We seem to talk about it but why is it so important for employees to upskill and develop new skills to get ready for the future?
The need for upskilling
In a recent survey from PwC
with 22,000 adults in 11 countries, 53% of respondents said they believe automation will significantly change or even make their job obsolete within the next 10 years.
Nevertheless, the majority with 61% of the respondents were positive about the impact technology will have on their work and 77% of people said they would learn new skills now or completely retrain to ensure their future employability.
From our own experience at SIT Academy
, an EdTech startup, we can say that for many people, upskilling/reskilling means learning how to code and leveraging technologies like they do in our intensive Data Science and Web Development bootcamps. For others, especially for managers, it’s more about understanding what technology can do and learning how to work with or leading a tech team.
The Benefits of upskilling – not just for employees
There are many benefits to employees, but also to companies, if they start upskilling their employees.
- Employee retention – I guess we all agree that working for an organisation that cares little for your professional and personal growth and development is not the place you want to stay in long-term. Employees want to learn and see their company support it and encourage active learning. Upskilling and retraining your current workforce will prevent skills from becoming redundant and reduce costs associated with turnover.
- Higher motivation – This point is directly linked to the previous one: employee retention. It’s proven that teams with various learning and development opportunities have higher workplace morale. Not only will employees feel more comfortable in their working environment, but it will also encourage them to feel happier in their roles and have a more positive outlook on their future within the company.
- Greater talent acquisition – Providing opportunities to upskill will help you as a company establishing a brand image within the market. By supporting your employee’s learning and development, they will serve as strong brand advocates for your company. This is also an attractive feature for highly qualified applicants with extensive skills and experience.
How to upskill
Ok, we all know that upskilling is essential and how you as a company can benefit from it. The big question, however, still remains: how do you upskill your current workforce?
- Analyze current situations and identify missing skills: First of all, companies should run strategic workforce simulations to identify mid and long-term talent gaps. They should do this by classifying current skills needed for different jobs within the company and mapping them against future ones. Doing this will allow them to assess what kind of upskilling they might need to do.
- Choose the right programs/courses for your employees to develop themselves: After you have analyzed the current situation and future needs, you can develop learning interventions to bridge those gaps. Companies should also customize best-practice learning methods to individual employees through things like personalized learning platforms. At SIT Academy we offer two different approaches on how to train your employees.
- Establish a learning culture: Training and development programs are likelier to succeed if the management promotes a learning culture and if the right incentives are in place for employees to learn. Best-in-class companies encourage employees to adopt a continuous-growth mindset and to learn on the job, provide opportunities for people to take time off for learning (ex: flexible time schedule or reducing the workload to do a part-time program or an unpaid leave to do a 3-month bootcamp), and have managers act as training coaches.
Individual training for employees:
For those who have to learn specific skills, companies should find the right training for their employees. For example, SIT Academy offers part-time courses on Python Programming, Artificial Intelligence or Machine learning to help employees learn specific skills they need to succeed in their job.
Internal training for a group of employees:
Company-wide programs can be organized internally to train a group of employees. SIT Academy offers internal workshops for managers to get an understanding of Artificial Intelligence and to learn how to lead or work with a Data Science team. We have also organized internal workshops for well-known media companies in Switzerland, primarily for Project/Program Managers in the area of programming which helped them to better manage and understand their teams of developers.
Implications on the EdTech market
Education is one of the world’s single largest industries, making up more than 6% of GDP. It is expected that total global expenditure from governments, companies, and consumers together will reach $7.3T by 2025.
Based on a global education and expenditure study
by the Wittgenstein Centre, there will be 2 billion more school, college, university and further education graduates in the world y by 2050.
Source: 10 charts that explain the Global Education Technology market – HolonIQ
Conclusion & final remarks
There is no way around upskilling at both the individual and company-level. Technology will change the way we work and subsequently the skills we need.
SIT Academy is a zurich-based startup offering tech courses (part-time and full-time) for individuals and corporates. We are more than happy to share our experience with you and discuss potential opportunities for you employees, if you are interested in upskilling your existing workforce of course.