The most in-demand skills in a post Covid-19 world

Covid-19 has drastically changed the dynamic of what “was” the workplace to what is now the “new norm.” Companies are adapting to remote or hybrid working conditions, building more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organizations, and finding additional ways to bolster productivity.

Drastic changes like this don’t occur overnight, and the impact is real for employees and their organization’s bottom line. In fact, this is a serious challenge, one which may not affect all companies now but surely will affect most in the near future. In fact, a McKinsey report found that nearly nine out of 10 executives and managers say their organizations already face a skills gap or expect gaps to develop within the next five years. It also states that few organizations fully understand how to equip themselves with the needed skills to be successful, with one-third of respondents saying their companies are preparing to cope with workplace disruptions resulting from current tech and marketing trends. 

Organizational productivity hinges on both employee retention and professional growth and development. One isn’t possible without the other, and business growth depends in part on how quickly employees’ skill sets can evolve so that companies can remain competitive in today’s dynamic market.

With an emphasis on skills gaps and the global needs of organizations, Udemy Business recently published its 2022 Workplace Learning Trends Report. For this report, Udemy Business analyzed data based on what employees around the world are learning across our platform to identify trends. This data is drawn from thousands of customers using our solution globally and offers unique insights into the most in-demand job skills employees need to excel in today’s workforce. It also provides information about what organizations need most, and how they can use learning as part of a business strategy to achieve future business outcomes.

Examining learning trends region by region

However, the importance of the trends report is much broader than the data it provides. Countries in all global regions face different scenarios and needs. Factors like available resources, buyer/seller demand, and workforce capabilities influence which skills are most in-demand in a given country. 

While every country is unique in its conditions, there is a predominant theme across them all: a need for the workforce to bridge the technical skills gap.

What follows is a closer look at the data — as well as trends and needs — in given countries within the Asian-Pacific, European, and Latin American regions. 

Australia and India (Asia-Pacific)

Australia

There is an increasing demand for digital and technical skills in Australia, and workers report being highly invested in the need to keep their skills up to date.

A recent survey found 87% of Australian workers required digital skills for their roles. Team leaders see the importance of enhanced digital training, too, with four out of five Australian business leaders noting that adopting new technologies is crucial to achieving their organizational goals.

The findings in our 2022 Australia Learning Trends Report support this argument. The data below reflects the growth in demand for technical skills on Udemy Business in Australia from 2020 to 2021, with the following skills showing the greatest growth: 

Given the need for digital skills and the surge in demand in these skills topics, it’s no wonder that three out of four Australians say they want to learn about emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and cyber security. 

India

Technical jobs are booming in India. But the demand for tech-based skills outweighs available talent. The Udemy 2019–2020 Skills Gap Report reveals that most employees in India — 92% — say the country faces a skills gap, and 76% feel that it affects them personally.

In our 2022 India Learning Trends Report, the following technical skills saw surging demand on Udemy Business from 2020 to 2021:

Our findings echo those of the World Economic Forum, which predicts that more than 50% of India’s workforce will need to be reskilled to meet the current demands of its evolving business landscape, and 67% of businesses will need to outsource their core functions this year.

France and Germany (Europe)

France

France currently is in the middle of a major digital and technical skills shortage. The country is among the top three in the European Union with the largest deficits in tech skills like data analysis.

While 57% of people in France have at least basic digitals skills, 58% of companies that hired or tried to hire digital experts noted difficulties filling these positions. 

In our 2022 France Learning Trends Report, Udemy Business found that technical skills seeing surging demand in that country from 2020 to 2021 include:

To close the significant technical skills gaps across the public and private sectors, organizations in France will need to provide targeted training opportunities for existing employees.

Germany

Like France, Germany is also facing a major technical skills gap in its workforce. By 2024, it’s estimated Germany will see a shortage upwards of 700,000 people who possess technological skills like data analysis and web development.

Udemy Business found surging learning demand in Germany for skills like Terraform, software testing, and cloud computing. The latter is of particular importance, as one-third of cloud projects in Germany are incomplete or unsuccessfully implemented.

Our 2022 Germany Learning Trends Report found that top in-demand technical skills on Udemy Business from 2020 to 2021 included:

The technical skills gap that’s affecting Germany today will continue to grow unless employers remain consistent in their effort to train workers in the country’s most in-demand skills.

United Kingdom

The skills gap in the United Kingdom is three-pronged. Meaning, Udemy Business found a need for power, tactical, and technical skills training in its trends report. 

A key finding in this report is the transition from what were once called “soft” skills to what are now considered “power” skills. These skills—in areas like communication—are so important to the modern workforce that defining them as “soft”  undermines the value they bring to organizations.

The surging power skills identified in our 2022 United Kingdom Learning Trends Report include:

These trending power skills will help employees collaborate, communicate, and better advocate for their overall well-being.

Brazil and Mexico (Latin America)

Brazil

The skills gap in Latin America is the biggest in the world, according to the World Economic Forum. A Udemy survey found that employees in Brazil are the most concerned (of all surveyed countries) about the skills gap in their country, too.

The most in-demand skills among Brazilian organizations are centered around power skills and technical skills. 

The 2022 Brazil Workplace Learning Trends Report found that the top surging power and technical skills include: 

Power skills: 

Technical skills:

Employees report that the risks they see with a country-wide skills gap include possibly damaging their prospects for career success, job performance, and job productivity. The pace of change is happening at a fast enough rate that 85% of Brazilian employees surveyed say their current skills are becoming obsolete.

Mexico

The skills gap is of major concern in Mexico, but there isn’t one specific area where skills are lacking. That said, 74% of Mexican employers reported having difficulty filling jobs in 2020. In addition, 72% of employees in Mexico believe there’s a skills gap and 68% feel personally affected by it, according to the Udemy 2019–2020 Skills Gap Report,

Udemy Business found in its 2022 Mexico Learning Trends Report that earning trends surged in Mexico across all topical skills areas. The data shows a surge in demand in all of the following skills form 2020 to 2021: 

Power:

Tactical:

Technical:

In total, 80% of surveyed workers in Mexico agreed that it’s important for their employer to provide a culture of learning. This surging demand across skills categories helps illustrate the broad value of learning for the Mexican workforce.

There is a need to fill the skills gap—and integrated learning can help

It’s evident across the countries where we had access to data that there is a pressing need for learned technical skills. 

Most employees require some level of technical literacy in order to be successful, making it easier to understand why nearly all countries in this report found a need for advanced technical skills training. 

The one outlier in the UB trends report is the United Kingdom, which saw an equal focus on power skills. These skills are instrumental in organizations’ success and employees’ ability to adapt to a changing workplace, so it’s possible we’ll see power skill surges in other countries in years to come.

If companies want to prepare their organizations for the challenges of the future, it’s important they consider how to support their employees in developing the needed technical, tactical, and power skills outlined in this blog.

Organizations that are ready to start planning their team’s future learning initiatives should know our Udemy Business learning experts are here to help. Get in touch to learn more about how teams can unlock their potential and drive real business outcomes through our always-on learning platform.

Click here to view our 2022 Workplace Learning Trends Report.

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