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Macro trends creating opportunities for L&D

Talent disruption, skills shortages, and global tension have sent shockwaves through the talent world. While these trends have caused plenty of friction, they’ve also created opportunities for companies and HR leaders to employ L&D as a differentiator. 

  • Skill sets for jobs have changed by around 25% since 2015. And the rate of change is expected to double by 2027. 

  • 89% of L&D professionals agree that proactively building employee skills will help navigate the evolving future of work.

Mapping learning to business goals has become the biggest priority

A top priority for learning leaders this year is making sure that their programs tie back to business goals. Overall, the top four focus areas of L&D for 2023 are:

  1. Aligning learning programs to business goals

  2. Upskilling employees

  3. Creating a culture of learning

  4. Improving employee retention

Addressing the social skills gap

Increased social isolation has negatively affected professionals of all ages, but it’s been particularly rough on Gen Z. According to a survey by Gartner, 51% of Gen Z employees felt as though their education has not prepared them to enter the workforce.

The biggest gap between Gen Z and previous generations entering the workforce is in soft skills. Due to circumstances beyond their control, Gen Z professionals largely missed out on learning skills like networking, negotiating, and public speaking. Additionally, talent developers have found that some Gen Z professionals still need to develop the social stamina and attentiveness that a professional environment requires, according to Gartner.  

This current state of social skills is causing more business leaders to prioritize personal development early in the onboarding process, paving the way for more effective professional development down the road.

Your in-demand skills may differ, but chances are you can identify with most of LinkedIn Learning’s list of 10 skills companies need right now:

  1. Management
  2. Communication
  3. Customer Service
  4. Leadership
  5. Sales
  6. Project Management
  7. Research
  8. Analytical Skills
  9. Marketing
  10. Teamwork

Again, many of these skills blur the line between personal and professional development, but you’ll also notice that many of the above skills are more or less human skills.

Illustration representing finance

Finance / Accounting

  1. Management
  2. Analytical skills
  3. Customer service
  4. Communication
  5. Leadership
  6. Financial analysis
  7. Sales
  8. Teamwork
  9. Research
  10. Financial reporting
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  1. JavaScript
  2. Java
  3. SQL
  4. Python programming language
  5. Cascading style sheets (CSS)
  6. HTML
  7. Management
  8. Cloud computing
  9. Git
  10. C++
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Information Technology

  1. Management
  2. SQL
  3. Microsoft Office
  4. Project management
  5. Analytical skills
  6. Communication
  7. Customer service
  8. Leadership
  9. Cloud computing
  10. Python programming language
Illustration representing marketing


  1. Social media
  2. Management
  3. Digital marketing
  4. Communication
  5. Strategy
  6. Marketing strategy
  7. Leadership
  8. Project management
  9. Advertising
  10. Customer service
Illustration representing project and program management

Project & Program Management

  1. Management
  2. Leadership
  3. Communication
  4. Engineering
  5. Analytical skills
  6. Customer service
  7. Strategy
  8. Team leadership
  9. Marketing
  10. Research
Illustration representing sales


  1. Customer service
  2. Management
  3. Communication
  4. Marketing
  5. Leadership
  6. Account management
  7. Sales management
  8. Microsoft Office
  9. Business development
  10. Business