The desire to upskill is prevalent across levels and is not limited to entry-level employees, as revealed in a study conducted by Simplilearn. According to the report, 69% of employees plan to spend more time upskilling, while 72% are looking to change employers or pivot to a new career altogether. Similarly, 64% of respondents are optimistic about the economy's growth while believing that the pandemic will fade away.
While 37% of respondents cited lacking skill certifications or new skills their jobs required as an obstacle to career growth, 18% admitted a lack of soft skills like verbal and written communication, supervisory skills, and presentation as a challenge for their growth.
There is some uncertainty about continued economic recovery and the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and CXOs and VPs/department heads are most optimistic about recovery from the pandemic. People in large companies (5,000 to 9,999 employees) are optimistic about the pandemic ending but somewhat less certain about economic recovery.
As per the report, the scarcity of critical skills is the biggest challenge. However, 28% of the respondents who were planning to do better in their current roles and 30% of those who were looking to pivot to a new career showed interest in skills such as data science, digital marketing, and project management. These were the top skills chosen by learners for upskilling.
Both large and small enterprises emphasised continued learning. The report, titled 2022 State of Upskilling Midyear Learner Survey, indicates that 75% of employees in very small firms (fewer than 50 employees) and 73% of people in very large firms (over 10,000 employees) have plans to spend more time learning in the coming year. One inference from this finding is that small firms' employees need to keep their skills current with emerging technologies and want a well-rounded skill set. Another insight is that large enterprises value continuous learning and encourage their employees to refresh their skills.
Similarly, the upper and entry-level employees of organisations are most interested in learning and upskilling. The survey report also points out that 77% CXOs are also planning to spend more time on learning this year.
This finding also indicates a dynamic and rapid shift across industries that requires all professionals, irrespective of designation, to upskill in new-age skills quickly and effectively. Upskilling has become a strong priority for all employees and enterprises.