The Lack Of Digital Tech Talent Is An ‘Existential Threat’ To Business Growth And Innovation


It’s been steadily building up for years. Many people didn’t notice, but now everything has been accelerated. Right now—and for the foreseeable future—we are in a new, fast-changing digital era. You will need to have basic tech skills just to keep up with all of the changes. If you don’t, there’s a high probability that you’ll fall further behind.  

If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to continually learn and upskill yourself. Fortunately, many progressive companies offer ways for you to learn new skills. This is especially prevalent as savvy business executives recognize that to win the war for talent and push back on the Great Resignation trend, companies are providing access to knowledge. 

Udacity is an edtech company offering massive, open online courses to help people learn tech, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data analysts and software development. These are the skills needed for the future of work.

In an interview with Udacity’s CEO Gabriel Dalporto, he shared how the company—whose name was derived from its desire to be “audacious for you, the student”—can help you take your career to the next level. The online education company offers courses in 190 countries around the world and “changes lives, businesses and nations through radical talent transformation in digital technologies.”

Dalporto said about the acceleration of tech advancements and its influence over the workplace, “The talent shortage has reached a crisis pitch.” He added, “If companies do not invest in talent transformation, they are destined to fail. The lack of job-ready digital talent has become an existential threat to businesses around the world.”

Dalporto is democratizing online learning, particularly in the digital space. He says that you no longer need to relocate to Silicon Valley to build a career in tech. For instance, in collaboration with Egypt and Nigeria, the edtech company has helped young, smart people in these countries to learn skills, such as coding and data analytics, to get them a foot in the door of the booming tech sector.

To stay competitive, businesses need to upskill their people. By teaching them new marketable skills, it will make employees feel appreciated and motivated. Armed with cutting-edge skills, workers recognize that they will possess the power to advance within the organization and take their career to the next level. The company-sponsored education also serves as a way to attract, recruit and retain talent.

The glaring disconnect between the insatiable demand for experienced talent and the lack of sufficiently equipped people to take on these roles impedes companies’ ability to innovate, grow and scale. Udacity is designed to quickly upskill a team with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the new digital revolution. With more than a decade of experience creating digital talent at scale, Udacity is on a mission to help solve the growing knowledge gap. 

Its curriculum, along with personalized mentor support and measurable outcomes, helps empower students to gain entry into this well-paying sector. The online learning includes artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, the cloud, computer programming, data science, digital marketing and robotics

To gain a better understanding of the mismatch between available talent and the needs of fast-growing businesses, Udacity conducted a Talent Transformation Global Impact Report study with leading independent market research company Ipsos, focusing on the digital divide.  

The edtech company surveyed over 2,000 managers and more than 4,000 employees across four countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. The report highlights the urgent need to address this skill gap. For many companies, their survival is at stake.  

The glaring lack of job-ready digital talent reveals that digital transformation is stalling. Businesses are frustrated, as they don’t have a way to access the talent they so desperately need. Due to the rampant demand, it’s difficult to hire and retention is low. 

Highlights Of The Survey

  •  59% of employers report not having enough skilled employees has a major or moderate impact on their business.
  •  80% of employers think their learning and development programs are at least moderately successful, but just 45% of employees with access to these programs say they are completely or very satisfied with them.
  • A majority of younger people across all regions believe their employers should invest in their future by providing skill training.
  • 44% of employers report that employee turnover is hindering the company’s ability to achieve goals.

Digital transformation is stalling due to lack of job-ready digital talent. The research shows that nearly 60%  of employers self-report that not having enough skilled employees has a major or moderate impact on their business. France and Germany are slightly more likely to say so than the United States and the U.K. In addition, 50% of employers report that digital transformation initiatives are held back due to lack of employee adoption or engagement.

Employers are deluding themselves about the effectiveness of existing Learning and Development (L&D) programs. Unfortunately, a serious disconnect exists between enterprise and employees across existing L&D programs. Among employers who offer learning and development programs, the majority (80%) classify them as at least moderately successful. On the other hand, among employees with access to these learning and development opportunities, less than half say they are completely or very satisfied with the programs (45%).

Job-ready digital talent is more important than ever. Job-ready digital talent is most important to enterprises to enable digital transformation within the enterprise, meet innovation goals, increase retention and increase employee job satisfaction and happiness. For example, 44% of employers report that employee turnover is hindering the company’s ability to achieve goals.

Younger employees across regions expect employers to pay for talent transformation initiatives. In all countries, a majority of younger people—aged 18 to 49—believe their employers should invest in their future by providing skills training. In Germany, 69% of people aged 18 to 29 hold these expectations.

“Employees and employers are in agreement that companies have a responsibility to invest in the future of their employees,” said Christopher Moessner, senior vice president at Ipsos. “This research executed by Ipsos is a wake-up call for enterprises to invest in talent transformation or risk falling behind. It’s a win-win for employees who desire the most in-demand tech roles and for employers who are not able to hire the right people to meet current and future demand.



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