Survey finds most workers want on-the-job training as long as it’s not a waste of time.
Employers, individuals and universities need to work together to modernize all forms of tech training from degrees to certifications to just-in-time programs are relevant and worthwhile, according to a new report. “The Future of Work, Insights for 2021 and Beyond” from Infosys and the Milken Institute finds that most educational efforts are not relevant to current and future needs.
Although artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, and 5G are already disrupting many if not all industries, the good news is that researchers expect these jobs to increase job opportunities overall. In the survey, Infosys and the Milken Institute looked at what employees want from training programs as well as what employers need to stay competitive. The survey was conducted in fall 2020 and included 608 managers and 401 employees in the United States from companies with at least $1 billion in revenue.
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The report authors found that the tech industry needs more flexible training options as well as a better set of metrics to evaluate which programs are worthwhile and which ones are a waste of time. Here’s a recap of what the report found.
The pandemic made inequality even worse than it was before, according to the report, with people in low-wage jobs getting hit harder while people working in the digital economy are in higher demand than ever, according to the report.
During the pandemic and the shift to remote work, employers found they had a bigger hiring pool and workers had more job opportunities, according to the survey.
Just over 30% of respondents relocated since the pandemic started with most people moving to be closer to family or to find a location with a lower cost of living. The survey found that similar numbers of managers and employees wanted to work from home, although people without children and women wanted to work from home more than other employee groups.
The survey found that learning and working are becoming more deeply connected due to the need to keep up with new technologies and that higher education institutions will need to find new partners to plug the skills gap. The survey found that each of these training methods was almost equally important:
The survey also measured attitudes toward training and analyzed the results based on annual income. A majority of people in all four income brackets agreed with the idea that employees should look for their own opportunities for training and not rely on employers. At least 67% of respondents in all groups said they would attend mandatory training if it would improve job skills, but at the same time more than half of all respondents in each group said most training has been a waste of time.
The study authors identified four factors to consider when thinking about jobs that will be in most demand in the future:
These factors should guide planning for upskilling programs as well as regular reviews to keep these programs relevant.
The authors note that employers need a more standardized approach to evaluating training problems, such as online courses and boot camps to account for wide variations in “quality, cost, exam rigor and admissions criteria.” Stakeholders need to understand which courses are better and worth supporting without being slowed down by “middlemen, third parties and vested interests.”
Employers and educational institutions should “recalibrate traditional workforce development models that recognize the long-term return on investment in talent, skills, and people.” This will require collaboration among workers, employers and educators, according to the report. The authors recommend taking these steps to upskill workers, promote equity and make sure training programs are relevant: