Enterprise learning trends in 2021 by Coursera

Education Industries

The enterprise learning agenda in 2021 will be shaped by the need to rebuild and prepare for new disruption in the wake of COVID-19, according to the online learning platform, Coursera. Drawing on data from its 2,400 enterprise customers, including 25 percent of the Fortune 500 companies and over 340,000 employees, Coursera’s insights point to several trends that will shape enterprise learning in 2021.

According to the World Economic Forum Future of Jobs report authored in partnership with Coursera, 77 percent of UAE employers are set to rapidly increase digitalisation in the year ahead, including plans to accelerate the digitalization of employee upskilling and reskilling (40 percent). To do so, companies must redraw their skills development goals and focus on rolling out an enterprise-wide learning strategy in partnership with all business units – one that’s viewed as long-term, strategic and constantly evolving.

Organisations also need to provide employees with the tools and resources needed not just to do their job, but to perform it accurately. Role-based skills development with a clear application to day-today responsibilities will become ever more important to deliver against organisational objectives. A recent IDC study found that making learning integral to every employee’s role in an organisation sees a 746 percent ROI over three years.

The need for job specific professional skills, particularly across business, technology, and data science is reflected in the most popular Coursera programmes in 2020, including Programming for Everybody from the University of Michigan and Neural Networks and Deep Learning from which jointly received over 1.4 million enrollments since the start of 2020.

Addressing the need for domain-specific tools through hands-on learning is becoming increasingly important as well. Whether it’s Introduction to Relational Database and SQL, or Creating Your First Python Program, companies rely on ready-to-use tools, many of which are not widely taught in traditional university programs. Guided Projects on Coursera address this need and are being used by companies like Nokia to drive continuous reskilling across teams.

Finally, in the year ahead, employers will need to introduce measures to develop soft skills and support employee well-being as a result of the effects of COVID-19 on society and the economy. Coursera saw a 88 percent growth in personal development courses among the employed population in 2020, including courses like The Science of Well-Being by Yale University and Learning How to Learn by University of California San Diego. This trend is an important reminder that such skills have a direct bearing on long-term productivity.

Jennie Drimmer, Regional Director, Coursera for Business, EMEA says: “2020 has been a tough year but also one characterised by resilience. Over the past months, leading companies around the world have launched, renewed or expanded their partnership with Coursera to innovate and build the foundation for post-COVID growth. With the business landscape changing at an unprecedented rate, companies must embrace learning in order to compete in the long haul.


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