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L&D powers the AI future

The AI era is here, and leaders across learning and talent development have a new mandate: help people and organizations rise to opportunity with speed and impact. 

As AI reshapes how people learn, work, and chart their careers, L&D sits at the center of organizational agility, delivering business innovation and critical skills. This report combines survey results, LinkedIn behavioral data, and wisdom from L&D pros around the globe to help you rewrite your playbook for the future of work. 

Read on for data, advice, and bold ideas.

A person sits with a coffee mug, and two people sit in front of a laptop.
An animated list showing the top 5 L&D focus areas for 2024. 1 is aligning learning programs to business goals; 2 is upskilling employees; 3 is creating a culture of learning; 4 is helping employees develop their careers; and 5 is improving employee retention.

Show all top 10 focus areas

Show all top 10 focus areas

Additional L&D focus areas for 2024

6. Supporting employees through organizational change

7. Improving learner engagement

8. Measuring the success of learning programs

9. Ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion

10. Promoting employee well-being

AI skills and career development fuel success.

Infographic showing 4 in 5 people want to learn more about how to use AI in their profession, learners who set career goals engage with learning 4x more, and 90% of organizations are concerned about employee retention and providing learning opportunities is the No. 1 retention strategy.

The business case for learning is clear.

Line graph showing the relationship between learning culture and business outcomes. Learning culture has a positive impact on retention, internal mobility, and promotions to management.

Learning amplifies connection and purpose.

Another talking point: learning is a secret sauce for camaraderie and meaning. As organizations continue to grapple with how best to engage dispersed and diverse teams, learning enhances people’s sense of connection and significance in their work. 

In short, organizations that invest in learning will reap the reward of having people who are more invested in their organization’s success.

Infographic showing 7 in 10 people say learning improves their sense of connection to their organization.
Infographic showing 8 in 10 people say learning adds purpose to their work.
A person stands outside a building, and two people are at a desk having a conversation.

To thrive in the AI era, companies must empower everyone to grow.   

Tomorrow’s success requires skills agility — harnessing the right skills at the right time for the right work.

To unlock skills agility for their organizations, L&D pros must first let go of time-consuming tasks of the past — like laboring over custom content and lengthy training sessions. AI holds great promise for personalization, allowing more individuals to chart their professional destinies.

Likewise, career development and internal mobility programs that align individual aspirations with organizational business priorities represent the path to accelerated progress. 

Let’s look at what’s helping organizations build nimble and adaptable skills at scale.

A bar graph showing the percentage of organizations working to implement large-scale learning programs from 2022 to 2024. Organizations at the planning stage increased by 2%, at the activation stage decreased by 2%, and at the measurement stage decreased by 1%.
Infographic showing top reasons to spend more time learning in 2024. The top 3 reasons are: 1. If it helps me make progress towards my career goals; 2. If it helps me stay up-to-date in my field, and 3. If it is personalized for my interests and career goals.
Bar graph showing five key career development practices and percentage of companies using specific programs. 1 is leadership development programs (70%), 2 is shared internal job postings (58%), 3 is mentorship programs (57%), 4 is individual career plans (49%), and 5 is internal mobility (44%).

Gen Z wants to grow, even more than other generations.

By nature, younger workers start in entry-level jobs and are the hungriest for advancement. Companies that want to attract and engage Gen Z, the rising cohort of workers born after 1996, are wise to tap into the generation’s passion for progress. If there’s any doubt about whether Gen Z wants to learn and grow, the numbers add clarity.

Bar graph showing importance of learning for career progression to Gen Z versus other generations. The percentage of Gen Z who agree that “Through learning, I can explore potential career paths at my company” is 16% more than Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers.

Coaching is popular. AI can expand its scale.

Infographic showing 47% of companies invest in career mentoring and coaching to boost retention.

Internal mobility is a growing spark — that requires fuel.

Infographic showing 33% of employers have internal mobility programs, but only 1 in 5 employees has strong confidence in their ability to make an internal move.

Mobility takes a village and merits a dedicated leader.

Because internal mobility is a newer goal for many, the question of where it sits in an organization’s structure can be muddy. Does talent acquisition lead these efforts, or L&D, or another group?

Two things are clear:

Shared leadership is common. For more than a third of organizations, internal mobility is shared between two or more roles and often includes the head of HR.

Ownership frequently sits at the top of human resources. In almost half (48%) of organizations, the head of HR owns or co-owns responsibility for leading mobility.

An animated bar graph showing who leads internal mobility in organizations. 48% said head of human resources, 28% said head of talent management or talent development, 27% said head of L&D, 25% said head of talent acquisition, and 17% have a dedicated leader focused solely on internal mobility.

L&D can seize the day and lead the way.

Infographic showing 87% of L&D pros say they can show business value by helping employees gain skills to move into different internal roles.
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Impactful tactics — and bold ideas — inspire a brighter future.

While learning leaders face daunting demands, it pays to cultivate a purposeful vision. Agile skills are the most valuable gift you can give to people, to your organization, and to yourself. 

Read on for actions to prioritize today and ideas to inspire tomorrow.

Priority 1
Lean in to analytics.

