Blog articles

2023 State of Upskilling: 45 more learning and development trends

April 27, 2023

If you’re looking for data on talent mobility, technology skills, and learning and development for tech employees, you’re in the right place. 

We surveyed more than 1,000 technology professionals, tech leaders, and learning and development and HR professionals for our 2023 State of Upskilling report. Since we couldn’t include every single insight in the report, we’ve compiled this list of key statistics from our original research. 

Keep reading to learn more about the current employee training and development landscape, how to build buy-in for tech upskilling in your org, or simply sate your curiosity.

Table of contents

10 new internal talent mobility statistics

What is talent mobility? Internal talent mobility is a talent management strategy and key component of employee development. It’s the process of helping employees switch roles or departments within their current organization. This move might be a promotion within their current role or a lateral shift to a new team or department. 

To facilitate this transition, employers must provide learning and development opportunities.

Understanding internal talent mobility in practice

Some benefits of a talent mobility strategy initiative include reducing hiring costs, improving employee satisfaction, boosting retention, and filling critical skills gaps. However, technologists, tech leaders, directors of learning and development, and HR directors don’t always share the same outlook. 

For example, while 97% of learning and development and HR directors indicate that they prioritize internal talent over hiring for open positions, 62% of tech managers and 44% of technologists say their organization tends to hire from the outside instead of searching internally for candidates to fill positions. Alignment is the secret to upskilling talent effectively.

Employee internal talent mobility opportunities

  • 69% of technologists say they understand the tech career paths available in their organization and the steps required to progress in their chosen path.

  • 66% of technologists say they have data that demonstrates their skills and could be used to support a change in roles.

  • 66% of technologists feel comfortable talking with their manager about their career aspirations.

  • 63% of technologists feel their manager will support them if they want to transition to another role in their company.

  • 57% of technologists say their employer offers attractive career paths for people who prefer to remain individual contributors.

  • 83% of tech managers feel confident having career conversations with their employees.

  • 79% of tech managers say their organization tracks some type of skill development metrics as part of its succession planning program.

  • 78% of tech managers agree their organization has a process in place that enables them to quickly identify and mobilize a qualified internal candidate to meet an urgent project need.

  • 77% of tech managers say they encourage their employees to explore roles outside of their current career path and take steps to prepare them for a transition.

  • 61% of tech managers say their bonus depends in part on retaining team members.

Learn how to overcome 11 barriers to internal talent mobility.

15 new learning and development statistics

How does upskilling benefit your company? When you incorporate time for employee training into your overall organizational development, you create a culture of learning that leads to benefits such as employee retention, productivity, and overall growth.

This empowers employees to enhance their knowledge and abilities, which in turn drive your organization’s growth and development forward. This results in greater employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and overall effectiveness.

The following statistics shed some light on the current state of employee training and development.

Reasons to support employee training and development

  • 52% of technologists say it’s important to learn new technology skills in times of economic uncertainty for their current role and future job opportunities.

  • 47% of tech employees are available to spend time outside regular work hours to learn new tech skills.

  • Only 39% of technologists say their manager proactively helps them cultivate the skills they need to progress in their career.

  • 32% of technologists say their employer rewards them for learning new skills.

  • 21% of technologists feel pressure to learn outside regular work hours.

  • 20% of technologists worry they’ll experience negative consequences if their daily productivity drops while learning.

What tech managers say about training and development

  • 85% of tech managers are confident that the employees on their team have the skills they need to deliver high-quality work on time.

  • 84% of tech managers are confident that their tech employees have the knowledge and skills they need to spot vulnerabilities in their day-to-day work.

  • 81% of tech managers say their organization's upskilling programs are highly effective in preparing their tech employees for new projects.

  • 79% of tech managers have data to show the current proficiency of their team members on various technology skills.

  • 77% of tech managers have the data to show how long it takes for their team members to develop new skills.

The impact of learning and development

When you give employees paid time to learn…

  • 83% of tech managers believe team members are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their tech skill development process.

  • 82% of tech managers say team members are more likely to make progress on building their technology skills.

  • 52% of tech managers say team members might not learn skills aligned with the organization’s strategy.

  • 44% of tech managers say it may have a negative effect on the team’s velocity.

Get actionable takeaways from experts at Cisco, Sage, and Pluralsight to optimize your upskilling investments.

16 new statistics for advanced technology skills

How do you train your employees on tech skills? Create a technology skills training and development program for technical and non-technical employees. Technical employees should develop the skills they need to keep up with tech trends, competitor advancements, or upcoming projects. Employees in non-technical roles should gain tech fluency to better collaborate with your technology teams.

Exploring organizations’ top learning and development priorities

We asked tech executives what their biggest upskilling/reskilling priority is for 2023:

  • 18% said software modernization

  • 18% said AI/ML

  • 17% said cybersecurity

  • 14% said cloud maturity

  • 12% said data science/analysis/management

  • 9% said Agile methodologies

  • 8% said tech fluency

  • 3% said edge computing

We asked tech managers if their organization provides paid time to learn specific technology topics. Surprisingly, the emerging technology AI/ML was the topic with the least amount of allocated learning time.

  • 54% of tech managers said their organization provides paid time to learn software development.

  • 50% of tech managers said their organization provides paid time to learn cybersecurity.

  • 47% of tech managers said their organization provides paid time to learn data analysis.

  • 42% of tech managers said their organization provides paid time to learn technology project management.

  • 41% of tech managers said their organization provides paid time to learn technology terminology.

  • 36% of tech managers said their organization provides paid time to learn cloud computing.

  • 21% of tech managers said their organization provides paid time to learn big picture fundamentals for relevant technologies.

  • 14% of tech managers said their organization provides paid time to learn AI/ML.

Want more employee training and development insights? Check out the top tech skills and gaps in APAC, EMEA, and the US.

4 new statistics concerning workplace diversity and inclusion

Is there a connection between successfully upskilling employees and practicing DEI-focused development? Yes. Diversity, equity, and inclusion in your workplace is important because you can develop non-traditional talent through employee training and development to close the technology skills gap. 

What are the other benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace? Workplace diversity and inclusion improves employee satisfaction, performance, and even innovation revenue.

78% of tech managers say their organization invests time and resources into building diverse technology teams. But organizations can still improve workplace diversity and inclusion, especially within tech teams.

What you should know about diversity and inclusion initiatives

  • 74% of tech managers say their organization has formal programs to help employees in non-technical jobs prepare for a tech role.

  • 67% of tech managers say their organization has hired software developers directly from coding bootcamps.

  • 57% of tech managers believe their organization could improve tech team diversity by reskilling non-tech employees to fill tech roles.

  • 51% of tech managers believe their organization could improve tech team diversity by offering non-traditional career paths that don’t require a four-year degree.

Looking to build diverse tech teams? Opportunity Academies can help you improve inclusion and fill skills gaps.

Learning and development opportunities exist everywhere, even if your organization doesn’t have a formal upskilling program in place just yet. You can build employee training and development into existing projects and career pathways. 

When you create a culture of learning with psychological safety in the workplace, your employees will upgrade their skills, and your organizational development will take off.

Get the ultimate guide to employee training and development in today’s economy.