- Reskilling may be necessary to manage the work of the future, but new research from learning platform edX shows that workers don't have the support they need. In a consumer survey about trends in reskilling, 37% of those polled admit they've lacked proficiency in at least one new skill or subject area in a current or past job. Forty percent said they don't feel comfortable asking their employer for assistance with a learning solution.
- Uncovering specific skills gaps, edX said 39% reported feeling less than proficient in data skills needed for analytics and computer science. About 25% of those polled have turned to an outside resource, partner, child or even grandchild to help them master the tech used at their company.
- Other areas with skills gaps were soft skills and business skills, the research found. More than one-third of respondents felt they were lacking in these areas, including project management and leadership, edX said.
These disparities may be indicative of an ongoing trend. The results of a 2018 survey by edX revealed only 20% of workers felt the education they received from their college major was translatable to their current field. The disconnect between what students learn and employers need, however, isn't the only learning challenge employers face. Automation-related reskilling may cost employers greatly, with one estimate putting the price to retrain 1.4 million workers affected by automation at $34 billion.
In light of talent shortages and skills gaps, like those uncovered by edX, the need to find a cost-effective and accessible solution for reskilling is more apparent. When workers don't believe their employer is doing enough to prepare them for the changes or fear seeming incompetent if they ask for upskilling, it can present an additional barrier. Employers can empower workers to take ownership of their digital learning by finding a learning platform that personalizes the coursework. Employers might also partner with trade organizations to teach workers tech skills in a hands-on environment.
The skills gap goes beyond technical know-how, though. Soft skills have become as valuable to many employers as hard skills, and communication, empathy and problem solving skills are in high demand for entry-level workers. Talent pros might vet potential learning solutions for how well programming covers these increasingly important soft skills, too.