Data Literacy Tops the Five Most Critical Skills That Businesses Are Looking for


Firms are seeing a step-change in the certified skills they need from their people to grow as technologies and business models rapidly evolve. But 87% of global executives say they are experiencing a skills gap now or expect one soon, according to consulting firm McKinsey.1

Questionmark, the online assessment provider, has identified the top five certifications that firms are requiring from their employees to meet the challenges ahead. To meet this new demand, certification bodies must ensure they can quickly deliver and robustly assess the programs they provide.

Certifications can help equip workers with new skills and enable employers to retain the best staff. Questionmark has identified the top five certifications that businesses are demanding to help address both future challenges and opportunities:

  • Data literacy: data literacy is the skill employers claim they need most, according to research by Forrester Consulting,2 but many employers do not offer formal training in it.
  • Cybersecurity: US cybercrime complaints increased 69% between 2019 and 2020.3 As employers adopt more formal hybrid working arrangements, they are demanding that employees have more rigorous cybersecurity training.
  • Artificial intelligence: market intelligence firm IDC expects the AI market to be worth $554bn by 2024.4 But with an AI skills shortage, employers need their employees to be qualified to help.
  • Project management: with new ways of working, employers need to be sure that their people can handle multiple projects and teams, boosting demand for project management certifications.
  • Digital marketing: as marketing has continued to evolve over the last year, businesses need employees trained in new digital marketing skills. Certification bodies need to offer up-to-date courses covering the latest tools.

John Kleeman, Founder of Questionmark, said: “As firms adapt to the post-pandemic world, they are requiring new skills from their employees. With the advantages of critical certifications increasingly clear to employers, demand is expected to be greater than before. To take advantage of this demand, certification bodies must be able to deliver, and robustly assess, their programs at speed and scale.”



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