New Research Reveals That Employees with All Levels of Digital Skills Boost Hong Kong’s Annual GDP by US $47.5 billion
73% say digital skills will be very important or extremely important to their business over the next five years, but 72% of organizations are facing hiring issues
AWS has trained over 100,000 individuals in Hong Kong with cloud skills since 2014
HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 21 March 2023 - Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, today released new research that shows that employees with basic through to advanced digital skill levels in Hong Kong increases the city's annual gross domestic product (GDP) by US $47.5 billion. Employees who use advanced digital skills – including cloud architecture or software development – contribute an estimated US $5.4 billion to Hong Kong's GDP. This is attributed to the 58% higher salaries that these employees earn compared to those with a similar education who do not use digital skills at work.
The "AWS Hong Kong Digital Skills Study: The Economic Benefits of a Tech-Savvy Workforce," commissioned by AWS and conducted by Gallup, examined how building a technology-enabled workforce has significant benefits for employees, organizations, and economies. More than 300 employers were surveyed in Hong Kong from a variety of public and private sector organizations and industries. The study classifies basic digital skills as the ability to use email, word processors, other office productivity software, and social media. Intermediate digital skills include drag-and-drop website design, troubleshooting applications, and data analysis. Advanced digital skills include cloud architecture or maintenance, software or application development, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning.
The study found that advanced digital employees in Hong Kong are benefitting from more than just a boost in their income. The average employees with advanced digital skills earn 58% more than similar employees who do not use digital skills which translates into individual gains of USD $19,699. 50% employees in Hong Kong who use advanced digital skills express higher job satisfaction, compared to 26% with intermediate skills and 36% with basic digital skills.
Similarly, employers that rely heavily on advanced digitally-skilled employees, digital technology, and cloud technology reap higher business growth and innovation. The study found that 65% of digitally advanced organizations in Hong Kong introduced new, innovative products in the last two years, compared to 51% of their less digital counterparts. 57% of Hong Kong organizations that run most of their business on the cloud report steady annual revenue growth of 10% or more, compared to 30% of those that use the cloud for some of its business. The study also shows that companies in Hong Kong running most of their business on the cloud boast innovation rates 35 percentage points higher than companies that use the cloud for some of its business or do not use it at all (84% vs. 49%).
With many organizations now preparing for the challenges of a digital future, the Gallup study looked at 10 emerging technologies including AI, edge and quantum computing, blockchain, and cryptocurrency. 58% of employers in Hong Kong say at least one of these technologies is likely to become a standard part of their future business operations, with 5G and Artificial Intelligence ranking the highest at 36% and 28%.
"People in Hong Kong are increasingly going digital, from the way they work to the way they live. This research shows that digital skills provide immense economic value to Hong Kong at the individual, organizational, and macroeconomic level," said Gallup Principal Economist, Dr. Jonathan Rothwell. "As more organizations move their IT to the cloud over the next decade and new technologies emerge, digitization is going to fuel a vast number of new jobs. The opportunity for Hong Kong to be competitive in the digital economy depends on having a robust and highly skilled workforce to support current and future innovations."
With the digital transformation of businesses and government agencies accelerating around the world, demand for digital workers will remain strong in the coming years. 77% of Hong Kong employers surveyed reported they were seeking to fill openings that require digital skills, but 72% said it is challenging to find the talent they need. A possible barrier is that 31% of Hong Kong organizations prefer a bachelor's degree, even for entry-level IT staff. However, many are starting to recognize that accepting industry certifications can ease their hiring challenges. 69% of employers say that digital certifications or training courses are acceptable substitutes for a bachelor's degree.
"AWS is committed to supporting digital talent cultivation and organizations' digital transformation in Hong Kong, as we believe that a strong pipeline of digital talent will bring immense economic benefits and is essential for Hong Kong to remain competitive in the global economy. We have trained over 100,000 people with cloud skills in Hong Kong. As we see more and more organizations and corporations working with AWS to upskill and reskill their employees to bridge the digital skills gap, we will continue to expand our digital skills training programs for workers and employers in the region," said Robert Wang, Managing Director, Hong Kong and Taiwan, AWS.
To help employees develop their digital skills, PCCW Global, a leading international communications service provider, has worked with AWS to help its employees develop digital skills with AWS Skills Guild and Digital Innovation (DI) Program. The company has leveraged AWS Skills Guild to create an enablement program called Cityverse, which has trained hundreds of employees, and will also facilitate colleagues seeking AWS certification in 2023. AWS Skills Guild is a comprehensive skills enablement program that helps organizations accelerate cloud outcomes by creating excitement, increasing employee engagement, and nurturing a culture of learning. PCCW Global also leveraged the AWS Digital Innovation (DI) Program to learn about Amazon's customer-centric approach to innovation and working backwards mechanisms which accelerate companies' journeys to adopting the cloud and creating customer-centric products for their customers.
"At PCCW Global, we are committed to drive innovation and upskill digital talent. Through our relationship with AWS, we have been able to comprehensively enhance our impactful skills enablement program. We are confident that a mindset aimed at innovation and transformation will help us remain competitive," Marc Halbfinger, CEO, PCCW Global said.
Since Amazon's global commitment to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to provide free cloud computing skills training to 29 million people around the world by 2025, AWS has trained more than 13 million people in digital skills. For more information about our free cloud skills training commitment, visit AboutAmazon.com/29million. Early this year, AWS also announced Team Subscription on Skill Builder, the AWS online learning center in Hong Kong, to help organizations to create a scalable and flexible learning solution by offering self-paced digital training lab, team challenges and expert-led learning plans. The Team Subscription also provides administrative capabilities to assign and track training for teams.
Download the "AWS Hong Kong Digital Skills Study: The Economic Benefits of a Tech-Savvy Workforce".
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About Amazon Web Services
Since 2006, Amazon Web Services has been the world's most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud offering. AWS has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any cloud workload, and it now has more than 200 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 99 Availability Zones within 31 geographic regions, with announced plans for 15 more Availability Zones and five more AWS Regions in Canada, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Thailand. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit aws.amazon.com.
About AWS Training and Certification
AWS Training and Certification equips learners and organizations in more than 200 countries and territories with education resources to build and validate in-demand cloud computing skills. Learners of various skill levels, roles, and backgrounds can build knowledge and practical skills with 600+ free online courses in up to 14 languages on AWS Skill Builder, which is part of Amazon's commitment to provide 29 million people around the world with free cloud computing skills training by 2025. Since 2020, we've helped over 13 million people get cloud skills training for free. Learners can deepen their skills and expertise with live classroom training, and earn AWS Certifications, which demonstrate cloud computing expertise with an industry-recognized credential. We also help cultivate the next generation of cloud professionals through our Education Programs, including AWS Academy, AWS Educate, and AWS re/Start, providing cloud skills training and AWS Certification opportunities to individuals of diverse backgrounds who want to learn cloud or seek a career change. We recently launched two paid digital subscriptions for our digital learning center, AWS Skill Builder: Individual and Team, to support customer learning with highly interactive, challenged-based learning and AWS Certification exam preparation. Learn more aws.amazon.com/training.
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