How Adobe is Closing the Digital Skills Gap

Do you remember taking Digital Technologies 101 in college? Probably not. Chances are your school didn’t offer it.

by Jeff Allen

posted on 03-27-2019

Do you remember taking Digital Technologies 101 in college? Probably not. Chances are your school didn’t offer it.

That’s a problem. Today’s colleges and universities simply aren’t keeping up with the technological shifts remaking professional life. As a result, an alarming number of students graduating from college find themselves ill-equipped to succeed in today’s digital workplace.

Employers in all industries also find themselves needing more help than ever to train their current employees and future workforce.

Closing this skills gap is critical to our economic future. And that’s why Adobe is taking action. Through new partnerships that align Adobe, our customers and academia, we’re ensuring that applied learning is part of the student outcomes to create digitally skilled candidates in all areas of business.

Calling all digital gurus

Today’s students are graduating from college without the skills to succeed in the workplace. In one recent survey, nearly 60 percent of employers said that colleges and universities are failing to equip students for entry-level positions.

What, exactly, do today’s students lack? In a lot of cases, it’s a mastery of the digital technology today’s jobs demand. A study by BurningGlass Technologies finds that 82 percent of middle-skilled jobs require proficiency with digital technologies.

Filling these jobs has become a challenge for firms all over the world. In a recent poll of 1,200 global firms, more than half admit a lack of digital talent is affecting their business.

Marketing departments are especially struggling to fill digital roles. As advances in AI, machine learning, and data analytics revolutionize how brands and consumers interact, many companies don’t have the technical expertise to stay competitive.

Consider that the average marketing professionals’ “[ability] to successfully leverage digital” in the United States, Ireland, and the UK is a mere 38 percent, according to a recent study by the Digital Marketing Institute. That same study found that only eight percent of today’s marketers have digital skills sufficient for an entry-level position.

Let’s get digital

The digital skills deficit is a global challenge that creates an enormous opportunity — for students, for workers, and for organizations to accelerate skills development with readily available, personalized training resulting in all of these groups yielding higher results more quickly.

Adobe is teaming up with innovative, forward-thinking higher education institutions, such as New York University, to incorporate Adobe digital skills into their Professional Studies Graduate programs while partnering with Adobe customers during the students’ journey to include applied learning to resolve real business issues these organizations are facing. Providing free consulting as part of the student experience ensures preparedness as a digital candidate for these and other employers.

We’re working closely with NYU to establish a program to embrace this applied-learning approach and teach students to solve real-world problems with Adobe’s digital technologies.

Adobe is also sponsoring a case competition with NYU. The contest asks graduate students at the School of Professional Studies to develop a roadmap for a large pharmaceutical firm to achieve their digital transformation goals.

Additionally, we’re working with East Tennessee State University as part of the school’s Master of Arts in Brand and Media Strategy. The program enables students to master state-of-the-art digital marketing tools by working hands-on with a variety of Adobe offerings. Similarly, these students are introduced to Adobe brands to solve for industry challenges they face as part of the student’s coursework.

Using Adobe Analytics Cloud, for instance, students will learn to derive powerful insights from real-time data — and to turn those insights into actual marketing strategies. They will also work with various solutions across Adobe Experience Cloud — specifically, Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Audience Manager and Adobe Advertising Cloud — to create engaging customer experiences that advance their data-driven strategies.

In forging these partnerships, Adobe has several goals in mind. The first is to prepare students for productive, fulfilling careers in the growing field of digital marketing. The second is to provide ourselves and our customers with a talent pool that is ready to excel. By serving as “host” to triangulate Adobe, brands and academia, we will ensure accelerated delivery of our customers’ digital transformation projects.

Finally, these initiatives will give our partner schools a competitive edge in attracting the brightest students. In a world where digital-marketing expertise is in high demand, schools that can train students in the latest consumer experience and analytics tools will stand out.

Adobe Experience League, launched at Adobe Summit in 2018, will continue to be the global platform for current customers and prospective professionals eager to hone their digital marketing skills. This includes detailed user guides, on-demand training videos, and real-time support from Adobe experts through the platform. We are incorporating our higher education partners within the Experience League community to enhance and accelerate the experience.

Today’s technologies have the power to create engaging, data-driven consumer experiences — ones that were unimaginable just a few years ago. But without a workforce skilled at using modern tools, the digital economy, the world’s fourth industrial revolution, will amount to little more than a missed opportunity.

Learn more about Adobe Experience League and see how Adobe is helping marketers do amazing things.

Topics: News, Adobe Summit

Products: Analytics