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How to create an L&D strategy for upskilling in AI technology

Effective AI training empowers companies to foster a continuous culture of learning and helps today's tech employees build proficiency in AI technology.

Jan 18, 2024 • 4 Minute Read

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  • Data
  • Business
  • AI & Machine Learning
  • Learning & Development

With AI in the workplace, upskilling employees is critical. And while many employees are experimenting with this new technology on their own, you’ll gain an advantage when you add organization-wide AI training to your L&D strategy. Here are our tips to create an effective AI upskilling program. 

Download the Pluralsight AI skills report to learn more about the AI landscape and what orgs need to succeed.

Table of contents

Why employee learning programs focused on AI technology are vital

Our AI skills report found that 80% of executives and 72% of IT practitioners agree their organization invests in new technology without considering the training employees need to use it. Without this critical component, organizations struggle to create lasting value with their tech investments.

There aren’t enough people with advanced AI skills

Only 12% of technologists have significant experience with AI technology. You can’t guarantee you’ll find the people with the AI skills you require in the market, especially for more niche intersections of AI with cloud computing, data science, and cybersecurity. 

In the long term, it’s more efficient to upskill and reskill your current talent to ensure you have the AI skills and roles you need to use your unique tech stack and build AI applications effectively.

Organizations with an AI upskilling program are more profitable

95% of executives believe AI initiatives will fail without staff who can effectively use AI technology. And even though 87% of organizations plan to increase their AI spending in 2024, only 40% have AI training. 

If you want your AI initiatives to deliver ROI, you need people who can use the technology and understand its security risks, privacy concerns, and overall impact on the business. 

Upskilling and reskilling is the only guaranteed way to make that happen. It’s also more cost-effective than hiring. Prioritize training and you’ll build better teams while becoming financially lean.

3 crucial tips to create an L&D strategy for AI skills

These tips will help you build an AI skills training program that aligns with your overall development strategy.

1. Prepare an AI skill development strategy before adopting AI technology

Based on organizational goals, upcoming projects, or proposed AI investments, what AI-related skills will teams need to learn? 

These will differ by team and department. For example, marketers may need to learn prompt engineering, while those in IT operations may need experience with tools like GitHub Copilot.

If you don’t know what teams need to learn AI, use skill assessments to uncover skills gaps and benchmark current skill levels. As your L&D program progresses, you can use this information to measure success.

2. Assess what your employees need to learn AI tools and boost AI skills

What learning opportunities and resources will employees require to learn the AI skills they need?

Provide guidance on AI skills and personalized learning

One of the main reasons technologists don’t upskill is because they don’t know what to learn. Create AI course recommendation lists or custom learning paths based on roles and skill level. Team members can use them to guide their learning journey, and you’ll ensure they learn the skills your organization needs.

At the same time, many technologists appreciate the ability to define their own learning adventure, especially those with more advanced or niche skill sets. Empower employees to customize their learning paths and develop AI skills that may not directly impact their role.

Offer bite-sized upskilling

These days, no one has the time or inclination to sit down and complete an entire course in four hours. Bite-sized and just-in-time learning meet employees where they are and help them fit learning into their busy schedules.

Create hands-on learning opportunities with AI technology

Technologists say hands-on practice is the best way to learn new tech skills. Give them access to AI sandboxes, labs, and practice projects where they can put their new learning to the test.

3. Cultivate a continuous culture of learning at work

How can you encourage employees to learn new skills and take advantage of the learning opportunities you provide?

Once you implement an L&D strategy for AI skills, you need to sustain it with a continuous learning culture. 

Leading the charge on AI skills professional development

AI training gives employees the skills to build AI solutions, engage with AI tools, and approach this technology with the appropriate caution and critical thinking.

It also gives employees valuable professional development opportunities. 96% of technologists say staying up to date with AI skills is the best way to ensure their job security in a competitive market.

In other words? Upskilling benefits your business and your people. Begin the learning journey with Pluralsight’s AI skill development platform. Assess skill levels, create tailored learning paths, and provide hands-on experience—all in one place.

Pluralsight Content Team

Pluralsight C.

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