Today’s workplace landscape is unlike anything we’ve encountered before. As a result of the monumental shifts the pandemic has ushered in, companies are combatting both talent retention challenges and an ever-growing IT skills gap. It has become increasingly apparent that education and training must evolve with the landscape.
In the SAP Learning organization, we are constantly working to rethink how learning can help our customers, partners, and employees keep up.
Here are just three ways we are reimagining learning so that everyone in our ecosystem has the skills they need to succeed.
Lowering the Barriers to Access Education
Technology has drastically improved learning access for underrepresented communities, as well as students just starting out their careers. Whether it’s a video call, an e-learning, or a simulated exercise, knowledge can be replicated globally at almost no cost. The same holds for education in the world of enterprise software — a space that provides ripe career opportunity.
We are passionate about creating opportunity by making learning engaging and accessible to all. That is why we have expanded our global programs to reach students and learners who may experience barriers to opportunities. By eliminating the cost of learning and alleviating the need for in-person activities, we continue to grow our community of learners who can achieve their aspirations in the SAP ecosystem.
We are delighted to have reached more than 150,000 active learners on the SAP Learning site since its launch in November, growing by around 2,000 participants a day. And this learning pays dividends for students; for instance, through funded programs for job seekers such as People to Work by SAP we can see the career progress in the placement of more than 80% of participants into new jobs after completing training.
As SAP Learning continues to expand, we are eager to continue improving and adapting along with community needs.
Taking a Skills-Based Approach to Career Development
As we expand our community to learners of various backgrounds and levels of education, we recognize that some are looking to improve the skill sets required for their current roles, while others are looking to take the next or first step in their career. In either case, a specific, skills-based approach can help learners zero in on specific areas of development, saving time and enabling them to have a personalized experience. According to an IBM white paper, e-learning technologies can boost employee engagement by 20%.
When coupled with certifications, skills-based learning enables external learners to verify new skill sets with current and prospective employers and enhance their marketability. Internally, we take a similar approach, as understanding the skills of our workforce allows SAP to make strategic investments in how we help our employees upskill and develop their unique talents for the future.
This skills-based approach to how we train our employees and ecosystem has been recognized by the Chief Learning Officer 2022 Learning Elite awards, which positioned SAP as a Silver Award winner among top L&D programs across the globe.
Meeting Learners Where They Are
No two people learn in the exact same way, but technology can act as a bridge to improved learning experiences for everyone. With digital tools, we can meet learners wherever they are, whenever they want to learn. We can think beyond the traditional classroom setting and offer alternative learning methods that are more accessible and affordable for a wider, more global audience of learners. And we can make learning journeys even more customizable and adaptable to truly suit individual goals.
These needs vary: a recent Anthology survey found that more than four in five students (82%) wanted at least some of their course meetings to take place online, with two in five (41%) preferring fully online learning with no in-person element at all.
We know that some of our customers will always need high-touch, in-person training. But we also know that if we want to close the skills gap and expand our ecosystem of trained SAP professionals, digital learning is key.
Our dedication to ensuring widely accessible courses and certifications has resulted in SAP Learning being named a leader in three IDC MarketScape reports, the European and U.S. IT Training Services 2021, and APeJ IT Training Services 2022. These vendor assessments offer a holistic assessment of the capabilities and strategies of IT vendors and recognize SAP as a leader due to our broad portfolio and hybrid training offerings, among other factors.
Our Commitment to Continuous Learning
While we are excited to see the impact our learning journeys are making in the learning community, in the spirit of our own continuous learning, we believe there is always room for growth and development. We welcome feedback as to what we could improve or add to our programs as we guide you along your learning journey with SAP.
Max Wessel is chief learning officer at SAP.