Tech leaders still prioritizing upskilling even in economic uncertainty, new report finds

Seventy-two per cent of tech leaders say they still plan to increase their investment in tech skills development in 2023, even during economic uncertainty, Pluralsight’s 2023 State of Upskilling report reveals. 

The report details how rising inflation, a growing skills gap, and a talent shortage have affected organizations.

Pluralsight, which helps organizations advance their technology workforce, surveyed over 1,200 technologists, tech leaders, human resources, and learning and development directors across industries globally to understand the current state of upskilling, and the skills gaps, barriers, and challenges they face today. 

Some main takeaways include the fact that 65 per cent of tech team executives have been asked to look for cost efficiencies, while also finding that upskilling current talent is actually more cost-effective than hiring new employees.

While the interest and desire to upskill employees is there, it’s a slow process due to lack of time and budget constraints. The uncertainty of the economy have heightened these issues even more.

Almost 50 per cent of technologists agreed a hiring pause or freeze has caused them to take on more tasks outside their job function, while 67 per cent of tech managers said that layoffs across software, IT, and data in their organization have resulted in their teams taking on more responsibility, leaving little time for any upskilling. 

But upskilling is vital if companies want to keep employees, the report reveals.

Even if the Great Resignation, which impacted organizations in 2021 and early 2022, has abated, 74 per cent of technologists this year said they may leave their current organization within one year. 

Respondents cited tech skill development, with 47 per cent of technologists considering leaving their current organization to grow their responsibilities and skill sets, and 27 per cent considering leaving because they’re bored and unsatisfied with their current responsibilities.

Pluralsight’s report also found that organizations are unsure about the best strategy for upskilling employees.

Thirty per cent of technologists don’t know where to focus their skill development, and 25 per cent aren’t sure which resources to use.

To make the most of an organization’s investment, Pluralsight suggests that organizations need structured learning paths that direct employees to the right courses and certifications. 

The report also recommends that, while organizations prepare to further invest in tech skill development, optimizing their spending is vital, especially in the midst of economic uncertainly.

“To do this, they need to facilitate strong partnerships between tech leaders and HR/L&D directors, map tech skills to goals, guide technologists in the right direction, and provide immersive learning experiences. Last, but certainly not least, they need to measure upskilling’s impact on outcomes to determine ROI,” Pluralsight’s report says. 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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