The rapid pace of globalization, digital transformation, and AI advancements have created a renewed demand for digital and human skills among US learners, according to Coursera.
“The rise of digital jobs and remote work is creating unprecedented opportunities for local talent to participate in the global workforce if they have the right skills and credentials,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO. “This report provides actionable insights on the changing skills landscape and the rapidly increasing availability of skilled talent around the world to help institutions inform their human capital and workforce strategies.”
STEM training demand rises
In the US, the average learner age is 35, with 41% using mobile learning and women representing 51% of learners. The US has the highest demand for industry micro-credentials of any country globally, with learners amassing 1.3 million enrollments in entry-level Professional Certificates, in the last year (a 22% increase).
The growing demand underscores the trend that individuals are increasingly turning to online micro-credentials to secure new jobs and advance their careers.
The CHIPS & Science Act calls for pathways for more Americans to enter STEM fields as the demand for talent outpaces supply. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the US will need over 1 million more STEM professionals than it is currently on track to produce over the next decade.
STEM course enrollments from US learners grew to 4.6 million as of March 31, 2023, a 22% increase from the previous year, with 41% of enrollments from women. Enrollments in entry-level STEM Professional Certificates grew 47% to 740,000 enrollments in the same timeframe.
US learners perform best in business skills
Cumulatively these topics have had 1.9 million enrollments. The demand for human skills underscores a growing recognition from individuals and organizations that workforce agility is critical to succeeding in a world characterized by relentless change.
The Midwest represents four out of five leading states for business skill proficiency, including Illinois (1), Wisconsin (2), Indiana (3), Michigan (4), and Maine (5).
Illinois ranks first for skill proficiency in business and data science, outranking major coastal hot spots, including New York and California. Florida is rising as a tech talent hub, tied with California as the top-ranking state across technology skill scores.
Overall, US learners perform best in business skills, earning the highest proficiency rankings for accounting (90%), sales (70%), and marketing (74%). However, foundational data science skills present the greatest opportunity for investment, with mathematics, probability, and statistics among the lowest ranking proficiency scores.