The importance of digital and soft skills in the digital age




digital transformation, digital skill, soft skill, manufacturing, Hungary


In our digital age, the effects of digital transformation, the scope and speed of current changes, and the emergence of digital technologies have led to a radical transformation of workplaces, resulting in a reduction of demand for employees carrying out routine, manual tasks, while evokes a need for digitally-skilled employees emphasising the importance of digital and soft skills for business growth. Organisations need to equip their employees with different types of skills to achieve organisational goals in order to benefit from investments in digital technologies. While practitioners and academics are increasingly focusing on the importance of the human factor of digital transformation processes, there is limited knowledge about the impacts of digital transformation on the digital skills of the employee and how organisations can guide employees through the digital transformation journey, yet. This study provides an important insight into a specific country's context, which has not been sufficiently examined. This paper aims 1) to investigate how the digital transformation has changed the demand for human workforce (Q1a) and the challenge in the lack of digital skills (Q1b) and 2) to examine the importance of soft skills as an impact of digital transformation (Q2). The target group of the research is the managers and white collar workers of Hungarian manufacturing companies. The data collection was in spring 2021. Descriptive statistics and relationship analyses (Cramer's V and Kendall's Tau) were used to analyse the collected data (n=489). The research investigates an important social-digital phenomena determining how digital transformation arises significant demands on digital and soft skills. Results indicate that digital and soft skills such as critical thinking, complex problem solving, adaptability, resilience and creativity are essential to successfully exploit the digital transformation. The result can add value and stimulate new research on digital and soft skills and provide a useful benchmark for other countries.