The Case of Digital Talents Gap in Indonesia

Lia Golledge
3 min readDec 2, 2022
Speaking atIndonesia Digital Economy Conference 2022

Indonesia will need 9 million digital talents from 2015 to 2030. That means we need at least 600,000 digital talent graduates per year. Problem is, we can only create 100,000–200,000 technical talents a year at this point.

There’s a big gap in digital talents such as Full Stack Programmer, Big Data Analyst, and Network Engineers. November 2022 insights from LinkedIn also mentioned that there’s a big skill gap for Web Development specifically Java Script, CSS, PHP, HTML, as well as Graphic Design, Data Science, and Digital Marketing.

So what is the problem?

The first is the skill gap. There’s a different expected quality and curriculum taught in the university than what’s needed in the industry. The key to bridge this gap is for the industry and academics to have a discussion about the skills needed and build the curriculum around it.

The second is what I called interest gap. Report shows that students in higher education have at least a 25% decrease in interest to pursue IT major. This could be of lack of inspiration for the career path that they can reach, lack of self-confidence caused by the misperception on the difficulty level of IT major, lack of inspiration/role model/use cases of what they can do with their tech skills.

Before we discuss further how to bridge the gap, we need to know what actually digital skills are. I like to definition made by Cenfri, African Economic Impact Agency on Digital Skills. According to them, there are 4 types of digital skills:

  1. Consumer skills; skills to use technology for daily life like using messenger to communicate and social media
  2. Productive skills; skills to use technology to be productive, using tools like Google Suites, etc. This is the part where people with productive skills start to be able to work and earn income. This is where Remote Skills Academy chooses to contribute. We helped upskill/reskill Indonesian youth with consumer skills to have productive skills so they can start working remotely as Virtual Assistants, Social Media Managers, etc
  3. Developer skills; skills to use technology to build something like websites, apps, etc
  4. And the last one, e-leadership skills; skills to use technology to create a business and lead a team

Understanding this will help us to be more clear about which path we should take and whom we should collaborate with.

Aside from formal education and vocational training, on-the-job training is also important. According to LinkedIn, there were 30% changes in terms of skills needed in Software & IT services from 2015. Upskilling is important.

But nowadays, learning resources are in abundance and mostly free. What’s most needed now is the mindset to always want to keep learning, to unlearn what you know in the past, and be willing to relearn.

Is there a shortcut to build this mindset?

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Thank you Lazada & Kompas for having me at The Indonesia Digital Economy Conference 2022 — interesting finding by Litbang Kompas shows that Kabupaten Sleman and Kota Bandung have the highest digital literacy citizens. Thanks for giving space for this conversation so we can highlight the efforts by the private sector and governments to increase the number of digital talents to push forward our Digital Economy.

-and this is how AI at OpenAi.com answers my question lol

Is there a shortcut to build learning mindset?

Yes. Start small. Start with basic like creating a website with WordPress, or build an app with App Inventor. Show your progress to others, and let them know what you learn and what you can do. This will help to boost your confidence and curiosity to learn more. And soon you will find yourself learning and exploring more digital skills.

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Lia Golledge

Founder Coach. Fractional CMO Remote Skills Academy. Co-Managing Director Girls in Tech Indonesia. Author of 33 books.