Announcing the Essential Skills Playbook

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Announcing the Essential Skills Playbook

By Leah Belsky, SVP of Enterprise, Coursera

Today we launched the Essential Skills Playbook, and I couldn’t be more excited to bring this to business and governments around the world committed to investing in skill development. 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us, and with it comes a new era of digital transformation (DX)—an era defined by the technology we use every day to live, work, and play—and it shows no signs of slowing down. Nearly every industry across the globe is now challenged by a rapidly changing business landscape that requires interdisciplinary proficiency in business, tech, and data science skills. 

The urgency for bridging the skills gap and transitioning toward a proactive operating workforce may not be news to you, though, as spending on the enablement of DX is forecast to approach $2 trillion by 2023. Yet, PwC’s Talent Trends 2019 CEO report revealed that 79% of CEOs worry about the availability of critical skills. Moreover, a survey by Gartner found that workers also feel unprepared: 70% of employee respondents said they didn’t have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs. 

After it’s all said and done, one key question remains: where and how can you discern the critical skills your workers need to succeed in an age of digital transformation? Enter: The Essential Skills Playbook. 

The Essential Skills Playbook

With insights from over 40 million learners across 2,000 companies, governments, and non-profit organizations, the Essential Skills Playbook helps organizations identify priority skills in the areas of business, tech, and data science for any organization, as well as for five key industries: finance, telecommunications, technology, professional services, and manufacturing. 

In the Playbook, you will learn critical skills to invest in by business function and skill domain, complete with data-driven skill maps for business and industry. You’ll learn driving forces behind workforce trends and why certain competencies are crucial.

Some of our key findings:

  • Finance: Several skills are essential to finance, cropping up in multiple functions—SQL, Python language, big data, and business analytics, to name a few.
  • Telecom: Proficiency in internet privacy, security, development of customer value propositions, and financial literacy are leading skills in the world of telecom.
  • Tech: Analytics skills are essential—from business analytics to statistical analysis. Analytics made the top skills list in nearly every function, from engineering and finance to sales, marketing, and product
  • Professional services: Data-related skills including data-based decision making, blockchain, and machine learning are must-haves in professional services.
  • Manufacturing: Predictive analytics, data visualization, and forecasting rank high on the list of data skills, with quality control and lean manufacturing landing top spots in business skills.

[Download the full Playbook]

Of course, it’s not enough to simply identify the critical skills you need to stay competitive.  We’re here to partner with your organization each step of the way in identifying, strategizing and delivering transformative learning programs. With over 200 leading universities and companies as partners, our learning platform includes the top experts in academia and industry. You and your team can take a specialization in Data Science with John Hopkins University, learn about Digital Marketing with IBM, or dive into AI for Everyone with Andrew Ng.

I hope you enjoy the Essential Skills Playbook, and if you like it, do get in touch with us to learn how we can help your organization successfully ride the wave of digital transformation.

About the Author:

Leah Belsky is the Senior Vice President of Enterprise at Coursera, where she runs the company’s business solution team.  She has served on President Obama’s Technology Policy Committee and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She also sits on the Boards of Engine Advocacy and Public Knowledge, leading technology and startup policy organizations that promote freedom of expression, innovation, and access to knowledge. Leah is a graduate of Yale Law School and received her undergraduate degree from Brown University. She loves building, identifying, and scaling amazing teams and products and has served as a GM and leader of teams in sales/BD/revenue, operations, new product development, GTM, engineering, professional services, and international. Leah is based in Mountain View, California.

Leah Belsky is the Vice President of Enterprise at Coursera and runs the company’s business solutions team globally. She is based in Mountain View, California.

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