Technologies like machine learning, robotics, augmented reality, and the cloud are making inroads into just about every industry and job description imaginable. From agriculture to education, manufacturing to retail, the demand for digital is growing.

An AWS customer is using cloud-based tools to help farmers deploy climate change solutions.

This is why Amazon is investing to provide 29 million people globally with access to free cloud computing skills training. Whether you have little to no technology experience or are an experienced information technology (IT) practitioner looking to learn next-gen technologies, Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers an array of free offerings from a full-time, multi-week, workforce-development skills training program to more than 600 cloud computing courses.

New research from Gallup and AWS sheds light on the tremendous economic, innovation, and performance benefits that investing in advanced digital skills for workers can provide. The study surveyed more than 3,000 U.S. workers and more than 1,170 U.S. employers, coupled with analysis of job vacancies from mid-2021 to mid-2022. The research highlights the tech skills that will be in high demand as they become increasingly central to the way companies do business.

Here are the top takeaways from the study.

Digital skills are powering gross domestic product (GDP) growth

Advanced digital skills raise U.S. GDP by an estimated $1.1 trillion each year, and global GDP by an estimated $6.3 trillion each year, by boosting workers’ income and productivity.

Businesses are boosting salaries and improving careers

More U.S. workers with advanced digital skills saw pay increases (58%) than those with intermediate digital skills (40%) or basic digital skills (33%) compared to individuals who do not apply digital skills at work. Workers in all three groups saw similar boosts in efficiency and chances for promotion. 99% of U.S. workers who took digital skills training say their career has experienced at least one positive benefit as a result.

Emerging technologies will be in strong demand

When asked how likely it was that emerging technologies—including artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and robotics—will become a standard part of their business in the near-future, nearly two-thirds of U.S. employers believed it was highly likely. U.S. workers also see skills like robotics, AI, and blockchain as areas they expect will be most important to their future career advancement.

From interactive gaming to online courses, Amazon offers a wealth of ways to master the cloud.

Employers look to the cloud for skills that will continue to be in-demand

The technologies of tomorrow are all powered by the cloud. Gallup’s study found that 87% of U.S. employers are using the cloud and another 8% of U.S. organizations say they plan to begin using the cloud in the near future.

Skills gap and competition for talent equals opportunity for people with the right skills

72% of U.S. businesses find it challenging to hire workers with the digital skills they need, with close to half of employers (43%) attributing the challenge to a shortage of qualified applicants.

Employees want to learn

More than seven in 10 (72%) U.S. workers are “extremely interested” or “very interested” in digital skills training.

Data from the recent study

A graph displaying top emerging technologies that U.S. employers believe are “extremely likely” to become a standard part of doing business in the future (Source: Gallup and AWS).
Photo by Gallup and AWS
 A table that shows U.S. worker views on the top 10 future skills they believe will be most important to their career development (Source: Gallup and AWS).
Photo by Gallup and AWS

If you're interested to learn about courses that are available through Amazon, here are 5 ways you can enhance your career with cloud-computing skills from Amazon, or learn more about Amazon's commitment to train 29 million people for free on cloud computing skills by 2025.