Upskilling Courses a Huge Draw Among Covid-hit Professionals Seeking to Stay Relevant

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The COVID-19 pandemic affected businesses across the world, and business leaders were forced to prioritize how to survive in such unprecedented times. Lockdowns were imposed for an indefinite time, and millions of people lost their jobs, with the unemployment rate shooting an all-time high. However, business leaders and executives learned a lot about what steps to take in critical situations and maintain their business continuity. They realized the need to accelerate their digital transformation journey to survive in the changing market requirements. 

One of the trends that people noticed was the increased interest of professionals to gain digital skills that are going to rule the job market in the years to come. Businesses that operated online were the ones least affected by the pandemic and the lockdowns that followed next. So, those professionals who had lost their jobs or those whose jobs were at risk took a step towards upskilling and made an effort to become eligible for digital roles. But, did they need to enroll in two to three years of university programs to gain advanced in-demand skills? Well, there was a quicker and flexible way to learn about new technologies, i.e., online training programs. 

You must have heard of edtech platforms already, but their prominence was drastically visible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online learning is something that can be accessed using the internet. Some online learning providers have a cloud-based Learning Management System (LMS) through which they offer their courses. Learners have to sign up to access the platform, and then they can start learning anytime, anywhere. The LMS allows learners to track their progress, display how much course is left to be completed, their performance in different quizzes and assignments, and access virtual labs to work on their projects. 

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, many professionals have leveraged online learning to learn something new. The popular technologies that found increasing preference were cloud computing, machine learning, cybersecurity, data science, and project management, among others. Apart from the digital skills, professionals also relied on online training programs to prepare for industry-recognized certifications. A PRINCE2 course, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) training, and Lean Six Sigma certification course remained the top choice of employees as part of their upskilling initiatives.  

Taking a look at the 2021 Workplace Learning Report by LinkedIn, you would come to know that the Learning and Development’s (L&D) elevated role in their organizations remained strong in 2021. The surveyed L&D pros globally agreed that upskilling and reskilling were their most important areas of focus in 2021. The priority of Upskilling and reskilling stood at the top with 59%, leadership and management at 53%, and virtual onboarding at 33%. Regarding the power skills in 2021, resilience stood at Number 1 skill in countries like the US, Canada, France, and New Zealand. On the other hand, digital fluency stood at Number 1 in countries like India, Germany, and Southeast Asia.  

As many have learned good lessons from the pandemic, professionals are taking online courses to stay ahead of the competition. Even graduates and college students don’t want to miss this opportunity and are learning to make themselves more employable for the post-pandemic job market. Edtech platforms saw a massive surge in the number of users accessing their courses to continue their education. With universities and other educational institutions temporarily shutting down their operations, millions of students registered on online platforms and sought instructor-led classes to get a physical classroom-like experience. 

Though the situation is gradually returning back to normal, this trend of growing popularity of edtech platforms isn’t going to reduce any time soon. Even the government agencies are proposing to incorporate artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and other new-age skills-related courses in all engineering and technology-based colleges. This will create a variety of job opportunities for professionals working in the technology sector. Upskilling and reskilling platforms are not only assisting professionals in preparing for future job opportunities but also pushing enterprises to rethink their traditional hiring models to adopt a flexible approach to hire top talent. 

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