What are the learning trends that are defining businesses in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in the year ahead? We explored Udemy for Business 2020 course consumption to find out. Below you’ll find a brief overview of the findings, including the learning trends and specific skills employees will need in 2021.

Top 3 trending skills in APAC for 2021

Database design 

Database design skills are necessary not only for data architects and database administrators. IT specialists are also growing their skills beyond help centers and security specializations to learn the foundations of database design so they can assist with cloud computing and infrastructure needs. 

Likewise, software engineers must understand database principles as the websites and services they build are increasingly reliant on data efficiently pulling through a company’s back end. 

Microsoft AZ-900

Developers and IT specialists rely on cloud computing skills to deploy products and safeguard digital infrastructure. But while Amazon Web Services (AWS) is undoubtedly the dominant player in this space, Microsoft Azure is a popular choice among C-level executives

Plus, enterprise companies often choose Azure for its compatibility with the organization’s existing Microsoft software. In the APAC region, Microsoft AZ-900 is the top skill in Australia and India.

Listening skills

As workforces continue to be remote or distributed in 2021, active listening skills matters more than ever. With the quick shift to remote work in the last year, refining communication and listening skills became indispensable for employees. 

Though plenty of communication methods exist to augment in-person interactions, the screen fatigue that come with video conferencing and other technologies require people to keep their listening and comprehension skills sharp.   

What these skills say about learning trends in APAC

Hybrid tech helps technical employees broaden their skill sets

Many technical teams are moving employees away from single domain expertise, with hybrid roles becoming the norm. Leaders are encouraging employees to build their expertise in more than one subject related to their job function. 

This means IT specialists, software engineers, and data scientists are learning some cloud computing skills, including Microsoft AZ-900 which is fundamental to organizations that use Azure. Likewise, many tech employees who aren’t data architects are learning database design foundations to better understand the data infrastructure of the systems they’re building. 

Your technical employees don’t necessarily need to become masters of all though. There may always be some need for hyper-specialized roles. But in most cases, anyone involved with software development should expect their career path to reflect the principle of “learning in the flow of life” as Deloitte says.

Listening skills are key for remote collaboration

In 2020, leaders across every industry had to quickly prioritize remote collaboration solutions. “COVID-19 has really accelerated the shift from ‘remote-accessible’ to ‘remote-first’ thinking in collaboration design,” says Sprintkick founder and Udemy instructor Evan Kimbrell.

Active listening is critical to productive collaboration especially now when increased screen time results in increased distractions. Conversations that take place via video or other technology are missing key elements. Employees can’t rely on body language and non-verbal cues when they’re behind screens. A conversation free of multitasking but filled with thoughtful follow-up questions is necessary for teams to stay aligned and on track with project timelines.

Explore the trends in more detail

This is just a short preview of the top trends in the APAC region. To tap into these learning trends, there are a few steps you can take. Help technical employees prepare for the future by encouraging them to break out of silos and broaden their technical expertise. Encourage all employees to develop collaboration skills, like listening. This will benefit them in both distributed and colocated environments.

Want to dive into country-specific data? Download the 2021 Asia Pacific Workplace Learning Trends Report.