Infographic showing this year, 54% more L&D pros list analytical skills on LinkedIn profiles than last year.

Priority 2
Build the right metrics.

Aligning learning to business is still a new muscle for L&D pros. Many are still preoccupied with “vanity metrics,” such as employee satisfaction or the number of trainings delivered (regardless of efficacy). 

Success starts with small experiments to gauge progress on critical priorities. For those who do chart business outcomes, productivity and performance are the most common objectives.

Bar graph showing how L&D tracks business impact by specific business improvements tied to learning. Top three responses are performance reviews (36%), employee productivity (34%), and employee retention (31%)

Priority 3
Polish your human skills for the age of AI.

Animated infographic showing 91% of L&D pros believe soft skills are increasingly important.
Infographic showing soft skills with the highest growth rates among L&D pros from October 2022 to October 2023. Interpersonal Skills grew by 73%, presentation skills by 64%, problem solving by 57%, and people management by 57%.

Priority 4
Embrace the power of constant growth.

Infographic showing 47% of L&D teams plan to deploy microlearning programs in 2024.

Explore more Workplace Learning data and courses.

Finance | Healthcare | Professional services | Technology

Australia & New Zealand | Benelux | India | Southeast Asia | United Kingdom

Coming Soon: 250 free AI courses

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Download the full report and get access to five more unlocked courses to help you master the fastest growing skills for L&D in 2024.

Read methodology & acknowledgements.

Show all top 10 focus areas

Methodology

Survey data

The LinkedIn Learning 2024 Workplace Learning Report surveyed 1,636 L&D and HR professionals with L&D responsibilities who have some influence on budget decisions, and 1,063 learners. Surveyed geographies include: North America (United States, Canada); South America (Brazil); Asia-Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong); and Europe (United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, France, Germany, Austria).

LinkedIn Learning product research

The insight that states, “Learners who set career goals engage with learning 4x more than those who don’t set goals” is based on studying a cohort of learners who initiated their LinkedIn Learning account between February 6 and February 10, 2023. We tracked engagement of these learners for the following 3 months and compared the difference in engagement levels for time spent learning between learners who did vs. did not set a career goal.

LinkedIn platform insights

Behavioral insights for this report were derived from the billions of data points generated by the 900 million members in over 200 countries on LinkedIn today. Specific analyses:



Fastest Growing Skills Data

This analysis looks at the Fastest Growing Skills among L&D professionals (globally) between October 6, 2022, and October 6, 2023. “Fastest Growing Skills” are the skills that have seen the largest year-over-year growth among L&D professionals specifically. One way to interpret these findings is to view fastest growing skills as the skills that are already important today — the skills that many members in a given population are developing and adding to their profiles.

 

Impact of Learning Culture

To determine whether companies have a stronger or weaker learning culture, we calculated the deciles to which they belong in each of the following categories and created a simple scoring index that assigned more points to companies demonstrating these components of learning culture, and fewer points to companies not demonstrating as many components of learning culture: 

  • Skills development: the median number of skills employees added to their profile while they were employed in a position at the company in the last 12 months.  

  • L&D team size: identified 40+ L&D occupations and the number of employees at each company in these occupations. 

  • Learning-related company posts: given the large volume of company posts, we used the Bernoulli method to extract random samplings of company posts in the last 12 months and quantified the number of posts that mentioned ‘learning,’ ‘upskilling,’ and ‘skills’ in English. 

The outcomes are defined as follows: 

  • Internal mobility: All data reflects aggregated LinkedIn member activity as of August 2023. We’ve defined internal mobility as any point at which an employee took a new position at the same company in the last 12 months ending August 2023. To calculate internal mobility rates, we included only companies with at least 100 transitions and calculated the median rate. 

  • Leadership promotions: We considered all internal promotions that occurred in the last 12 months by the company and calculated the percentage of leadership promotions that took place (i.e. member was promoted to a manager role or higher).  

  • Retention: the median amount of time that all current employees have been employed with their company.

Acknowledgements

 
This report was informed by insightful contributions from learning leaders around the world, to whom we owe our sincere thanks, including:

Jenna Alexander at Randstad
Ekpedeme “Pamay” Bassey at Kraft Heinz
Shruti Bharadwaj at Airtel
Naphtali Bryant at Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Li Juan Cheng at Chint New Energy
Stephanie Conway at LinkedIn
Al Dea at Edge of Work
Guillaume Delacour at ABB
Sara Dionne at Comcast
Dorna Eriksson Shafiei at Atlas Copco
Stephanie Fitzpatrick at UnitedHealth Group
Justin Foster at Radian
Alexandra Halem at Mars
Dr. Terri Horton at FuturePath, LLC
Dani Johnson at RedThread Research
Crystal Lim-Lange at Forest Wolf
Christopher Lind at ChenMed
Chris Louie at Thomson Reuters
Geraldine Murphy at The Heineken Company
Lori Niles-Hofmann at NilesNolen
Amanda Nolen at NilesNolen
Nick Shackleton-Jones at Shackleton Consulting
Jennifer Shappley at LinkedIn
Manpreet Singh Ahuja at PwC India
Sophie Wade at Flexcel Network
Cat Ward at Jobs for the Future