Today, we announced a monumental initiative to upskill 2 million people worldwide by 2025 to further our commitment to creating opportunities through learning and development for all.
In support of this, we launched an expanded digital skills initiative to provide easier access to essential learning resources to underrepresented and underserved groups in technology, as well as a partnership with Coursera, one of the world’s largest online learning providers, to meet learners where they are.
As the skills gap and search for talent within the technology industry become increasingly prominent issues, the World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that 97 million new jobs will be created by 2025. This has created a sense of urgency for companies to find professionals to fill their ever-growing technical skills needs. However, the number of future tech employees is notoriously limited. Within this small pool, women and minorities are often overlooked. In fact, only 26% of computing-related jobs are held by women, and the number for people of color and underserved populations in the industry drops even lower.
In 2022, the WEF estimated that it will take a staggering 132 years to close the gender gap. Women and other minorities in tech face a variety of barriers that can heavily impact their technical career growth, and these challenges take root early in the form of negative stereotypes. For example, many girls internalize the harmful belief that women are not as strong in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) fields as men – impacting their career choices and confidence in exploring new realms.
At SAP, we believe empowering women and underrepresented individuals to grow in technical fields begins with ensuring they have access to relevant educational resources.
Inclusive Access to Digital Skills: Introducing a Global Digital Skills Initiative
While digital transformation is not a new concept, the pandemic supercharged the rate of businesses across the globe transforming digitally, culturally, and strategically. This race to keep up with evolving technology has exposed an alarming IT skills shortage.
Research highlights that more than 75% of companies have already reported talent shortages in 2022, and only 33% of technology jobs worldwide are filled by the necessary skilled labor. With the low rate of computing related jobs held by women and people of color today, it’s imperative that employers rethink the makeup of their workforce and expand opportunities to new talent.
Through our digital skills initiative, we aim to empower everyone to build new skills and ultimately start a career in the SAP ecosystem.
To address this accelerated need for skills, SAP will provide free role-based learning resources to women and other underrepresented groups in tech by offering relevant trainings and certification. Through self-paced courses, participants can develop marketable skills for critical roles such as developers, data analysts, and technology consultants.
In addition, our digital skills initiative includes free certifications for the first 10,000 participants. With certified SAP solution skills, participants can get the competitive advantage they need to stand out in the job market and apply for positions around the world.
To further advance career planning within the SAP ecosystem, SAP has also launched a “Career Corner” in SAP Community, where more than 3 million members, SAP partners, and customers can share their knowledge, provide career advice, recommend learning resources, and promote job opportunities from peer community members.
SAP Technology Consultant Certificate, Available on Coursera
We are also thrilled to launch a new collaboration with Coursera, a global online learning platform with more than 110 million learners worldwide. Together, on the Coursera platform, we are offering an online, seven-course SAP Technology Consultant Professional Certificate, where participants can learn more about SAP, the role of a technology consultant, and the value SAP professionals bring to customers. This offering provides focused, role-based entry-level learning resources for everyone, and is available exclusively on Coursera.
This new professional certificate has no prerequisites, minimizing the barrier to entry and preparing learners within just a few months for an in-demand, entry-level digital role. Following completion of the certificate on Coursera, learners can deepen their knowledge in SAP solutions with further free and role-based learning resources on SAP Learning site.
In gaining the entry-level knowledge necessary to begin upskilling on SAP, learners add significant value to their careers. In fact, individuals that have completed IT certifications cite a variety of benefits, with 61% reporting promotions or career advancements, 91% seeing an increase in confidence in abilities, and 76% feeling greater job satisfaction. These marketable skills can open the door to numerous career growth opportunities.
With the launch of our global skills initiative and Coursera partnership, we aim to expand our efforts in lowering the barrier to accessing digital skill development opportunities to build a larger and more diverse ecosystem of tech professionals. Through our existing programs such as People to Work by SAP and NS2Serves, we are reaching underserved communities with digital upskilling opportunities to create lasting socioeconomic impact for all.
Max Wessel is chief learning officer at SAP.