How Learning Leaders are Prioritizing Job Skills for 2023

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How Learning Leaders are Prioritizing Job Skills for 2023

On January 26, leaders from the public and private sectors joined Coursera for a discussion on the skills needed for employment in 2023 and beyond. Using the findings from the Job Skills of 2023 Report as a springboard for discussion, the panelists shared their perspectives on balancing the development of human and digital skills, the role of micro-credentials in learning pathways, getting stakeholder buy-in for learning programs, driving learner engagement, and forging partnerships between the public and private sectors. 

Here’s a recap of some of the key takeaways from the discussion with Katie Dawson (AVP, Academic Innovation & Learning at the University of Louisiana System) and Daniela Proust (SVP, Head of Global Learning and Growth at Siemens) moderated by Coursera’s Bradley Lawrence (Senior Director, Customer Success). 

Balancing Digital and Human Skills

Balancing human and digital skills in training programs requires tailoring learning opportunities to the specific needs of target groups, while also considering the evolving demand for digital skills in the job market. This can be achieved by leveraging expertise and infrastructure from organizations that have successfully integrated digital skills into their training programs. For some organizations, designated in-house curators can help match the skills needed within their respective functions.

“What [digital skills] means is according to the context and then [is] best understood by the respective experts in the field. We have more than 700 curators….across Siemens. And they come from all functions, all businesses, all regions. And they help us to tailor learning opportunities to the needs of their target group.”

— Daniela Proust, SVP, Learning and Growth, Siemens

“We see that digital skills are absolutely something that our students are going to need moving forward, they’re things that our faculty and staff need to up-skill with. And so [certification] programs offer an opportunity for us to borrow infrastructure from organizations that have figured it out and give those tools to our students, which in turn helps them get jobs when they leave.” 

—Katie Dawson, AVP for Academic Innovation & Learning, University of Louisiana System

Professional Certificates and Learning Pathways

In both the public and private sectors, a personalized approach to skills development that recognizes the different goals of individual learners is essential for ensuring that programs are effective.

“What we’re exploring in our system is how to embed industry values and the changing landscape of industry into our programs…I think certificates are the next wave of what allows us to partner [with the private sector] more effectively.”

—Katie Dawson, AVP for Academic Innovation & Learning, University of Louisiana System

“The trick is…that [learning] becomes highly individual…and therefore we need to build everything much more in a modular way that people can assemble their relevant potpourri, I would call it, of learning opportunities that then lead to a more structured approach—a real long journey, including a certification or even up to a degree and all of that in between..” 

— Daniela Proust, SVP, Learning and Growth, Siemens

Getting Buy-In for Learning Programs and Driving Learner Engagement

Securing buy-in and engagement for skills development programs requires leadership support, bottom-up innovation, and personalized communication that emphasizes the ownership of the individual’s learning journey. This results in great people experiences and a deeper understanding of individual needs and ambitions.

“You absolutely want to have leadership support, you absolutely want to have organizational support, but if you believe in the power of your people and you believe they’re capable and competent, good initiatives like this will rise to the top…when your innovators have good ideas, let them be influencers.”

—Katie Dawson, AVP for Academic Innovation & Learning, University of Louisiana System

“How do you engage people? It’s through great people experiences and through meaningful communication addressing them [so] that they understand it starts with them. Learning starts with you. You need to know who you are, what’s important to you, where your strengths are, also where maybe your career ambitions lie. If you’re happy in your role, what you might want to work on or what might be [the] next interesting jump you want to take?”

— Daniela Proust, SVP, Learning and Growth, Siemens

Partnerships Between the Public and Private Sector

The public and private sectors must collaborate to drive the skills development needed for the employment of individuals. This requires a shared understanding of common goals and a focus on creating opportunities for learning and career advancement. Effective collaboration can take many forms, including public-private partnerships that support research and development, innovation, practical training, and certification programs. 

“I think that we have to continue to talk—industry, higher education, government—because I think we have a lot more commonalities than differences…we’re really aiming to give our constituents the same experiences, that individual enthusiasm for learning, that resilience, that persistence to pursue not only their education with us, but then also to continue on with a great career either in government or industry or what have you.”

—Katie Dawson, AVP for Academic Innovation & Learning, University of Louisiana System

“I think we are in this together. When I take a look from a corporate perspective or company perspective, again, it’s quite multilayered. Globally, we partner with key universities on research and development, on creating new innovations and there we have a strong heritage and that works extremely well. And that often goes in hand also with some public authorities, with ministries that are then active in a certain field. So I think there, it’s almost like public-private partnerships happening across the board.”

— Daniela Proust, SVP, Learning and Growth, Siemens

Watch the full Job Skills of 2023 discussion to learn more about how you can meet the employment needs of today with your learning program.