Skillsoft Blog

3 Tech Learning Consumption Trends Identified in New Skillsoft Signals Research Report

Organizations today need to adapt to highly volatile changes in technology to keep pace with the competition in their industry. However, a lack of tech talent often holds them back. Today, nearly 60% of employers have job openings that stay vacant for three months or more. At the same time, the half-life of skills is quickly diminishing. To keep ahead of the rapid pace of technology, organizations must invest in upskilling, reskilling, and preskilling.

When looking to plan our next set of Skillsoft Technology & Developer training courses, we thought it was essential first to examine current consumption patterns. We analyzed over 1 million data records,  representing more than 25 million hours of learning interactions across our user base of nearly 12 million technology professionals. We then published our findings in Tech Learning Consumption Trends: A Skillsoft Signals Research Report. It’s important to note that the research does not rely on a learner giving us their opinion on what is hot or not, but instead analyzes actual action-based results. Representing thousands of the world’s leading organizations, including 65% of the Fortune 500, the Skillsoft Signals Research Report encompasses actual usage data illustrating what technology professionals are using to educate themselves continually.

What Technology and Developer Learners Are Doing

Everything we found we now want to share with our customers, partners, and learners.

Here are the three critical takeaways:

1.  Microlearning efficiently facilitates continual learning

An employee’s priority is always going to be on the task, function, or challenge that they have in front of them. Given that, how do they have the time for training, and how do they know where it is essential to start?

Our data shows that microlearning helps, with users consuming more content in less time, allowing for a more efficient method to learn. Microlearning contributes to learners completing content at a higher rate but with fewer hours invested.

Multiple modalities are essential to complement various learning styles. Users across all tech & dev professions prefer video-content complemented by books, practice labs, courses, and audiobooks.

2. DevOps is at the heart of most organizations

It is clear that most organizations are thinking about technology adaptation for current tech stacks, future tech infrastructure, and business models. The data makes this evident in the strong showing of CI/CD, DevOps, data, cloud, and security topics. DevOps topics represent 9% of our total number of hours served out and 13% of our total assets. The DevOps area also had the highest percentage of completions while representing the fifth largest area of content consumption.

Security is also vital for most enterprises. We delivered nearly 5 million hours of training to security pros around the world. Security is our second largest area after networking & operating systems at 6.3 million hours.

3. Agile organizations require diverse skill sets

Usage patterns reveal that our users are educating themselves in topics that fit the modern-day narrative of transforming an organization from a classic, command-and-control structure – with quarterly product/services releases – to a lean/agile organization.

Today’s rapidly changing environment requires that technology professionals and developers be well-versed in many topics. Regardless of your position, security, data, and cloud are all constantly evolving technologies that need training to deliver effective and sustainable results. Most technology professionals and developers understand that they need to keep learning about all these areas that are spilling all over their work activities. With more users accessing training, we observe that users are demonstrating adjacency learning by accessing content in multiple topics.

Possessing an adequate level of adjacent skills is required for areas such as SecOps or roles such as Data Scientist. Previously siloed topic areas, these professionals now need additional training to develop a broader range of skill sets and core competencies.

How are we using the Skillsoft Signals report?

With this incredible wealth of data, Skillsoft is in a unique position regarding the development of our Tech & Dev training strategy. We know what organizations and importantly, what learners want, and we are building our content with these requirements in mind.  The Skillsoft Aspire learning journeys allow organizations to efficiently reskill and retrain existing staff by building on their current knowledge. These journeys are intentionally designed to encompass the multiple disciplines required for future job roles, so learners do not need to go digging for what they need to learn. They are taken on a sequenced path of microlearning assets across multiple modalities, allowing them to maximize the time they have for professional development and continual learning.

Across the Skillsoft Aspire learning journeys, we have consistently mapped content to the areas where we see high consumption.

Skillsoft Aspire journeys cover key career paths necessary for agile organizations.

  • Data Science
  • Machine Learning
  • AI Developer
  • Blockchain
  • Pragmatic Programming
  • DevOps
  • Project Management
  • Security

As we see learners demonstrating adjacency learning and consuming content more efficiently with microlearning, the journeys reflect these trends. For example, one of our forthcoming journeys takes employees from a programmer to an agile secure programmer. After all, security does not only exist on the IT side of things; developers must also complete secure coding requirements regardless of the device used for programming or project management process. If organizations do not integrate secure programming into day-to-day operations and development processes, they place themselves at considerable risk.

As all technologies are interrelated, Skillsoft Aspire provides a path through diverse topic areas related to future roles using microlearning assets that facilitate learning in the flow of work.


Mike Hendrickson is the VP, Technology & Developer Products at Skillsoft.


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