Business Development

NEW!! Global Skills Index Report

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This past week, Coursera released the inaugural issue of the Coursera Global Skills Index (GSI), an in-depth look at skill trends and performance around the world, made possible by the millions of learners who come to Coursera to learn and grow.

As the types of skills needed in the labor market change rapidly, individual workers will have to engage in life-long learning if they are to achieve fulfilling and rewarding careers. For companies, reskilling and upskilling strategies will be critical if they are to find the talent they need and to contribute to socially responsible approaches to the future of work. For policy-makers, reskilling and retraining the existing workforce are essential levers to fuel future economic growth, enhance societal resilience in the face of technological change and pave the way for future-ready education systems for the next generation of workers.

Macro trends like digital transformation and the decreasing shelf-life of skills are challenging organizations to play catch up as they try to hire and develop their people. This year, the number one focus for talent developers is to identify, assess, and close skills gaps and they are tackling the challenge head-on in a myriad of ways and reports such as this draw from an innovative data methodology to reveal rich skills insights.

Here are some of the key findings of the report:

  • Two-thirds of the world’s population is falling behind in critical skills, including 90% of developing economies. Countries that rank in the lagging or emerging categories (the bottom two quartiles) in at least one domain make up 66% of the world’s population, indicating a critical need to upskill the global workforce. Many countries with developing economies — and with less to invest in education — see larger skill deficiencies, with 90% ranking in the lagging or emerging categories.
  • Europe is the global skills leader. European countries make up over 80% of the cutting-edge category (top quartile globally) across Business, Technology, and Data Science. Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Norway, and the Netherlands are consistently cutting-edge in all three domains. This advanced skill level is likely a result of Europe’s heavy institutional investment in education via workforce development and public education initiatives.
  • Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America have high skill inequality. Consistent with the vast economic and cultural diversity that characterizes each region, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America have the greatest within-region skill variance. Asia Pacific is at the extremes of the global Business rankings with New Zealand (#6) and Australia (#9) approaching the very top, while Pakistan (#57) and Bangladesh (#59) land near the bottom. In the Middle East and Africa, Israel is a leader in each of the three domains and #1 in Data Science, while Nigeria lags near the bottom of the rankings across domains, and is last in Data Science. In Latin America, Argentina’s #1 ranking in Technology is in stark contrast to Mexico’s (#43) and Colombia’s (#49) lower proficiencies in the field.
  • The United States must upskill while minding regional differences. Although known as a business leader for innovation, the U.S. hovers around the middle of the global rankings and is not cutting-edge in any of the three domains. Within the U.S., skill proficiency is distributed non-uniformly while the West ranks ahead of other regions in Technology and Data Science, the Midwest shines in Business.

In addition to benchmarking countries, they also evaluated trending skills globally and skill proficiencies across 10 major industry verticals and the top 2 findings were:

  • Demand for Technology and Data Science skills is growing, while demand Business skills is shrinking. Across the board, enrollment numbers highlight fast-growing demand for Technology and Data Science skills from individuals and companies alike. IBM has a very strong Data Science Professional Certificate course to help get started with those Data Science Skills
  • Technology industry professionals lack strong business skills. Technology ranks 5th in Business out of the ten industries in our analysis. To help resolve this, IBM has announced a series of 5 FREE professional skills courses

The complete Coursera report can be downloaded here

Education and training systems need to keep pace with the new demands of labor markets that are continually challenged by technological disruption, demographic change, shifting business models and the evolving nature of work. This transformation needs to address both short term (35% of the skills demanded for jobs across industries will change by 2020) and long-term needs in an urgent but sustainable manner. Stay connected with IBM Training to see how YOU and your organization can stay ahead in this skills game.

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