Advertising agencies’ talent development is falling behind the fast-moving digital economy, reports professional education firm smith & beta. The company’s “The State of Advertising Talent” report, drawing from a survey of more than 2,000 agency employees around the world, found a lack of core skillsets and outdated organizational habits.

smith & beta’s survey found that while most agency employees say clients are asking for more advanced digital work, 43 percent say that they aren’t prepared for future work in their industry. Furthermore, 55 percent described themselves as novice or less skilled in their mobile-strategy capabilities, while only 15 percent said they were semi-expert or expert.

“For far too long, agencies have relied on the acquisition of expert talent to deliver digital solutions to clients, but this approach has simply not scaled,” says Allison Kent-Smith, founder of smith & beta. “Most employees are far behind in skillsets that are generating the largest revenue opportunity. For some skillsets, more than 60 percent of employees rate themselves novice or ‘have no idea’ about that particular practice area.”

smith & beta surveyed advertising companies across North America, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. Participants included employees from small and large agencies who answered skill and organizational readiness questions via a quantitative survey and one-on-one, group employee and leadership interviews.

The full report is available here.