Reinventing business skills building in the post-COVID world
Raghav Gupta, Managing Director, India and APAC, Coursera, highlights new developments that will shape learning in the post-COVID era.
The pandemic has forced companies to rethink their skills upgrading strategy. To keep pace with the new standard of remote working, tackle the disruption of business models and accelerate their digital transformation journey, the focus has been renewed on talent development.
At a time when the skills landscape is rapidly changing and uncertainty looms across all sectors and professional roles, e-learning holds promise for driving business growth and resilience. Its flexibility and scalability help companies respond quickly to the immediate and future skill needs of their employees.
WEF Future of Skills Report pointed out that all the employers surveyed in Singapore seek to increase the digitization of work processes, but that only 77% of the workforce is equipped with digital skills. Building on the need to “close the skills gap”, this year’s budget also focused on the government’s plans to develop the “skills, creativity and talents” of the workforce. artwork.
To realize the country’s vision, employers will need to continue the current trend of digital learning. In Singapore, we saw 222,000 new learners joining the Coursera platform in 2020. As businesses seek to settle into the ‘new normal’ and prepare for the long recovery ahead, I see three existing trends. that have accelerated during the pandemic year and anticipate new developments that will shape learning in the post-COVID era.
“To keep pace with the new standard of remote working, tackle the disruption of business models and accelerate their digital transformation journey, the focus has been renewed on talent development. “- Raghav Gupta, Managing Director, India and APAC, Coursera
Trends that accelerated during the pandemic
Digital transformation: The pace of digital transformation continued unabated in 2020, fueled in part by the pandemic. The WEF calls Singapore as a digitally advanced nation, with a strong digital legal framework and strong adoption of information and communications technology. As companies rapidly digitize processes, including accelerating the digitization of skills upgrading and employee retraining (59%), we see them redesigning their skills development goals, taking into account growing needs in areas such as machine learning, digital marketing and data structures.
Competency-based accreditations: As degrees continue to be the most transformative degree, the period of heavy pressure and time that passed last year has encouraged employers to seek more direct skills signals for positions. On Coursera, Professional Certificates such as Google IT Support, designed to equip employees with the latest industry-relevant skills, saw a 400% enrollment increase in 2020 compared to 2019.
A place for L&D at the business table: The companies we partner with on our Enterprise Platform all have the same overarching goal: They want to equip their employees at scale with the future skills they need to be successful. Lessons learned from the pandemic have made it clear that an agile workforce is the best protection against unforeseen disruption. Learning leaders guided the CEO to prepare the workforce for a new normal, validating their role as strategic partners in business transformation and finding their ideal place in the boardroom .
Critical changes that will inform the new normal
Role-based skills development: Technological integration has shortened the retention period for skills, emphasizing the need to learn quickly and frequently. It is more important for organizations to map core competencies for each role and guide learning programs to ideal outcomes. We have seen that when learning content is organized for professional roles and with clear objectives of mastery of skills, completion rates are much higher. Results of a IDC study of the Coursera for Business platform validated it: Companies can achieve a 746% return on investment over three years when they make learning an integral part of role development.
Applied practical learning: More and more industry and domain-specific tools are being used by companies. Whether by using a business intelligence tool, data analysis using python, or website creation with WordPress, companies rely on ready-to-use tools to accelerate deployment and experimentation. Typically not part of the academic curriculum, projects guided on Coursera can directly address this skill need of employers. Employees can learn job skills in under two hours with step-by-step guidance from an instructor. Because they require less time and allow them to practice using tools in real-life scenarios, employees can develop targeted skills when they need them.
A balance between general skills and technical skills: As companies juggle crisis response and growth-oriented strategies, and reflect on the lessons of the pandemic, the importance of balancing soft and technical skills becomes increasingly evident. Coursera Global Skills Report 2021 corroborates this, pointing out that the skills most transferable to all future jobs are people skills such as problem solving and communication, computer literacy and career management.
With the transformation of corporate learning curriculum to keep pace with the speed of change in the changing economy, we expect the rapid transition to the Internet to have a lasting effect on the way people learn. . Looking to the future, we anticipate that e-learning can serve a broader purpose: building an agile workforce of lifelong learners, equipped with the skills to drive innovation, manage with success volatility and steer their organization through future disruptions.
By Raghav Gupta, Managing Director, India and APAC, Coursera