Skillsoft has released its Lean Into Learning: 2021 Annual Learning Report, exploring the top challenges and opportunities facing today's workforce, as well as trends in learning and development and the role it plays in transforming organisations and employees.
With businesses prioritising building future-fit, resilient teams, the report highlights a 55% year-over-year increase in the number of learners on the Skillsoft Percipio platform and a 45% increase in total hours of Percipio learning consumption in 2021.
Furthermore, last year Skillsoft observed strong growth in total hours of Percipio learning consumption across Compliance (120% increase), Technology - Developer (36% increase), and Leadership - Business (30% increase).
Amidst a highly disruptive year for cyber attacks, Skillsoft also saw a 30% increase in consumption of Percipio security-related content.
In analysing the 20 most popular topics across all disciplines, IT and technology-related subjects comprise 40% of the list, with security courses holding two of the top three spots.
Additionally, nearly half of the list comprises power skills such as communication and understanding unconscious bias.
As employees continue to adapt to new workplace dynamics and take on added management and leadership responsibilities, in 2021, Skillsoft also saw strong interest in its Percipio Aspire Journeys, sequential learning pathways that build on current skills and provide guided roadmaps to success.
The three most completed Percipio Aspire Journeys were 'Virtual Work in the New Normal', 'Leadership Development Core Journey', and 'First Time Manager Journey'.
Furthermore, more than 12.7 million digital badges were earned and shared via social media upon completion of Percipio courses and Percipio Aspire Journeys in 2021, a 48% increase. Of the 20 most awarded badges, 85% were for security, cloud computing, and software development courses.
According to Skillshare, events of the past year have created numerous obstacles for organisations to navigate including the shift to remote and hybrid work, the rapid acceleration of digital transformation, and a widening technical skills gap.
As companies seek to reinvent themselves, improve the overall health of their business, and motivate staff, they are placing an increased emphasis on employee development, the company states.
In fact, a new survey conducted by Skillsoft and IDG found that 83% of decision makers are making training and development a critical priority.
Skillsoft chief executive officer Jeffrey R. Tarr says, “The nature of work, and consequently the nature of the workforce, has evolved at a rapid pace.
"Digital transformation, a global pandemic, and a changing workforce have caused companies to rethink how they conduct business and the talent required to innovate, meet customer needs, and exceed employees' expectations.
"Where there is change there is opportunity, and this disruption is driving workplace reinvention and a heightened need for learning.
"Competency is the new currency, and by creating cultures of learning and development where every team member has access to the tools needed to develop new skills and succeed, employees and businesses alike can achieve their full potential.