We know a lot about what employers think of the skills gap, what some economists think of the skills gap and what politicians think of the skills gap. What we don’t know? What workers think of the skills gap.
So we sought to change that. And the results surprised us.
The Udemy Skills Gap Index, an independent survey conducted by ResearchNow surveyed 1,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 65 to determine their thoughts, perceptions and attitudes toward not only the skills they believe they possess, but also how those skills impact their professional lives.
Among the most surprising results was the revelation that, while 61% of Americans believe that today’s workforce is plagued by a skills gap, 95% consider themselves to be either qualified or overqualified for the positions that they personally hold. When it comes to the skills gap, Americans clearly believe “it’s not me – it’s you.” Other findings include:
- Ameasurable gender disconnect in perceptions of the skills gap exists, with 68% of men believing in its existence as compared to 55% of women.
- While nearly half of Americans say their higher education helped them get their first job, more than a third believe they use less than 10% of what they learned in college in the workplace.
- A majority of millennials (53%) feel that they have already mastered the skills their jobs require of them, as compared to 43% of baby boomers.
- 36% of people seeking a new job report taking no extra action (such as taking an online course, attending networking events or visiting a recruiter) to boost their chances of getting hired.
So what do these findings really mean? A full analysis is available in our report, but the survey raises some compelling questions:
- How long until the majority of Americans feel personally affected by the skills gap? (Our guess – not long)
- Are employers doing enough to train their workers on the job?
- How are Americans going to adopt new skills?
As you may have guessed, we’re pretty bullish on online learning for that last one, and we’re not the only ones. More than 4 million people all over the world rely on Udemy to build and sharpen their skills, and more are joining our ranks every day. We predict that as the line between work life and education life continues to blur, more and more workers will turn to online learning to adopt the new skills needed to succeed professionally and personally.