The Sequential and Conditional Nature of 21st-Century Digital Skills

Ester van Laar, Alexander J.A.M. van Deursen, Jan A.G.M. van Dijk, Jos de Haan


The importance of 21st-century digital skills has been well established. However, research often fails to examine how various skills relate to each other. Through a survey of a sample of 1,222 professionals working in the creative industries, we tested, by using path analysis, whether six 21st-century digital skills have a sequential and conditional nature. The sequence of the model starts with information and communication digital skills, followed by collaboration, critical thinking, and creative digital skills. All skills lead to problem-solving digital skills. The results confirm that the analyzed skills build on each other sequentially. To understand what interventions might be successful, the relations among various digital skills should be considered.


21st-century skills, digital skills, 21st-century digital skills, employment, creative industry

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