Pluralsight Study Finds Pandemic and Remote Work Uncovered Skills Gaps and Led to New Emphasis on Upskilling

Sep 1, 2021

SILICON SLOPES, Utah — Pluralsight, Inc., the technology workforce development company, today released its new 2021 State of Upskilling report, which compiles survey results from more than 600 technology learners and leaders in the United States and Europe on the most current trends and attitudes around skill development. The report found that technology challenges introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic and the emerging trend of remote work uncovered technology skills gaps at many organizations, which in turn required new approaches to upskilling efforts.

“Closing the technology skills gap continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing enterprises. As organizations around the world responded to the pandemic by accelerating digital transformation initiatives, accelerating the move of applications to cloud platforms, and supporting remote employees, the need for effective and scalable upskilling tools became even more important. It’s clear that organizations that close the skills gap better position themselves to retain top employees and win in these new and unpredictable times,” said Gary Eimerman, General Manager of Pluralsight Skills.

Uncovering the Emerging Skills Gaps
The report finds that the biggest upskilling trend that emerged in 2020 is that working from home uncovered and exposed skills gaps for many organizations. Since early 2020, technologists reported that their confidence to do their “current jobs” (down 13%) as well as “jobs in the next three years” (down 8%) both decreased from a year ago. Respondents also identified the top skills gaps that were exacerbated by working from home in 2020, which included cloud computing, cybersecurity, and data storage.

In turn, many technology organizations not only recognized the growing skills gaps, but also placed a higher priority on addressing the skills of their technology workers. 51% of respondents claimed that their organizations made upskilling a priority in 2020 once work-from-home mandates became commonplace.

Disconnect in Upskilling Resources
The report also found that there is a gap between satisfaction in upskilling resources between technologists and senior management. 88% of respondents with C-suite job titles reported that they were satisfied with their organization’s current upskilling initiatives. Conversely, only 56% of individual contributors expressed satisfaction. Additionally, technologists in small organizations showed lower levels of satisfaction with upskilling resources (65%) than their peers at extra-large (73%), large (82%), and medium-sized (81%) companies.

Upskilling Preferences are Evolving Toward Hands-On Learning
One of the biggest changes for technologists in the past year is the emergence of hands-on learning as a primary means of skill development. A majority of respondents seek out the ability to learn while doing, with 77% of technology professionals stating that hands-on learning opportunities are an essential part of any upskilling program.

A copy of Pluralsight’s full State of Upskilling report can be downloaded for free. For more information on how Pluralsight is helping enterprises upskill technologists in the most effective way possible, visit

About Pluralsight 

Pluralsight is the leading technology workforce development company that helps companies and teams build better products by developing critical skills, improving processes and gaining insights through data, and providing strategic skills consulting. Trusted by forward-thinking companies of every size in every industry, Pluralsight helps individuals and businesses transform with technology. Pluralsight Skills helps enterprises build technology skills at scale with expert-authored courses on today’s most important technologies, including cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning, data science, and security, among others. Skills also includes tools to align skill development with business objectives, virtual instructor-led training, hands-on labs, skill assessments and one-of-a-kind analytics. Flow complements Skills by providing engineering teams with actionable data and visibility into workflow patterns to accelerate the delivery of products and services. For more information about Pluralsight, visit