What does learning and development look like in Europe in 2021? We explored the Udemy for Business course consumption data for the region to find out. Below you’ll find an overview of the findings, including learning trends and specific skills your employees will need for the year ahead.

Top 3 trending skills in Europe for 2021

Microsoft AZ-900

Developers and IT specialists rely on cloud computing skills to deploy products and safeguard digital infrastructure. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is undoubtedly the dominant player in this space. But Microsoft Azure is quickly gaining traction in Europe. The Microsoft AZ-900 exam tests candidates’ knowledge of cloud concepts and Azure features.

In Europe, where many companies already use Microsoft’s enterprise software solutions, Azure is a growing skill thanks to its compatibility with existing systems. Microsoft AZ-900 is in the top five skills for 2021 in the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany. 

Certified Kubernetes Administrator

Software and infrastructure teams use Kubernetes, a container orchestration platform, to increase efficiency and productivity through a cloud-first IT strategy. Kubernetes manages bundles of code (called “containers”) on a set of servers, that teams use to produce and scale their applications faster. The Certified Kubernetes Administrator certification verifies participants’ skills and knowledge of this platform.

France saw increased consumption of Kubernetes courses over the last year, making it one of the nation’s top five trending skills for 2021. 

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a collaborative workspace software that allows employees located anywhere to communicate and work closely with colleagues anywhere in the world. European employees use this central hub for workplace conversations, video chats, and document sharing. The Teams suite of products can be an alternative to — or replacement for — email. 

Learners in the UK and the Netherlands are spending more time training on Microsoft Teams best practices. The popular collaboration technology is in the top five skills for both countries in 2021 — which is impressive for a tool that didn’t exist four years ago. 

What these skills say about learning trends in Europe

Growing interest in Microsoft Azure and Kubernetes indicates shift toward hybrid tech

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. Now IT specialists, software engineers, and data scientists are branching out to cloud computing skills. This includes Microsoft AZ-900 and Kubernetes. Gaining certifications in these skills helps employees learn to make optimal use of the platforms.

Microsoft Teams and similar tools power remote collaboration

When European countries went into lockdown starting in March 2020, organizations had to act swiftly. There was a sudden need to communicate and collaborate remotely. Many companies leaned on technology to fill in the gaps. In April 2020, Microsoft reported a record 75 million daily active users.

In a remote environment, it’s much harder to have casual check-ins and conversations. Microsoft Teams and other similar technologies help companies meet the specific needs of remote work without sacrificing team dynamics.

Explore Europe’s learning trends in more detail

This is a brief overview of the top trends in Europe. To tap into these trends, there are a few steps you can take. Encourage technical employees to develop an understanding of cloud technologies like Azure and Kubernetes. Help all employees gain proficiency with Microsoft Teams or other collaboration software to get the most out of remote work.

Want to explore country-specific trends and data? Download the 2021 European Workplace Learning Trends Report.