Skillsoft’s new report reveals DEI courses are in-demand

Report highlights that courses on diversity, equity and inclusion play a pivotal role in building a future-fit workforce

Skillsoft has revealed that organisations are putting a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) courses now more than ever in their Lean into Learning: 2020 Annual Learning Report.

The report shows that DEI courses saw a surge of 367% across industries and disciplines. Between May and June, completions of a course on Understanding Unconscious Bias grew by 1200%. The findings from the report show that the future of work requires real diversity, true equity, and meaningful inclusion.

Skillsoft’s report highlights trends and the learning behaviours of more than 1.1 million learners – examining which skills and courses are most in-demand.

Top course growth includes: 

  • 552% growth in Encouraging Team Communication and Collaboration
  • 652% per cent growth in Agile Software Development 
  • 367% per cent overall global increase in diversity, equity, and inclusion content accessed
  • 407% per cent Trust Building Through Effective Communication

Following a year that brought a pandemic, an uncertain global economy, and worldwide social reform, the report illustrates the long-overdue change that resulted, and the critical role of DEI courses in building a future-fit, workforce.

The business world continues to expand through digital transformation and globalisation, products, and solutions must address the needs of a wide variety of people, so DEI courses are needed.

As workforces transitioned to working remotely, consumption of learning content increased, and new topics emerged as critical. Widespread training was needed to help workers pivot to the skills required to collaborate in a virtual world.

At the forefront was the development of “power skills,” including agility, communication, resiliency, and adaptability. Necessary and applicable across industries, departments, and disciplines, power skills equip individuals and organisations to be successful in challenging times. 

“This year has been transformational in so many ways, helping our collective mission to succeed, grow, and persist,” said Ron Hovsepian, executive chairman, Skillsoft. “Work has changed irrevocably, and building a truly future-fit, resilient workforce requires access to the tools needed to learn and achieve.”

This year has accelerated digital transformation. A recent McKinsey Global Survey of executives found that organisations have accelerated the digitisation of internal operations by three to four years while their digital product offerings have accelerated by seven years.

For many organisations, this means new investments in technology, changes in staffing, distribution, sales, or service. In fact, 45% of organisations are planning to increase tech investment. As organisations develop teams to deal with increasingly frequent change, agility is a priority. Since January, there has been a 652% increase in Agile software development course completions, and five of the top 15 Skillsoft digital badges are focused on the topic.

“Post-pandemic, the world won’t go back to business as usual. More than 50% of organisations agree that work has permanently changed,” continued Hovsepian. “In the U.S., 80% of workers want at least one COVID-19 policy adopted permanently, such as flexible hours and remote work.”

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