A digital navigator instructing a person using a laptop.
Public Policy

New Data Reveals Public Perceptions on Digital Skills

By David Don

Key Takeaways

73% of respondents to a new National Skills Coalition survey believe expanding digital skills is an important way to improve the economy
82% of voters surveyed support increasing funding for digital skills training
69% of voters surveyed are more likely to support political candidates who champion such investments

Technological innovation and the digital revolution drive our economy. Keeping up with this change requires digital skills and proficiency in virtually every industry – from manufacturing to home healthcare to retail. As states and localities allocate billions in federal funds to connect every American to high-speed Internet, they should consider the importance digital skills training and steady access to upskilling opportunities play in expanding economic opportunity in communities large and small.

At Comcast, we recognize equitable access to skills and development are essential to building and supporting America’s workforce, and this fact takes on new urgency as training and upskilling workers are key ingredients to delivering on the promise of federal infrastructure investments across the country. Under Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities, we have a deep history of support for innovative partners such as Per Scholas, Genesys Works, NPower and more that engage at a highly local community level to offer skill training programs that open pathways to careers and economic mobility for individuals and families.

Building on this work, Comcast recently cosponsored a Broadband Breakfast webinar to discuss a newly released report from the National Skills Coalition (NSC). The National Skills Coalition’s Jeran Culina noted this newest research builds on a previous collaboration between NSC and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, finding that 92% of jobs require at least some digital skills. Culina also pointed out that skills training benefits businesses by reducing the costs of employee turnover, which will be an important consideration as emerging technologies like AI are integrated into the workplace.

Code the Dream co-founder Daisy Magnus-Aryitey shared success stories about how programs like Code School and Dev Shop are preparing diverse and low-income community members for high-paying careers in tech. Lo Smith from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance discussed the wide range of digital skills needed for the future – from foundational to high-level coding – and the role that digital navigators can play in helping others attain those skills.

Comcast’s Matthew Summy highlighted additional topline findings:


of respondents believe that expanding digital skills is an important way to improve the economy.


believe digital skills will be important throughout their careers.


support increasing funding for skills trainings.


are more likely to support political candidates who champion such investments.

According to the report, these sentiments were consistent across racial, political, educational, and geographical segments.

The findings indicate interest in digital skills is high across occupation type – including workers in blue-collar (67%), service industry (64%), and white-collar (61%) roles.

These findings should be top of mind for policymakers across America as they decide how to spend the influx of federal dollars that are coming their way. In already connected areas, funding can support organizations on the ground, like Code the Dream, that are actively bridging the digital divide by teaching skills that will become increasingly critical for workers. Ultimately, by investing in digital skills training, communities can build a highly skilled and adaptable workforce capable of navigating the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow with confidence and agility.

David Don is SVP, Public Policy at Comcast.