Rise of AI makes work training necessary for retaining employees

The enterprise skills gap—the disparity in the skills job seekers have and the qualifications expected by employers—is still leaving jobs unfilled, according to Udemy’s 2018 Skills Gap Report. And the workforce is taking note: 84% of full-time US now believe the skills gap is real, and that they are being left behind.

Because of the heightened prioritization of digital transformation initiatives and artificial intelligence (AI), respondents are not only afraid that the skills needed for their jobs will change (72%), but that automation will replace their jobs within five years (43%).

Employees

say that or upskilling is required to keep their jobs, according to the report. However, respondents don’t believe they will get the they need: Some 45% of women and 51% of men said they do not have confidence in government initiatives to reskill the workforce, the report found. And because of AI, 55% of respondents said they believe they have fewer career advancement opportunities than ever before.

Because of this doubt in corporate and government training efforts, many employees are taking matters into their own hands. Some 34% of respondents reported using online courses as their primary resource for learning new skills, hoping that these new skills may save their jobs. Regular bachelor’s degrees don’t cut it anymore, since the demand for certain skills is constantly evolving: Only 25% of managers said they believe students possess the skills to be promoted, according to the report.

Overall, 51% of respondents said they’d quit a job that didn’t provide necessary training, but among those who know their companies desire new skills, that number jumps to 80%. These fears are understandable, as the idea of taking jobs is not a new concern. More specifically, automation has been rumored to be the key to fixing the enterprise cybersecurity skills gap, according to TechRepublic contributing writer Dan Patterson.

If companies want to hire and retain valuable employees with strong soft skills and adaptability, they must commit to supporting career advancement, the report found. To maintain headcount and business performance, companies need to either offer assurance that new skills won’t take jobs away from employees, or they must provide the teaching and learning necessary to grow, according to the report.

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