From education to employment

Digital Learning Day: Navigating Workplace Shifts With Digital Upskilling

Nikolaz Foucaud on FE News exclusive background

There is no better moment than Digital Learning Day to reflect on how businesses and institutions can navigate technological and macroeconomic disruption through digital upskilling. In this article, Nikolaz Foucaud, MD EMEA at Coursera, shares the importance of nurturing a culture of continuous learning and providing access to digital learning as a means to remain agile in an ever-changing job market.  

We’ve made tremendous progress in how businesses and organisations leverage digital tools to improve learning and development. Gone are the days when classroom attendance and long training sessions were the only way to learn and upskill. Today, employees can take advantage of a range of online tools and lessons to reach their development goals, with greater flexibility and personalisation.

This year, Digital Learning Day offers a prime opportunity to acknowledge the technology-driven changing world of work, while reassessing our approach to upskilling and reskilling. And nothing better demonstrates this rapid workplace evolution than the meteoric rise of AI. AI has the potential to transform every aspect of our lives, including our jobs. It has been estimated that 49% of workers could have half or more of tasks exposed to LLMs, so the UK workplace could be set to see a significant shift in the coming years. However, if harnessed effectively with a workforce well-trained in the technology – rather than replace jobs – AI could contribute productivity gains to the global economy.

Future proofing employees for the AI-driven world

Businesses and institutions must be prepared to offer digital learning in this area. Otherwise, they risk a tug of war between AI that may threaten to take jobs and employees, who may consider new roles less susceptible to the technology. That’s unless they are being upskilled adequately to meet the demands of the ever-changing world of work. In good news, employee demand for AI skills continues to rocket. Searches for terms such as ‘AI’, ‘ChatGPT, and ‘generative AI’ are increasing 271% YoY on Coursera, demonstrating a growing appetite for learning that businesses must embrace and make available to their employees.

There are many upskilling options for businesses and employees alike, but Coursera recently launched Generative AI (GenAI) Academy, designed to equip UK executives and their team’s  with the skills needed to thrive in an AI-driven workplace. With McKinsey estimating that generative AI could add the equivalent of $4.4 trillion in annual economic benefits, the course portfolio aims to empower businesses and individuals to unleash the next global wave of innovation and productivity. There are courses designed for executives to help guide their organisation to make strategic and ethical choices through intensifying rates of digital transformation. Meanwhile, GenAI Academy for Everyone serves to build foundational literacy in the technology across every job role.

Why businesses must remain agile

But it’s not just AI that businesses and organisations must be prepared for, it’s other shifts in technology that are impacting the workplace – be it cyber threats challenging global privacy or cryptocurrency re-imagining how we do finance  – we have to upskill and at pace. After all, rapid technological change can lead to new risks. This is where business agility comes in. The key to business agility is creating a culture of continuous learning. Why? Because by learning new skills on an ongoing basis, workers are set up for success and can respond to existing threats as well as evolve in the face of new ones.

Forward-thinking employees have already been exploring how they can get ahead of the curve by gaining job-relevant skills. Coursera data shows cybersecurity has seen significant growth this year alongside audit skills – both of which are vital to keeping data protected, secure, and compliant. Meanwhile, the demand for leadership skills has become more prominent, as institutions seek people capable of steering teams and businesses through these times of change and innovation.

Fostering a culture of continuous learning

These tectonic shifts we are seeing both in terms of macroeconomic trends and technology point towards a world where business agility, and therefore a culture of continuous learning, is of paramount importance. Digital learning is poised to support the global market in navigating these trends by offering job-relevant skills that can help workers evolve and be reactive to disruption. With digital learning as a foundation across businesses and institutions, we can build a promising future with a happier and more productive workforce. Happy Digital Learning Day!

By Nikolaz Foucaud, MD EMEA at Coursera

Related Articles