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Shaky economic conditions drive workers to seek upskilling, professional development

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52% of workers plan to transition to a new field

According to a report released on June 22 by professional education company Emeritus, the current job market has led a significant number of working professionals to prioritize continuing education and upskilling. In the face of economic uncertainty, employees are keen on filling skills gaps related to technological advancements.

The report revealed that approximately 80% of survey respondents believe that upskilling would make them stand out professionally, while 74% stated that they would choose a job at an organization that invests in their education over one that does not.

Ashwin Damera, CEO and Co-founder of Emeritus commented: “Despite economic uncertainty, individuals are turning to continuing education and upskilling courses to create career opportunities. In a uniquely dynamic labor market, the results also highlight the huge opportunity that education programs provide for companies to increase employee engagement, drive retention, and attract new employees.”

The survey, which gathered responses from 6,600 individuals across 18 countries, found that the interest in upskilling has grown due to recent economic conditions. Over the past three years, there has been a global increase in interest and investment in continuing education, with a significant uptick observed in the last year. The report emphasized that despite concerns about personal or household spending, education is viewed as a necessary investment for professional growth and career advancement.

Looking ahead, 30% of survey participants expressed their likelihood of leaving their current jobs, while 52% plan to transition to a new field. In response to these trends, employer investment in learning and development is expected to play a crucial role in recruitment and retention efforts. A significant 82% of workers believe that professional education leads to higher engagement, commitment, and well-being at work.

In addition to economic worries, professionals are also concerned about filling skills gaps related to technological advancements and other evolving needs. Roughly half of the respondents expressed fear of being replaced by technology if they do not continuously upgrade their skills, and a similar proportion admitted to lacking the necessary skills for career advancement.

Recognizing this training trend in the current labor market, companies, particularly in the IT sector, are investing in upskilling their workforce to address staffing challenges. Despite a positive hiring outlook for the quarter, organizations are prioritizing upskilling and reskilling initiatives to ensure that their teams are well-prepared for the future of work.

However, as leaders plan and implement learning and development options, they must also consider potential barriers to access, as highlighted in a recent report. Concerns such as child care, work schedules, and financial tradeoffs may hinder some workers from pursuing certain learning opportunities.

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