Pluralsight Insights Into Upskilling
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 20 May 2020

A survey from Pluralsight into workplace skill development has revealed key disparities between the upskilling needs of employees and the approaches taken by employers.

Upskilling is a word we've never previously used on I Programmer. It can be re- phrased as: "the process of learning or teaching new skills to workers" - which is, of course a topic we look at on a regular basis.


Pluralsight, the company that acquired Code School in 2015  ago, and has a well-established enterprise technology skills platform. Here we look at some of the results of its survey of more than 1,500 technology executives and practitioners across eight countries, into how enterprise tech learners and leaders from the US and EMEA approach workplace skill development.

One thing that is apparent from the survey is that employees, referred to as the report as "technologists" appear to engage enthusiastically in upskilling. Only 2% of respondents had not completed an online tech course in the past year whereas 37% had completed 6 or more, including half of those younger than 25. 


The report states that the average technologist wants to learn 2-3 new tech skills in the next 12 months providing this chart of the most desired skills: pluraltechwants

However although 94% of respondents say their companies provide some opportunities to develop technology skills they are not always the right resources. Pluralsight argues:

Companies tend to provide broad-stroke training options, but technologists prefer a custom learning experience

It asked technologists to characterize their learning style by choosing two of the following five options: 

pluraltechpersonasThese results suggest that upskilling is seen as important both for current and future projects and that exams and certification are not highly prized.

Asked what hinders their efforts at technical skill development 38% referred to lack of time - they were too busy with other demands. Budget constraints were cited by 32% and lack of support from employer by 21%  and 23% of technologists reported an organizational emphasis on hiring new talent rather than upskilling existing talent as a barrier.

In light of these findings Pluralsight provides as a takeaway:

Organizations can save themselves the cost and hassle of hiring new talent, simply by unblocking and enabling the driven talent that already resides in-house.

It also makes the point that upskilling should happen during work hours and here it finds an anomaly. Employers in the U.S. are more likely to encourage team members to spend work time on skill development - 45% of companies compared to just 36% in

Revealing that 73% of technologists are extremely or very satisfied with their current job and only 20% are actively looking for a new job, the report also finds that while 67% are not actively looking for a new job, they remain open to new opportunities.

According to Pluralsight training is the route to retaining an organization's best talent:


Continual and relevant tech skill development addresses personal growth and learning (51%). It also makes employees feel progressive and motivated (55% each), rewarded (42%), and collaborative (40%) and minimizes negative feelings of micromanagement (11%), frustration (7%), disengagement, and being siloed (6% each)




Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 May 2020 )