Skills Pyramid

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Series Details No.154, December 2016
Publication Date December 2016
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This exploratory study assesses the information technology (IT) skill requirements in the 30 most frequently advertised occupations in the United States. On the basis of approximately two million job advertisements, we examine the IT skill requirements of each occupation, making the distinction between basic or general, intermediate and advanced IT skills. For each of these categories, we consider a range of IT skills, such as general computer skills, word processing and spreadsheets, programming and data management.

For most occupations only a few of these skills are relevant, but there are exceptions. One particularly interesting finding is that clear patterns emerge: the share of vacancies that refer to each of the IT skills increases as occupations become more complex.

At the same time, there is a hierarchy when different IT skills are compared to each other: general computer skills, for example, are more frequently listed than more complex or specialised skills. The IT requirements listed in vacancies are highly consistent with the skills and tasks associated with the corresponding occupations in occupational classifications such as ISCO or O*NET.

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