The Digital Gap Is Widening With The Pandemic: What To Do?

The University of Houston C.T.Bauer Department of Business offers solutions to improve the business situation of at-risk populations.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought new attention to the digital divide, as the need for online education and working from home has disproportionately damaged those without computer hardware and skills. New research reveals that people with basic Information Technology (IT) skills are more likely to be employed, even in jobs that are not clearly tied to those skills.

University of Houston C.T. According to research by Paul A. Pavlou, dean of the Bauer School of Business and researcher, people with basic Information Technology (IT) skills, such as using email, copying and pasting files, and working with an Excel spreadsheet, are not likely to be employed, even in jobs that are not clearly tied to those skills. probability is higher.

Researchers found that people with more advanced IT skills often earn higher salaries. The study is described in Information Systems Research.

The analysis was performed using two data sets from the Turkish Statistical Institute. Pavlou says the findings are particularly relevant to the developing world, where people are less likely to have IT skills and access computer equipment than in the US.

But as schools and universities seek to provide students with computers, internet access points and other equipment to continue their education online, the outbreak in the US has exposed unequal access to technology.

This is why the work has implications for marginalized workers in the US and other developed countries, Pavlou says. This includes women and older workers who are more likely to be out of the workforce if they can’t work from home. This can be considered within the scope of jobs requiring at least basic technology knowledge.

Pavlou states that the digital divide is a big social problem. He thinks that the pandemic will make this situation more obvious. People with basic IT skills will have access to more opportunities, and he stresses that it is imperative that educational institutions provide these IT skills, especially in traditionally disadvantaged populations.

It seems that the digital divide is getting bigger with the pandemic and efforts need to be intensified to bring IT skills to all segments.


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