More experience, better references, additional de grees… these are the things that most of us think would give our salary a boost. But according to a new report by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, the more tech in your job, the better you are paid.
The study found that over the past 10 years, a wide range of jobs increasingly require employees to work with computers, software and other technology to do the basic functions of their job. This includes everything from the point-of-sale software used by cashiers or digital tools doctors use to monitor a patient. And in turn, jobs requiring better tech proficiency, are paying more.
The mean annual wage for workers in highly digital occupations was $72,896 in 2016. Workers in mid-level digital jobs earned $48,274, and low-level digital jobs were paid $30,393. It is a clear demonstration of the correlation between technology and earnings, one that can’t be explained away by education: No matter your level of education, computer skills still brought in a wage premium — one that has almost doubled since 2002.
It isn’t just income that has shifted however. The sheer number of jobs that are available are also related to digital abilities. In 2002, 56% of the jobs studied required low amounts of digital skills. Nearly 40% of jobs required medium digital skills, and only 5% required high digital skills. But by 2016, the share of jobs requiring high digital skills had jumped to 23%, and the share requiring medium digital skills rose to 48%. Most strikingly, the share of jobs requiring low digital skills fell from 56 to 30%.
But does this trend towards technological skills apply to the arts? Do artists, designers and writers also need a digital aptitude to do well? Has technology pervaded our most culturally important, non-technical professions? Yes, it would seem so. To write a book, you could use pen and paper, but a computer is going to make it much easier. Moreover most Masters programmes in Creative Writing and the like, won’t accept hand-written work. The same goes for many publishing houses. Designers these days do almost solely digital design, and even painters find themselves selling artwork via websites.
The bottom line: No matter what your profession, you will be a more valuable employee, with more job opportunities and better paid if you have a strong digital-based skill set.
About Oliver Parks
Oliver Parks is a leading technology recruitment firm, specialising in the ERP, CRM, CMS, ECM and Business Intelligence spaces. Oliver Parks has a proven track-record with more than 100,000 candidates worldwide and more than 300 clients globally. For more information, read What we do, or download Oliver Parks' brochure here.