Press release

edX Survey Finds that Nearly Half of Consumers are not Comfortable asking their Employer to Contribute to Additional Learning Costs

Sponsored by Businesswire,
the trusted platform for learning, today announced the results of a
consumer survey around trends related to reskilling. The survey found
that more than one third (37%) of respondents have experienced a lack of
proficiency in at least one new skill area or subject area of a current
or past job, but that almost half (40%) also don’t feel comfortable
asking their employer for help with paying for a learning solution. And
yet, it is still unclear from survey respondents whose responsibility it
is to ensure that workers are prepared for the jobs of the future.

The fourth industrial revolution is here, and as technology continues to
evolve, employees must continue to reskill to keep up with the shifting
demands of their job. In fact, according to the World
Economic Forum
, 1.4 million US jobs alone are expected to be
disrupted by technology and other factors between now and 2026. Workers
are struggling to remain relevant – according to a 2018
edX survey
, only a fifth of people consider their education from
their college major to be translatable to their current field.

Specifically, the survey findings indicate two major skill areas where
consumers are lacking. The biggest gap is in the data sciences — a
skillset that, as technology becomes more and more prominent across
industries, no longer just applies in one context. In fact, 39% of
people reported feeling less than proficient in data skills with an
emphasis on analytics and computer science — and a quarter (24%) of
respondents have had to ask an outside resource, such as a significant
other, child or grandchild, how to work with a technology that their
company uses. The second skillset with the largest gap is business
skills and soft skills, including project management and leadership,
with over a third of consumers reporting that they feel that they are
lacking in this area.

A lack of skills in these two major areas indicates that advances in
technology are impacting the workplace and creating the need for new
types of skills, which often go beyond a traditional college education.
That said, according to the survey, respondents are split between who
should be responsible for making sure that they are prepared for the
jobs of the future with the right skills — 41% feel it is an
individual’s responsibility; 33% feel it’s an employer’s responsibility;
16% believe it’s higher education’s responsibility; and 9% believe it’s
up to the government.

“The skills gap is a challenge that goes far beyond job creation and
training and development — it touches on a
broader social responsibility that companies have to their employees and
the communities in which they operate,” said Adam Medros, President and
COO, edX. “At edX, our mission is to remove the barriers — time, cost
and location — to the highest quality education in in-demand fields.
Our belief is that these offerings make it easier for individuals to
pursue their lifelong learning journeys, and for corporations to invest
in their talent and local communities.”

Whether it be individuals changing careers or employers helping workers
keep pace with evolving demands, non-traditional education, including
online programs like the MicroMasters® program, provide a
cost-efficient, flexible solution for those looking to reskill. In fact,
receiving a certificate after completing an online program in a specific
field can be just as valuable as pursuing an on-campus degree. Survey
respondents reported the same perception of competence whether a
professional has a full degree or microcredential on their resume.

For more information, click here.

About edX
is the trusted platform for education and learning. Founded by Harvard
and MIT, edX is home to more than 20 million learners, the majority of
top-ranked universities in the world and industry-leading companies. As
a global nonprofit, edX is transforming traditional education, removing
the barriers of cost, location and access. Fulfilling the demand for
people to learn on their own terms, edX is reimagining the possibilities
of education, providing the highest-quality, stackable learning
experiences, including the groundbreaking MicroMasters® programs.
Supporting learners at every stage, whether entering the job market,
changing fields, seeking a promotion or exploring new interests, edX
delivers courses for curious minds on topics ranging from data and
computer science to leadership and communications. edX is where you go
to learn.