- Programming, security, and networking and operating systems are among the most in-demand training topics for professionals in technology, new data from Skillsoft revealed. Microlearning is the preferred way to learn, usually through video, followed by books and courses. The report analyzed consumption data from over 25 million learning hours on the Skillsoft user base for a period of almost one year.
- Certifications are on the rise generally, Skillsoft noted; respondents sunk over 6 million training hours in networking and operating systems, due in large part to certification prep. Overall, certification prep course taking rose by roughly 20%.
- The half-life of skills "is drastically reducing," Skillsoft said, which is why employee development has especially taken off in the tech space via microlearning.
As digitization continues to revolutionize the workplace, employers are looking for ways to attract, retain and train staff members. Employers now widely pay for employees to pursue certifications; those that do report improvements in productivity and retention. And new categories of training and certification continue to enter the scene, including programming in data science and agile work, as online access to learning makes it more accessible.
Career development more broadly has been cited as a major retention tool, further pressing employers to invest. When it comes to training delivery in the method learners prefer, L&D is shifting from classroom and paper-based training to offerings that mirror the way users make their selections for other content — a transformation termed as the 'Netflixation' of choice engineering. On-demand courses and training have largely emerged as the preferred way to learn for employees of all types, including those who are not typically desk-bound, to access learning. Making learning accessible through a modern platform can help organizations assess whether their programs work for the business and the employee.
As demand continues to grow, leaders are seeking to more broadly define the STEM industry's terms of art to better quantify talent development for STEM careers. Doing so is a key step in identifying return on investment, experts noted in the report, especially since projections show that STEM jobs could go unfilled over the next decade.