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Great content, powerful tools: Two key ingredients for successful upskilling

How to choose the right upskilling solution by evaluating content libraries and technology tools.

An upskilling platform is only as valuable as the content it delivers and the technology that drives it. If you serve up mediocre or inferior content, employees will likely tune out — or worse, learn the wrong things. And without a sandbox environment that allows employees to get hands-on experience and practice what they’ve studied, they’re more likely to forget their newfound digital skills shortly after they’ve learned them. 69% of CEOs agree that generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) will require most of their workforce to develop new skills in the next three years.

To assess the quality of an upskilling solution, you should evaluate two key factors:

  • The quality of the learning content

  • The worth of integrated technology tools

It’s also critical to examine why upskilling is so essential in today’s workplace, including how the nature of work has changed and how technology continues to push businesses to evolve and thrive. Our 26th Annual CEO Survey found that 69% of leaders planned to invest in technologies such as AI this year. Yet our Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey of the same year surveyed nearly 54,000 workers in 46 countries and territories, which highlights that many employees are either uncertain or unaware of these technologies’ potential impact on them.  For example, few workers (less than 30% of the workforce) believe that AI will create new job or skills development opportunities for them.

It should be imperative to put people at the heart of your GenAI strategy. What’s crucial is to have a plan: What is the relative importance of speed, quality, and cost improvements? What time horizon are you solving for? How should you address your people strategy and employees whose skills have become redundant due to new generative AI capabilities? Getting clarity on the answers to questions like these is an important starting point for focusing your plan. Opportunity for growth is ripe, but only for organizations that are prepared to take the leap. What will help them get ready? Upskilling.

The PwC upskilling journey

At PwC US, we’ve been undergoing our own transformation, and along the way we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to succeed. We’ve invested in learning applications and immersive training programs so our people can develop important skills for the upcoming GenAI revolution, as well as other emerging technologies such as data analysis, visualization and automation, as well as presentation, collaboration and storytelling.

We’ve seen some impressive results since starting our upskilling journey in 2017. In 2023, PwC US will continue upskilling with a $1B investment over the next three years to expand and scale our AI capabilities and offerings, while helping clients reimagine their businesses using the power of generative AI. We provided our employees with ChatPwC, our own GenAI tool, which personifies our global strategy, The New Equation, where our human-led and tech-powered approach empowers our people to deliver sustained outcomes for our clients.

After experiencing the tangible results of our internal upskilling efforts, we want to help other organizations achieve the same kinds of success. That’s why we developed ProEdge, a PwC product, the first end-to-end upskilling and citizen-led innovation platform. ProEdge accelerates the enterprise upskilling journey, closes skill gaps and helps organizations stay competitive by giving people the skills they need to innovate at scale. 

While upskilling tools can operate independently, many businesses gain more value and scale more quickly by integrating these tools with existing learning platforms. ProEdge integrates easily with learning and human resource management systems and enables organizations to customize learning goals to their specific structure and individual employee skill levels.

ProEdge also provides guidance on where and how to upskill, powered by professional insights on industry trends for digital skills and roles. This information is generated from over 200 million data points from public and proprietary sources. 

Industry-leading content and hands-on digital tools — in a single platform — are two key areas that help define a superior upskilling partner. 

1. Evaluating the quality of learning content providers

The last thing you want from an upskilling initiative is to have your employees spend their valuable time and brain power with content that’s inaccurate, out of date, irrelevant or not aligned to corporate goals. That’s why it’s important to offer a wide variety of content from vetted, industry-leading sources. It’s also why PwC’s ProEdge only includes providers with content that meets our high standards.

 Our content is:

  • Authored by verified subject matter specialists and includes fair and objective analyses.

  • Guided by cultivating a diverse workplace and embracing DEI as an essential aspect of our purpose, values and culture (for example, inclusive authorship and perspectives)

  • Aligned with our cataloging system, which comprises fields of study, topics, knowledge and digital skills that we’ve identified as critical to success in more than 17 functional areas

  • Made up of a broad mix of types and styles to suit different learning preferences, such as articles, videos, podcasts and infographics, as well as short- and long-form courseware

  • Continually updated to include current and relevant information on emerging technologies and trends 

ProEdge provides access to more than 175,000 assets from over 30 industry-leading content providers. With over 500 course titles from respected learning courseware providers, ProEdge delivers additional quality content today’s businesses need for concentrated studies. It also includes PwC's own massive content library of research and thought leadership.

Learning is important, but so is the ability to prove what you’ve learned. That’s why we also offer credentials to demonstrate accomplishment and mastery. ProEdge Credentials represent how employees have acquired skills from learning pathways that help provide effective, efficient paths to proficiency. These credentials were developed in accordance with leading practices and guidance from industry-standard frameworks and organizations.

ProEdge helps deliver project-based, hands- on learning that emulates real-world problems that are specific to the new roles facing today’s learners. Once learners successfully complete these projects, they earn ProEdge Credentials and have new skills that can empower them to add value to their organizations. 

2. Assessing the worth of integrated technology tools

No matter what your workers are trying to learn, they need high-quality tools to practice what they’ve studied and reinforce their ability to do the work. In an enterprise upskilling solution, the right tools can help organize and analyze data, increase speed to insights, reduce errors and decrease the time on repetitive tasks.

In short, they’re the kinds of tools that can make a significant business impact and help solve everyday problems. They also empower employees to work more efficiently by arming them with the relevant skills they need. In ProEdge, these tools include automation and data analytics tools, such as UiPath - a robotic process automation tool used to automate repetitive or redundant tasks.  

ProEdge also gives learners access to a hands-on workbench space where they can practice and apply skills by using these tools in project-based learning — with the opportunity to earn ProEdge Credentials.

Invest in Tomorrow

Accelerate your employees’ learning and help drive scalable impact for your business with ProEdge, a PwC product — an intuitive, AI-powered learning platform that leverages hands-on experience and aggregated content to prepare your learners for real business challenges.

Take the first step on a new path toward transforming both your organization and the learning experience of your employees.

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