Pluralsight State of Upskilling Report Uncovers Fundamental Divide Between Leaders and Employees Around Skills Development and Barriers For Upskilling at Work

May 12, 2020

SILICON SLOPES, Utah — Pluralsight, Inc. (NASDAQ: PS), the enterprise technology skills platform, today released a new State of Upskilling report that compiles survey results from 1,500 enterprise technology leaders and learners in the United States and Europe. The report finds that although technology leaders understand the importance of continuous learning and upskilling, fundamental differences exist that can hinder skills development, and thus, company growth.

The study found that although most companies provide opportunities for employees to develop technology skills, a large percentage of programs don’t meet employee needs. While 94% of respondents reported that upskilling programs were offered at their current employer, the report finds divides between leaders and learners and identifies key barriers to upskilling.

The Divide Between Broad-Stroke and Customized Upskilling Programs
The study finds that access to customized upskilling programs is the biggest divide between technology leaders and employees. Only 23% of leaders report that their technology skill development practices are tailored to the needs of each technologist. However, half of all technologists surveyed claimed that they prefer customized online self-paced courses.

This divide is particularly wide for younger employees. Technologists under age 25 are more likely to turn to online programs such as coding labs, mobile learning, and written content than those over 25 years of age. But only a third of companies offer these resources.

Time and Employer Support are the Biggest Barriers to Upskilling
According to the study, the number one barrier for employee upskilling efforts is lack of time, with 38% of respondents claiming other demands prevent their learning efforts.

Although employers in the U.S. encourage team members to spend more work time on upskilling efforts (45% of companies, compared to just 36% in EMEA), U.S. employees actually spend less time at work on tech skill development than their overseas counterparts. 60 percent of U.S. technologists report their skill development happens on the weekends and before/after work hours. While 31% of them say that leaders could enable tech skill development by allocating more work hours for learning.

Compensation is the Biggest Motivator for Employee Workplace Upskilling
The study finds that compensation is the biggest driver in employee upskilling efforts. And the technologists that were actively engaged in learning and upskilling saw the biggest financial benefits due to their efforts. According to the study, 44% of technologists experienced an increase in income greater than 10% in the last year. Additionally, 23% of technologists experienced an increase of 6-10%.

“Skill development is the lifeblood to innovation and company success. Given today’s challenging business environment, there has never been a time where upskilling has been more important,” said Aaron Skonnard, CEO, Pluralsight. “As organizations work to establish new normals around activities such as online learning and remote work, they need to take a strategic approach that delivers customizable content and plans that ensure that both business objectives and employee needs are being fulfilled. By expanding strategic technology upskilling efforts, businesses put themselves in a better position to innovate and compete.”

A copy of Pluralsight’s full report can be downloaded for free here. For more information on how Pluralsight is helping technology learners around the world enhance their skills, 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