Pluralsight Study Finds 72% Of IT Executives Aim to Boost their Investment in Tech Talent Development, Amidst the Shaky Economy

Pluralsight, a technology workforce development company, released its 2023 State of Upskilling Report, which compiles survey results from over 1,200 tech learners and leaders in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and India on the most recent trends and attitudes regarding tech skills development.

Organizations are relying on their technologists to continue to innovate and deliver commercial value in the face of economic instability and downturn. Despite being requested to decrease expenses by 65% of IT team leaders, 72% want to increase their investment in tech talent development in 2023. Because upskilling existing talent is less expensive than employing new staff, 97% of learning and development and human resources directors say they prioritize internal talent above hiring for unfilled roles.

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A Force Multiplier: Upskilling Amidst the Shaky Economy

During the last several months, there has been an assault of layoffs and hiring freezes throughout industries, particularly in technology. The repercussions of 65% of tech CEOs being pushed to search for cost savings in reaction to economic uncertainty are far-reaching.

Sixty-seven percent of tech managers indicated that workforce cutbacks in software, IT, and data had resulted in their teams taking on more responsibility, while almost half (47%) of engineers say they have had to do extra obligations outside of their core job function.

Investing in digital skill development provides overburdened staff with the tools they need to take on these new and unexpected duties. At times of economic turmoil, more than half (52%) of engineers believe it is crucial to learn new tech skills, and when day-to-day duties shift and increase in reaction to layoffs, upskilling becomes a critical part of not only individual success but organizational success.

Gaps in Technology Skills in 2023

The 2023 State of Upskilling Survey reveals a decline in respondents’ trust in their digital abilities in the face of these employment difficulties. According to research from the previous year, 80% of technicians felt they were capable of handling their current position.

Most engineers this year don’t feel the same degree of assurance in all of the key tech skill areas. Cybersecurity, data science, and cloud computing are the top three talents that technology managers and technicians are placing a high priority on to create business value.

As stated in the report:

  • In comparison to 21% who have no confidence at all, just 17% of engineers are entirely confident in their cybersecurity abilities.
  • 25 percent of engineers are totally confident in their data skills, compared to 8 percent who are not at all confident.
  • Twenty-one percent of technicians are fully confident in their cloud abilities, compared to seventeen percent who are not at all confident.

For the previous two years, lack of time and money has continued to be the primary obstacles to upskilling. Also, 25% of engineers are unsure of which resources to use, while 30% are unsure of where to focus their skill development. This is true even for technologists who have the time or money to prioritize upskilling.

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Technologists want directed learning that is linked to important business results, with 85% of firms actively engaged in or intending to start a digital transformation project in 2023.

“This year’s research findings underscore the importance of maximizing employee potential and optimizing learning investments to drive business ROI,” said Gary Eimerman, Chief Product Officer at Pluralsight. “Organizations and individuals alike are being asked to do more with less in the face of reduced workforces and larger economic pressures. For future-focused companies, an emphasis on continuous upskilling will help sharpen their competitive edge”

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