The Degreed How the Workforce Learns 2023 report finds 75% of learners want social engagement


June 26, 2023


Pleasanton, CA: Degreed, the learning platform that makes lifelong learning and data-driven development easy for hundreds of companies globally, has released its How the Workforce Learns 2023 report, which uncovers the individual motivations behind learning, finds an inequality in learning opportunities offered to different employee groups, and a clear need for social engagement while learning. The report surveyed 2,500 people working in companies of over 500 people, based in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, India, and Brazil.


The motivations behind learning
People are motivated to learn primarily to perform better at their jobs (43%) and, second, to complete requirements (19%). Employees prioritize this over their personal interests and career goals, signaling a shift towards putting their employers’ results before personal gain.

Individual career goals are set primarily to improve performance in current roles (40%) with preparing for long-term career opportunities ranking second (26%).


Social learning is demanded by employees
Three-quarters of respondents (75%) gravitate towards some form of social engagement while learning. When learning with others, they especially appreciate a small group or a one-on-one session with a colleague or peer. A smaller subset wish to learn from their direct supervisor (10%) or in a big group (8%).


Variety is key to learning engagement
When it comes to the types of learning that people wish to engage with at work, learners prefer a variety of options that differ depending on the skill being built. For example, learning quickly by watching videos (32%), learning from peers (32%), and attending in-person classes (28%).


Employees who have access to a learning platform were more likely to take intentional learning and career steps. They were 68% more likely to examine their own professional development, 46% more likely to have received a promotion in the last three years, and two times more likely to get a credential for their roles.


Three areas need improvement
The research also highlighted three clear areas for improvement: offering practical experiences that stretch skills, improving manager support, and making learning available to every employee.

Almost half of the respondents (48%) indicated they’re not easily connected with work that stretches their skills — a crucial step in reinforcing and practicing theoretical knowledge. Over a quarter (26%) said their managers didn’t support their professional growth during the preceding 12 months.


Worryingly, a significant number of respondents (30%) did not say their employers make learning available to all employees equally. Among semi-unskilled workers, that number rises to nearly four out of 10, meaning that the people who need more skills aren’t getting the access they need to learning opportunities.


Spencer Smith, VP of Communications, Customer, and Product Marketing at Degreed emphasized the importance of understanding individual motivations in the current climate. He said, “L&D leaders find themselves at a critical time, with increased pressure to get ahead of technological innovations like artificial intelligence that are widening the skills gap at an unprecedented pace. The Degreed How the Workforce Learns report has found that strategically aligning skill building with personal career goals and business objectives is helping organizations and individuals keep up with change.


“Making learning deeply impactful, amid economic uncertainty, is at the top of every L&D team’s priorities,” Smith said. “Bringing a social element to learning, equipping managers to support their team’s learning, making learning accessible to all, and reinforcing skills through practical application are some improvements uncovered by the research that L&D can implement today.”


To read the full How the Workforce Learns report, click here.


About the research

In January, 2023, Sapio Research in partnership with Degreed conducted an online survey of 2500 people working in companies with more than 500 employees across eight countries: The United States, The United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, India and Brazil. At an overall level, results are accurate to ± 2.0% at 95% confidence limits assuming a result of 50%.


About Degreed

Degreed is a technology suite that combines lifelong learning and data-driven development so organizations can accelerate workforce capabilities for greater impact and make skills the heart of all work.


Degreed is the only learning platform that makes it easy for companies to deliver daily learning, deep skill-building, education benefits, real-time insights and expert services, while connecting to the most robust and open ecosystem. Each day, over 9 million learners from hundreds of global companies use Degreed to gain the skills to grow in their careers.


Degreed, founded in 2012, launched with the mission of “jailbreaking the degree” where all skills are recognized, irrespective of how they are acquired. Degreed is headquartered in Pleasanton, California, with offices in Salt Lake City, New York, London, Amsterdam, and Brisbane.


Learn more about Degreed: Website | YouTube | LinkedIn | Twitter



Jade Emmons
PR manager, Degreed

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