A Washington, D.C. think tank released Monday’s report stating that many Americans lack the digital skills needed to be productive in the 21st Century workforce.
According to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, one third of U.S. workers lack digital skills. 13% have no skills in digital technology, while 18% have limited or none.
According to the ITIF, one out of six Americans over 60 can’t use search engines or email.
It all starts with inadequate teaching of digital skills in K-12 education. Only 25% of U.S. high school students have computer classes,” stated the report’s author, Stephen Ezell Director of Global Innovation Policy.
“American students don’t take STEM courses,” stated vice president of government studies at Brookings Institution Darrell West
“They don’t like the hard sciences and haven’t developed their math skills, which leads to a country with basic digital skills.”
According to the report, more California high school students are interested in pottery than computer science.
Particularly worrying is the lack of digital skills for manufacturing. This is because US manufacturing jobs are increasingly dependent on digital skills. This is vital for workers in the US to be competitive and productive, as well as other manufacturing industries.