According to Monday’s report by a Washington, D.C. think-tank, many Americans lack digital skills necessary to be productive members in the 21st Century workforce.
According to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation report, one-third of U.S. workers are lacking digital skills. 13 percent have no digital skills while 18 percent have limited or no digital skills.
The ITIF stated that one in six Americans over the age of 60 cannot use email, search engines, or any other online tool.
“It begins with insufficient teaching of digital skills in the K-12 education system. Only a quarter of U.S. high schools have computer classes,” the report’s author,” said ITIF Director of Global Innovation Policy Stephen Ezell
“American students aren’t taking STEM courses,” said vice president of government studies at the Brookings Institution Darrell West
“They don’t like the hard sciences, and they haven’t developed their math skills and that just leads to a country lacking in basic digital skills”
The report noted that more high school students in California attend pottery classes than computer science.
The lack of digital skills in manufacturing is especially worrying. This is because US manufacturing jobs increasingly demand digital skills equipment. This is essential for workers to be productive and competitive as well as for wider manufacturing industries