Workers Want to Learn New Skills to Keep Robots From Taking Their Jobs

Fifty-three percent of US office workers worry their current skills will be outdated in fewer than five years, according to new research.

The study asked 2,000 American office workers about their skills and how they wish to improve them in an evolving technological world.

And results revealed nearlynine in 10 respondents said they would feel more secure in their jobs if their employer offered them training opportunities.

Photo credit: SWNS

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of UiPath, the survey found that78 percent of respondents said they would be more productive at their jobs if they could learn new skills.

Eighty-six percent of those surveyed said they wish their employer offered opportunities to acquire new skills — while 83 percent would like to enhance their current skills.

Nearly nine in 10 workers surveyed also said they would be more willing to continue working at a company that offered upskilling and reskilling opportunities.

Of those surveyed who have had the opportunity to take part in skills training, 63 percent said the top benefit was increased opportunities on the job.

Another 58 percent of those who’ve taken part in on-the-job skills training said it increased their pay and their responsibilities.

With these benefits, it’s no surprise that 91 percent of those surveyed agreed employers should be more willing to invest in technology-based skills training for their employees – with 63 percent in strong agreement.

When respondents were asked what skills they would like to learn, data analytics topped the list, closely followed by multimedia design and editing, Microsoft Office and coding.

A whopping 87 percent of those surveyed also shared they’re interested in learning about artificial intelligence and machine learning (the use of algorithms and statistical models for computers to execute tasks without explicit instructions).

In fact, eight in 10 were in agreement that skills related to machine learning and AI would be beneficial to their careers.

“Training employees on new technologies, like automation and AI, has proven to be extremely valuable in boosting employee job satisfaction and enhancing individual – and organizational – productivity,” said Tom Clancy, SVP, UiPath Learning. “Training not only increases the return on investment for technology investments but also unleashes unimaginable innovation and business performance.”

Over half of those surveyed said they believe there are opportunities to automate some of their daily tasks.

The top improvements these 53 percent of respondents feel they would see from automation included increased productivity (70percent), saved time (67 percent) and a better work-life balance (60 percent).

Seventy-seven percent of respondents were also in agreement that companies as a whole would improve from investing in their employees’ technology skills.

“There is a clear demand amongst today’s workforce for new skills,” continued Clancy. “Organizations must meet these demands or risk losing top talent to the competition.”

Top 10 skills US office workers want to learn

  1. Data analytics: 42 percent
  2. Multimedia design or editing: 37 percent
  3. Microsoft Office: 37 percent
  4. Coding: 36 percent
  5. Leadership development/manager training: 30 percent
  6. Robotic process automation: 30 percent
  7. New language: 27 percent
  8. Presentation skills: 27 percent
  9. Conflict resolution: 25 percent
  10. Negotiation: 21 percent

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