Determinants of 21st-century digital skills: A large-scale survey among working professionals

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)
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The current workplace increasingly asks for workers with highly digitally skilled knowledge who produce and distribute ideas and information. As such, understanding the factors behind differences in the level of various 21st-century digital skills is of decisive importance. This study aims to examine (1) the level of 21st-century digital skills among knowledge workers, and (2) the determinants contributing to the level of these skills. The following digital skills are investigated: information, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving. Potential determinants that can be influenced by stakeholders are also included, such as social support and training. A large-scale online survey was conducted among professionals (N = 1,222) who work within knowledge-intensive creative industries. The results show that the level of 21st-century digital skills varies considerably. Furthermore, each 21st-century digital skill is explained by a different set of determinants, thereby requiring unique approaches for the development of each skill.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-104
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in human behavior
Early online date1 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • 21st-Century skills
  • Creative industries
  • Determinants
  • Digital skills
  • Workers
  • 22/4 OA procedure


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