Business Recovery at Risk: Organizations Cut Upskilling Opportunities Amid Growing Demand for New Skills Mid-Pandemic

New Degreed report reveals the countries, sectors, and job roles where business recovery is most at risk, helping organizations target and improve upskilling efforts

PLEASANTON, Calif., Dec. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Degreed, the leading workforce upskilling platform, has uncovered that business investment in developing skills has not kept up with the growing demand for new skills during the pandemic.

Surveying 5,000 workers in eight global markets, The State of Skills: Endangered Skills 2021 highlights the skills now most at risk of becoming obsolete and the sectors, countries, and job roles most in danger. The report is designed to help businesses target upskilling investments in the areas most likely to positively impact their organizations and employees.

The current economic uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus crisis is accelerating demand for new skills among 60% of workers. Yet, nearly half of businesses (46%) have reduced their upskilling opportunities in the past six months.

The result is a widening global skills gap: over a third (38%) of workers feel less confident they have the skills to do their job effectively, compared to pre-pandemic, and nearly half (46%) predict their current skills will die out in the next 3-5 years.

Employees report this is increasing stress levels, and reducing their productivity and performance, which, in turn, hurts businesses.

When skills confidence is low, over half of workers (55%) feel more stressed, but also find that tasks take longer to complete (41%) and work is of a lower standard (22%). Nearly half (46%) of global workers also say they are likely to leave their employer if there are no upskilling opportunities.

The report is the first to reveal the specific countries, sectors, and job roles where skills are most endangered:

  • Sector: skills in technology and telecoms, finance, and engineering are most at risk
  • Global: workers in India, France, and Brazil are the top three countries are most at risk of skills mismatch
  • Job role: those in IT and HR jobs have the most endangered skills

Chris McCarthy, CEO at Degreed said: "The businesses that survive and flourish following the crisis will be different than they were before. This means workers are having to sharpen their current skills and build new ones to meet changing demands. Yet just as upskilling became vital to economic recovery, most organizations have cut investment in learning and development opportunities. We already know the global skills gap is costing trillions of dollars in lost GDP. Not to mention the impact on employee wellbeing. 

Despite the urgent need to upskill, businesses can’t make informed decisions as they don’t have the data they need. Up-to-date information on the workforce’s skills, if it exists at all, is often spread across multiple outdated HR systems used once or twice a year for things like compensation and benefits. Without this data, businesses can’t make smart decisions about the skills they need for growth, and even if these can be sourced from existing workers within their organization or need to be learned. By understanding the complete picture of your organization’s existing skills and targeting your energy and investment where there are the biggest risks, you’ll have a clear focus for the road ahead, improving your odds of success - and your people’s too.”

Read the full report here.


Degreed commissioned independent market research company, Censuswide, to survey 5,208 workers in the UK, US, India, Australia, Germany, France, Mexico, and Brazil between 4th and 12th August 2020.

About Degreed
Degreed is the workforce upskilling platform for one in three Fortune 50 companies. We connect all your learning, talent development, and internal mobility opportunities to intelligence on the skills your business needs next. And we do it all in one simple, fluid, skill-building experience that’s powered by your people’s expertise and interests. So you can transform your workforce from within. Founded in 2012, Degreed is headquartered in Pleasanton, California, with additional offices in Salt Lake City, New York, London, Amsterdam, and Brisbane.

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Media Contacts:
Sarah Danzl
Head of Global Communications, Degreed