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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 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.

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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. Automation, for example, is having a huge impact on the workforce, and it’s a trend that’s going to accelerate in the future. By the mid-2030s, automation could put 30% of jobs at risk

But the robots aren’t taking over — at least, not yet. It’s estimated that 97 million new job roles may emerge that are better suited to the new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms. 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 in the 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 like data analysis, visualization and automation, as well as presentation, collaboration and storytelling.

We’ve seen some impressive results. So far, US PwC employees  have:

  • Built more than 6,400 automations, visualizations and bots

  • Downloaded these staff-built digital assets over 5 million times

  • Automated more than 6.5 million hours of work

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, an end-to-end workforce planning and upskilling 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 our commitment to diversity and inclusion standards (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, including:

  • 3Blue1Brown

  • Badass Agile

  • CIO

  • Computer World

  • CSO

  • Futurism

  • Get Abstract

  • Global Web Index

  • IDG

  • Inc.

  • Macworld

  • MIT Technology Review

  • Network World

  • PCWorld

  • Quartz

  • Singularity University

  • Strategy + Business

  • TechHive

  • The Economist

With over 500 course titles from respected learning courseware providers, such as Coursera, 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 and Alteryx. 

  • UiPath is a robotic process automation tool used to automate repetitive or redundant tasks.  

  • Alteryx is an automated analytics tool that provides drag-and-drop data preparation in minutes for all data sources and types.

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.

Sharing the wealth

An essential component of ProEdge is the ability for users to share how they’ve applied their new skills. ProEdge Share gives access to a cloud-based, social exchange that enables everyone to find and distribute digital assets across the organization. This collaborative approach inspires people to improve productivity and to discover new ways of working. It also maximizes the benefits of having a workforce equipped with new digital skills. 

The Idea Marketplace feature in Share, further promotes collaboration and connectivity. In the Idea Marketplace, users can suggest ideas for automations, data visualizations or other digital assets. Then the platform connects the idea people with colleagues with the know-how to build the assets. This feature of ProEdge brings the power of tech tools to life. Not only does it build skills and save time, it also creates a culture of collaborative learning that keeps employees working more efficiently and feeling more engaged.

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