Workers focus on human skills for future tech careers

Pearson's Pearson+ platform offers digital learning for higher education and beyond. Pic: Pearson
Pearson's Skills Outlook demonstrates that employees are preparing for a world dominated by technology by focusing on sharpening their human skills

According to a new study conducted by Pearson, workers worldwide are focusing on developing their human skills for a future driven by technology and automation.

Skills prioritised include problem solving, leadership and teamwork, with plenty of employees confirming that they wish to either upgrade their skills or retrain in the near future. With the working world continually evolving, Pearson has provided insight into both the immediate and future needs of the modern workforce with their reports, aiming to assist employers and employees in staying relevant and adaptable in the long term.

As part of Pearson Skills Outlook, publishing and education company Pearson partnered with Google to examine how and why people in the UK, US, India, and Brazil are looking to upskill in this way as they face a rapidly changing economy. The study was conducted in these four countries across August and September 2022 and included 4,000 workers across different sectors of the workforce who are interested in or seeking to gain skills whilst in employment.

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“Human skills are proving critical to personal and organisational success”

The findings ultimately show that human skills are the power skills most in demand. With people from the survey most interested in careers in the tech and business-related sectors, their belief is that human skills are paramount to landing these jobs or advancing their current careers. The belief is that skills in leadership, problem solving and teamwork are the most attractive to employers and will continue to be going forward.

The following are the top human skills that workers are both actively prioritising and seeking training for:

UK: Problem solving, teamwork and leadership

US: Problem solving, decision making, leadership, entrepreneurial skills and project management

Brazil: Teamwork, leadership and language skills

India: Teamwork, data processing, problem solving: coding/programming, and artificial intelligence/machine learning

Through this research, Pearson has also highlighted that in non-English speaking countries, learning English is emerging as a key skill that employees can advance their careers with. This is according to 85% of Indian and 77% Brazilian study participants. The study also found that the majority of workers (73% US, 68% UK, 89% India, 70% Brazil) have also stated that they prefer learning via their employer. Additionally, they expect that their employer will either increase or maintain learning and development opportunities.

President of Pearson Workforce Skills, Mike Howells, stated: “This valuable new research shows that job seekers are prioritising human skills at a time when machine learning and artificial intelligence are having an increasing influence on work. Human skills are proving critical to personal and organisational success, and workers are motivated to sharpen and develop those skills to stay competitive and advance their careers.”

Pearson Skills Outlook is a series developed by Pearson that provides guidance to both employers and employees, as well as jobseekers, on where to focus training, education and learning. In a world where people are living and working longer, and even having multiple careers, the Skills Outlook reports conducted last year identify the most in-demand areas from both an employer and employee perspective.

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