The Top 5 Workforce Predictions for 2020

The Top 5 Workforce Predictions for 2020

By David DeMoss

Technology is advancing quickly — and employers need to make sure they are preparing their employees for the future. To help with this, Udemy created a report that lists the top 5 trends and learning predictions for 2020.

Within this list, Udemy states that AI will be going mainstream in 2020, which will allow humans to take on different “specialty” tasks — ones that allow them to leverage creativity, emotional intelligence and storytelling. Another trend Udemy predicts is that employers will teach current employees new skills rather than hiring scarce talent, since reskilling the workforce is much more cost-effective than disruptive layoffs and hiring on new employees. Finally, companies are predicted to be much more data-driven, causing employees to learn new skills like data analysis and coding. More details from Katie Kuehner-Hebert below.

Robots and chatbots armed with artificial intelligence aren’t going to wipe out human workers. In fact, emerging technologies are actually going to create demand for new types of jobs, according to Udemy’s report, “2020 Workplace Learning Trends Report: The Skills of the Future.”

To truly harness the power of AI and big data, organizations will need to adopt a “data-driven culture,” powered by workers who know how to manage, store, process, analyze and draw actionable insights from the data generated by AI, the authors write.
But it’s more than that: workers will also need to be “upleveled” to realize their “full potential” — along with the full potential of leveraging smarter machines.

“With large-scale technology disruption, organizations will need to respond in a transformational way,” they write. “It will mean rethinking workforce skills and talent management….L&D teams will need to reinvent themselves to prepare their workforce for the skills of the future.”

Udemy’s report details the latest learning trends and hottest skills based on what more than 40 million people are learning on its platform worldwide, including by role, industry, and country. Udemy also explains five ways organizations are reinventing learning and preparing their workforce for the skills of the future, based on a survey of 200 L&D leaders.
These are Udemy’s top five trends and top five learning predictions:

Trend 1: From concept to reality: AI goes mainstream in 2020

“We’re starting to see AI adopted in all parts of the business,” the authors write. “Marketing is applying AI data insights on customer behavior to tailor sales offers. HR teams are beginning to use AI to recruit, screen and interview candidates. Finance teams are applying AI and machine learning to reduce company travel costs.”

Top 10 emerging tech skills: Gatsby.js (web framework), AWS Big Data, React Hooks, Microsoft Azure Architecture, Next.js (web framework), Apache Airflow (data processing), SwiftUI (Apple apps), Pegasystems (digital process automation), ESP32 (internet of things) and Quantum computing.

Trend 2: Upleveling the human: 2020 is about realizing the full potential of humans and machines

“As automation and AI take care of the more mundane tasks, employees are increasingly specializing in tasks that leverage unique ‘human’ strengths like creativity, emotional intelligence and storytelling,” the authors write. “2020 and the next decade will be about upleveling the human and realizing the full potential of humans and machines in the workplace.”

Top 10 fastest-growing process and tools skills in the workplace: SAP, ISO/IEC 27001 (risk management), Information security process, Microsoft Dynamics 365, UiPath (Robotic Process Automation), Business process management, Scrum (Agile), Oracle SQL, Robotic Process Automation and Risk management.

Trend 3: Learning and development is starting to tackle reskilling the workforce

“With tight labor markets, business leaders are beginning to recognize retraining existing talent for new roles as more effective than competing for scarce talent,” the authors write. “While reskilling for future skills requires long-term planning, the cost of disruptive layoffs and hiring can be more expensive than providing continuous training for employees.”

With this new demand for reskilling, organizations are placing a higher priority on L&D: 35 percent of surveyed organizations enjoyed increased budgets in the last year, and only 13 percent saw their budget decline. However, 51 percent of L&D budgets remained the same, “which is worrying, given the reskilling task ahead.”

Trend 4: Organizations are building a data-driven culture

“Businesses are transforming into a data-driven organizations by upskilling on tech skills like deep learning, algorithms, automation, natural language processing, Excel, data analytics and the cloud,” the authors write. “Roles are changing fast and becoming more fluid. For example, marketers and sales pros are becoming more data savvy.”

Emerging skills: for marketers, data science, SQL, Excel, and Tablea; for sales people, Excel and SQL; for finance professionals, Excel, Tableau, financial analysis, and soft skills like leadership, diversity, and performance management; for engineers, Python, Java, AWS, and web frameworks (React, Angular, Spring, Node.js).

Trend 5: Countries across the world are upskilling in highly coveted tech skills

Top 20 countries learning popular tech skills such as Python, React, machine learning, deep learning, Docker and Amazon AWS: U.S., India, Brazil, U.K., Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Netherlands, Israel, Canada, Poland, Mexico, Spain, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Argentina, and the Russian Federation.

“We also ranked countries with the highest average number of learning hours per learner to neutralize bias for size,” the authors write. “Based on this analysis, we uncovered countries doing the best at acquiring these highly coveted tech skills on a per learner basis.”

Top 20 countries with the highest learning on popular tech skills per learner: Bulgaria, Italy, Ukraine, Greece, Canada, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Serbia, Israel, Romania, Norway, Russian Federation, Finland, Poland, Denmark, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Hungary and Portugal.

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