Evolving technologies, demographics and digital business models are changing the workplace at a faster pace than ever before. Meanwhile, available technologies — AI, people analytics, AR/VR, everything-as-a-service and more — promise to reshape the way learning is delivered and consumed. Learning and development (L&D) professionals — and the employers that rely on them for a future-ready workforce — are grappling to understand which innovations really matter.
What is the result of these forces and their responses by L&D professionals? CompTIA’s Workforce and Learning Trends 2020 finds that the training industry is mixing a new blend of familiar learning and certification methods with some technological twists. Think of this as the “New Traditional” training model that seeks out scalable tech-savvy improvements to L&D but relies on tried-and-true methods that remain essential to the learner experience.
For example, L&D leaders are often excited about technology that extends their ability to personalize instruction and communication. But some are more lukewarm on the innovative tech that enables mass distribution of learning content, which may reflect their personal experience or lack of exposure to successful, data-backed engagements.
New Traditional training models are also concerned with blending old and new subject matter. On one hand, domain-specific knowledge is critically important in subjects like cybersecurity, cloud computing and emerging technologies. On the other hand, L&D professionals are increasingly sensitive to the importance of “soft skills.” (More on that highly ambiguous term later.)
To develop the Workforce and Learning Trends 2020 report, CompTIA a) surveyed 400 HR and learning and development professionals to learn how technology and related macro-level workforce developments are reshaping L&D programs; b) spoke with experts in technology workforce development, certifications and education to identify the top trends on the horizon; and c) scanned the most authoritative publications on training trends from other organizations.
An outlook on an expansive topic like workforce learning and development must contain numerous nuances, caveats and exceptions. Pockets of early adopters may provide a glimpse of where the market is headed, or they may hype trends that will never make it past the niche use stage. The analysis in this report attempts to balance that dynamic.
The report presents six major findings and a section on what we didn’t find — prospective trends where signals are still mixed and the jury is still out on their mainstream potential.