The World Economic Forum predicts that machines will create 60 million more jobs than the ones they displace by 2022. This means that in the very near future, employees will be expected to work alongside machines and automated technology. The move to reskill and upskill, wherein organizations, governments, academic institutions, and individuals themselves are focusing on learning new-age skills, is a result of this shift.
The drive to equip the workforce with relevant skills for the present and the future has been the most prominent in the IT and the tech industry. However, to sustain this momentum, there’s a need to analyze what’s working well and what needs to be improved in the learning function. Here are a few insights from Skillsoft’s report on learning trends and consumption:
Learning preferences and methodologies
Learners want the right combination of courses, tools, and practice to aid their learning journeys. They tend to prefer micro-learning experiences over others and, as a result, are finishing courses and training in lesser time. The advancements made in searching and suggestions of relevant courses have ensured that learners can access the most useful learning content.
Another critical trend is that learners are proactively seeking to advance their careers by signing up for focused skill-building courses and training programs that can be completed at their convenience and schedule. Interestingly, there is an upward spike in the number of learners registering for and completing courses and programs in December and January. This could be attributed to annual training and performance reviews and the relative reduction in client visits during the holidays. Thus, learners want the right mix of traditional and online learning tools and the flexibility of approaching the course or training in their own unique method.
Trends in learning the sought-after tech courses
Some of the most sought after courses include network and operating systems, security, data, DevOps, cloud, software development, and programming. As a matter of fact, several technology professionals and developers are taking multiple courses to develop skills in allied fields. Learners who are taking courses on networking and operating systems tend to spend twice the time on consuming content. Courses on security, networking, and operating systems featured the highest utilization of beginner-level content, and data had the smallest usage of expert-level content assets; DevOps registered the least usage of beginner-level content. The most sought-after courses in the tech domain including data, security, and cloud, reflect the current landscape of the digital industry and emerging fields are set to become indispensable to businesses.
Keys to learner engagement and retention levels
Unsurprisingly, the engagement of learners depends on the quality of the content and the nature of the subject. Additionally, the ease of usability and navigation determines the retention level among tech learners. Courses that provide certifications and dynamic modules help learners remain actively engaged because there is a clear goal of reaching the next milestone and eventually earning the certification. Naturally, learners become more inclined to finish the course if they can track their progress and obtain support in their areas of weakness.
Similarly, if highly technical information is relayed in smaller chunks, learners display higher levels of engagement. Therefore, there is no doubt that leaners prefer well-structured online courses over traditional forms of training. However, quality content, interactive features, and a structured approach are critical to keep them engaged.
The rapid changing business and digital environment demand tech professionals and developers to adopt continuous learning practices. As tech professionals turn to dedicated platforms and resources to upgrade their skills, organizations must take cognizance of the learning and consumption trends in the tech learning industry and provide their workforce with the most relevant, engaging, and effective tools. Supporting the learning journeys of technology professionals with the right resources will not only future-proof the careers of their employees, but also the future of organizations.