By Trena Minudri, Coursera Chief Learning Officer
Ongoing economic instability and corporate cost cutting are causing L&D budgets to shrink and every remaining dollar spent is being scrutinized. In 2022, 54% of HR leaders agreed that leadership often sees L&D as a cost and not as an investment. Learning leaders are under more pressure than ever to demonstrate the ROI of their programs. While these leaders aim to build strategic skills development plans for their organization, many lack the necessary skills data to do so effectively.
Today, we are excited to announce that Coursera and the Burning Glass Institute (BGI) have partnered to develop the Skills Compass, an innovative framework that enables L&D leaders to design strategic learning programs and make informed decisions about how much cost and time to invest. By synthesizing data from more than one million learners and millions of job listings, the Skills Compass enables organizations to assess time to skill, skill value, and longevity of select skills to build learning programs that deliver positive impact on the business.
“37% of the average job’s skills have been replaced just over the past five years,” said Matt Sigelman, President of the Burning Glass Institute. “Such a breathtaking pace of change makes it very difficult to determine which skills to invest in or how different training options will pay off. The Skills Compass offers L&D leaders actionable, data-driven guidance to make skill planning more effective and to maximize the ROI of their learning investments.”
The Skills Compass Report uses data on the longevity and market value of essential skills to present learning implementation recommendations. Skills such as cloud computing, engineering, AI, ML, communications, and problem solving, among others, are quantified across three dimensions to better understand how and how much to invest in them:
- Time to skill – Measures the time required to become proficient in a particular skill.
- Skill value – Calculates the average salary in the market for that skill.
- Skill longevity – Assesses how long a skill is considered relevant to the market after that skill has been acquired.
Through this analysis, Coursera and BGI have articulated the investment thesis behind common skill “types” so learning leaders can determine how to best prioritize, invest, and deploy critical capabilities in their organization. The skills measured landed in five distinct themes:
- Solid Investment: The cost and time it takes to acquire these skills is typically high, but their longevity is high as well. This includes skills like risk management and project management, as they are particularly durable and costly to develop, while not being quite as expensive to hire.
- Quick Dividend: These skills have medium to high longevity but they are also unique because they are often less expensive to learn than they are to hire for. For example, Salesforce administration and data structure skills are technical skills that can pay dividends over many years and are less difficult to learn.
- Enduring: Skills in this category have very high longevity and are often extremely low-cost to either hire for or develop. Investing in skills like teamwork or research delivers a high ROI, as they are fairly quick to acquire while still having high longevity.
- Adaptive: These skills are costly to hire and costly to acquire. Unlike the Solid Investment skills, Adaptive skills don’t have the same level of longevity. This category includes technical skills like Swift and Network Security, which require constant updating and education to keep pace with changes.
- Commodity: These are widely acquired skills that are often inexpensive to acquire through hiring. Historically, these are skills that have been around for many years. Example skills include web development and cascading style sheets (CSS).
In an uncertain business environment, learning leaders need strategic clarity on how to deliver vital, data-driven skills planning to their organization. With Skills Compass, these leaders can apply insights from this report for reskilling, upskilling, and deep skilling to ensure they are focusing on and investing in the right skills for their workforce.
To download the full 2023 Skills Compass Report, visit here.