i3 | June 16, 2020

Digital Education

Jackie Black

In a matter of weeks, Americans across the country became confined to their homes. Millions of U.S. workers now rely on digital tools to work remotely. The coronavirus rapidly increased the adoption of these tools, which can be used to help upskill our workforce, retrain those now unemployed or simply cure boredom. Whatever the reason, this accelerated digital transformation is amplifying the need to prepare our current and future workforce for in-demand tech jobs.

Show your Commitment Through Upskilling

Our workplaces — and homes — across the nation are now filled with uncertainty. Both employers and employees face challenges to remain productive and engaged while maintaining their mental well-being and balancing demands in their personal life. Now is the time for business leaders to show they are still invested in developing their workforce. One way to do this is by making the commitment to upskill current employees.

“For your already skilled software teams, show the technologists that you’re investing in them and that you care. This empathy will go a long way in helping employees make it through a difficult time and, when we emerge from this, they’ll remember what you did for them,” says Mike Wooldridge, enterprise account executive for tech training and workforce assessment platform Pluralsight, a CTA member.

BMW is implementing digital learning through an AI for Business Leaders course on Udacity. This course aims to help executives learn the fundamentals of AI so that they may deploy it into broader corporate strategies. Even at the executive level, there is the need to keep technology-related skills up to date.

With millions of Americans suddenly unemployed, and many underutilized, there is an increased demand for remote learning.

Retrain and Redeploy Your Workers

As we transition to a remote workforce, some roles are now obsolete, and those workers may face layoffs. At the same time, this digital transition is increasing demand for roles such as cybersecurity, network engineers and software developers. Pluralsight’s Role IQ is a dynamic and adaptive assessment test to benchmark employees’ technical skills and provide objective insights to recommend what learning opportunities will help them gain skills to bridge any gaps or take them to the next level. For example, one

Pluralsight client discovered a Python coding expert among their finance group, which helped them fill a software development role for a specific project that needed extra hands. According to Wooldridge, “The data allows companies to make better workforce decisions. Maybe you will find that you can pivot an existing worker into a more in-demand role.”

Home Depot worked with Pluralsight to create OrangeMethod, a tech skills program to upskill store associates to fill their demand for technology roles in software engineering, security, UX and data science.

Employers may find they can reduce layoffs and find qualified candidates to upskill by leveraging their existing workforce.

The Workforce is Eager to Learn

With millions of Americans suddenly unemployed, and many underutilized, there is an increased demand for remote learning.

In April, Pluralsight announced Free April, making their 7,000 technology classes free with the tagline “Stay Home. Skill Up.” Within the first four days of the month, more than 500,000 people signed up worldwide.

Whether we’re upskilling our current workers or reskilling them to fill new roles, digital platforms will help educate the workforce and prepare them for the evolving technology needs of a post-pandemic country. And the good news is: they want to learn.

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