Skip Navigation

DCE Magazine

Smart Cities, Smart Careers

Summer 2020

The Digital Economy has created a wealth of new career opportunities, especially in high-tech hub regions.

The digital revolution transformed communication, then entertainment, and eventually crept into nearly every aspect of our daily lives through the Internet of Things. Back in the early ‘00s, who would've thought a voice-controlled interface would one day turn our lights on and find our favorite music?

So it was inevitable that technology would eventually disrupt the entire global marketplace, from everyday business to commerce and infrastructure – along with the skill sets required to keep it all humming along. Disruption, of course, means opportunity for anyone prepared to capitalize.

Welcome to the Digital Economy, a term first coined in the mid-90s that foreshadowed our interconnected new world. And we're just now coming to fully understand how to navigate this transition. In a special report, “The New Foundational Skills of the Digital Economy: Developing the Professionals of the Future,” Burning Glass Technologies pinpointed the skills most needed to succeed in 2020 and beyond.

Burning Glass, a leading job-market analytics firm, was commissioned by the Business-Higher Education Forum to identify the most essential and in-demand skills in today's marketplace by analyzing more than 150 million U.S. job postings. Think of it as a tip sheet for anyone looking to retool their resumes.

The study revealed 14 New Foundational Skills – grouped in three basic categories: Human Skills, Digital Building Blocks and Business Enablers – that were found to be required in at least 50% of all total openings. And in eight “Smart Cities” (L.A., New York, Boston, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia and San Diego) it was 70%.

Let's take a look at key career opportunities in all three categories, along with DCE certificate programs that can put you on the fast track to capitalize in the Digital Economy.

Human Skills

It's not all about high-tech training. Human Skills are vitally important in Smart Cities – the latter defined as those that incorporate digital tech in all operational aspects and are home to emerging industries. In fact, the report reflects a great need for strong communicationand collaboration-related skills in all regions. DCE's Organizational Leadership & Communication certificate addresses both needs, offering a foundation in leadership and interpersonal communication, conflict management and intercultural communication, as well as modern business writing. Managing and leading through organizational change is also addressed, an especially important issue in these tumultuous times.

A background in Strategic Communication Management is another path for young professionals seeking success in a management role. Participants in this six- to 12-month online program learn to become a change agent, developing, articulating and executing organization-wide communication strategies. One of the more popular programs, the Digital Marketing & Communications certificate, offers expert instruction in marketing, communications and product management.

Digital Building Blocks

For obvious reasons, a background in Information Technology – especially data management and software development – is highly valued in today's marketplace. DCE offers a range of leading-edge online tech instruction that's wide and deep, including Data Science, Database Management, Machine and Deep Learning, and Predictive Analytics certificate programs. All four provide a solid background in the basic skill sets that are most requested by employers.

Among the high-demand offerings are Data Science, Web Design, Blockchain Technologies and AWS Cloud Computing courses, providing solid foundations in highly specific fields that can put a candidate ahead of the pack in the technical world. And with online security and privacy more at-risk than ever, the Cyber Security program helps fill the need for skilled professionals in this critical field. It also prepares candidates for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam.

Business Enablers

This category spans a range of essential skills that brings everything together to enable effective day-to-day business processes, most prominently those related to project management and organizational management. DCE's popular Project Management program is based on A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), the bible for PMs worldwide. Taught by expert instructors, the program takes a deep dive into the principles laid out by the Project Management Institute, providing hands-on training and simulated projects that prepare students to sit for the Project Management Professional exam.

Business Analysis is one of the most versatile and valuable skill sets in today's marketplace, and DCE offers leading-edge course content that's aligned with International Institute of Business Analysis industry standards. This key role can take on different titles, but the responsibilities and core skills are the same – gathering and analyzing data and serving as liaison between multiple departments, clients and stakeholders. Supply Chain Management addresses a role that's indispensable in reducing costs and creating improved operational efficiencies in service and manufacturing industries. A number of other DCE Business Enabler programs are available, including Business Intelligence & Data Warehouse, Human Resources and Business Administration.

For more information on DCE certificate programs that address the skills most requested in the Digital Economy, visit ce.uci.edu/certificates.

PMP®, PMBOK® Guide, Project Management Professional® and PMI® are marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
Provider is a member of PMI's R.E.P. Program and PMI does not specifically endorse, approve, or warrant R.E.P.'s products, courses, publications, or services.