Coursera Global Skills Report 2022 reveals decline in US technology and data science capabilities

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California – (BUSINESS THREAD) – The acceleration of digital transformation, inflation and global instability is increasing the demand for digital and human skills needed to thrive in the new economy, according to Coursera’s latest Global Skills Report. The report shows that US technology and data science skills are declining and lagging behind Asia-Pacific, European and Middle Eastern countries. However, U.S. students showed greater proficiency in key business skills such as marketing, leadership and management, and strategy and operations.

“Big layoffs and automation are calling for stronger investment in human capital as organizations prioritize the development of the high-demand digital and human skills needed to build a competitive and equitable workforce,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera. “Our data show that these skills are not shared equally, and that students and low-paid staff need access to flexible, cheap, and fast-paced pathways to digital entry-level jobs that provide the basis for a stronger and more inclusive economy.”

The Global Skills Report collects data from 100 million students in more than 100 countries who have used Coursera to develop a new skill in the past year. The report makes reference to three of the most sought-after skills areas that drive employment in the digital economy: business, technology, and data science. For the first time, this year’s report also highlights country ranking changes, as well as U.S. and Indian state data, where regional variations are significant.

The main US data for the report is as follows:

  • The U.S. remained vague in overall capacity in 29th place, behind Asia and European countries. As business capacity rose in the U.S., key areas such as leadership and management rose from 40% in 2021 to 67% in 2022. However, overall technology skills fell sharply from 69% in 2021 to 43% this year. The capacity of data science also fell sharply from 73% last year to 20% in 2022.
  • U.S. students in the Northeast, Midwest, and Pacific coasts had the greatest skill in business, and those in the South lagged behind. Three states in the Midwest, including Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, ranked the highest in business capacity in the United States.
  • Idaho showed the highest level of technology skills in the country, surpassing technology centers like California and Massachusetts. Students in the state also achieved a proficient ability of 100% in mobile development skills. This reflects the growth trend driven by the number of high-tech companies in the state over the last decade.
  • U.S. students have focused on human skills amid rapid staff changes. Employee disruptions caused by pandemics and the pace of automation are forcing businesses to adapt quickly. Human skills such as resilience, project management, decision making, planning, storytelling, and experimentation became increasingly popular among U.S. business students as organizations worked to navigate change.
  • The U.S. achieves greater gender parity in general course enrollments, but women are still lagging behind men in STEM. The online course The enrollment rate for women reached its highest point (51%) in the last year, maintaining the trend that began in 2020. Although STEM enrollments rose from 35% in 2019 to 42% in 2022, women are still lagging behind men in the US.
  • The U.S. lags behind the curve in math skills. The math ability of U.S. students dropped significantly from 20% in 2021 to 40% in 2022. This is followed by countries across Europe, including Germany with 81% and the United Kingdom with 78%. Maine, Washington, and New Hampshire had the highest levels of math proficiency in the U.S., while they finished in the bottom three places in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee.

The overall trends in the report are as follows:

  • Enrollment in entry-level or “door-to-door” certification courses reached 40% among women in 2021, up from 25% in 2019. Certificates, such as Google IT Support and Google Data Analytics, provide a clear path to the skills needed for high-demand and entry-level digital jobs. These courses require approximately 240 hours of study, and can only be completed six months a week for 10 hours.
  • There is a strong correlation between skills, GDP and broadband access. The richest countries scored higher on the overall capacity compared to those with a higher level of Internet access.
  • More students were seen in developed countries acquiring human skills, including change management and resilience. Students in developing countries were more focused on digital skills through courses such as supply chain systems and mobile architecture.
  • Last year’s most popular business and technology skills in the world were leadership and management, probability and statistics, and theoretical computing. For the second year in a row, Switzerland had the most skilled students, followed by Denmark, Indonesia and Belgium.
  • Students also focused on courses that develop the skills needed to understand the COVID-19 pandemic. Enrollment in courses in epidemiology and risk management is now four times larger than the pandemic.

With more than 100 million students, more than 7,000 institutions and more than 5,000 courses from the world’s top 250 universities and industry educators, Coursera has one of the largest data sets for identifying and measuring skills trends. In the Global Skills Report, more than 100 countries are ranked against each other, with percentile rankings corresponding to each skill capability. A country with 100% capacity is at the top of the 100 countries, with a country at the bottom of 0%.

To download the full report and explore the views of a single country or region, visit here.

About Coursera

Coursera was launched in 2012 by two Stanford Computer Science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, with a mission to provide universal access to global learning. It is currently one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, with 102 million students enrolled as of March 31, 2022. Coursera partners with more than 250 leading university and industry partners to offer an extensive catalog of content and credentials, including courses and specializations. , Certificates of Professionalism, Guided Projects, and Bachelor and Masters. Organizations around the world use Coursera to train and educate staff, citizens, and students in areas such as data science, technology, and business. Coursera became the B Corp in February 2021.

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