•   Article   •   7 mins

2023 Unwrapped: Big Headlines, New Research, and Emerging Strategies

Let’s be honest: 2023 has been a long and unpredictable year for L&D. Learning teams around the world started the year in survival mode, concerned about the economy and advancements in generative AI. From there, 2023 sped ahead with uncertainty.  

In light of this year’s challenges and changes, Degreed has continued to help L&D with innovative ideas, research, and solutions. Particularly this year, we’ve studied and discussed the most pressing topics in L&D—whether they were time-sensitive, technical, foundational, or forward-looking, we’ve covered them all. 

And everyone likes a present—wrapped or unwrapped. So we’ve compiled some of the big 2023 L&D headlines, research, and strategies for you to unwrap as the year comes to a close.

A Timely Kit For Overcoming Economic Uncertainty

At Degreed, we’re always playing the long game. But early in 2023, Degreed quickly realized the colossal impact shrinking budgets were having on L&D departments. 

L&D teams around the world needed to address the economic issues—quickly. Learning leaders faced dramatic budget cuts, and many were put in the stressful position of convincing their C-suites of the value of learning during an economic downturn. As usual—albeit more urgently—learning leaders needed to get more done with less, and we showed them how in our Recession Survival Kit for L&D Leaders

Take Cover! Your L&D Survival Kit for Weather the Recession.

3 Must-Reads for Working With a Tight L&D Budget

While concern of a recession has faded from the news cycle, L&D teams at many organizations are still feeling the squeeze. If you’re anticipating a reduced budget for 2024, we’ve got resources for you. And if you’re still trying to convince senior leaders why they should invest more in learning, our thought leaders have written some excellent articles to help you. 

Annee Bayeux’s CLO article shares how to use your learning metrics to convince internal leaders that downturns are actually the best time to invest in upskilling your people. 

  • Learning Spend & Impact Scorecard

When money is tight, best to double-check that your spending accomplishes what you’re paying it to do. To help with your learning budget audit, we created an easy and helpful scorecard of common L&D-related investments and their impacts. 

Degreed’s own Janice Burns wrote on HR.com compelling research that proves how investing in your people sets you up to come out stronger on the other side.

A Technical Guide for Navigating A Crowded Learning Tech Market

As an L&D professional, your main driver is your people’s learning, but it’s not always as simple as that. With tech advancements come more nuances for L&D pros to consider and navigate. It’s a crowded and confusing market, and this requires L&D leaders to have more and more technical know-how. 

Specifically, the C-suite is asking L&D leaders to solve more and more problems, which often requires additional technology. We’re seeing L&D leaders both consolidate their technology to save money and add new technology to address emerging learning problems. This turns their learning tech ecosystems into wild, disorganized messes characterized by gaps, lost information, and more.

Seeing L&D leaders struggle with this issue, we created helpful resources for evaluating, simplifying, and improving any learning tech stack. If your ecosystem is like the Wild West and you don’t know how to tame it, check out the Degreed whitepaper Building Your Learning Tech Ecosystem.

Top Content for Learning Ecosystems

As with most technical topics, there’s a lot to learn about ecosystems. To give you more insight, we curated some additional articles and videos for you to peruse. 

What are your learning ecosystem problems? Great question. This Degreed blog breaks down the most common growing pains so you can find and treat the right ecosystem ailment without too much trial and error.

We love technical experts who speak clearly and frankly. This describes our very own Dan Carlson, Senior Manager of Ecosystem Insights at Degreed, who shares his decades of experience in this compelling webinar about learning ecosystems. 

The old “you have to pick one” mentality is BS. Tech companies acting in your best interest make friends so you have choices and access to the best of the best. Degreed had a partner coup earlier this year when representatives from Workday, Eightfold, and SAP sat down with us to discuss partnerships at a session for LENS 2023.

What does your learning ecosystem look like? Many people don’t even know. In this Degreed blog, we guide you in a helpful exercise to map out your current learning ecosystem. The results may surprise you—for example, did you know your vendors’ ecosystems become an extension of your own?

A Foundational Study to Understand How Your Employees Learn 

While there are always technical topics to explore, smart L&D teams consistently take the pulse of learning. They keep current with how employees prefer to learn. They stay up to date with new concepts and skill-building strategies. In other words, they don’t forget the fundamentals.

Degreed prizes itself in putting the learner experience at the center of our platform. This is the reason we spend hundreds of hours gathering, analyzing, and presenting fresh insights into how the workforce learns bi-annually. 

To understand what your employees need to learn effectively, check out our 2023 report on How the Workforce Learns

Additional Insights Into How Your Workforce Learns

How the Workforce Learns has a lot of meat on it—more than we can fit into one report. So here are some additional resources to give our study more context, commentary, and takeaways.

An article for Human Resources Director (HRD) interviews Janice Burns, Chief Transformation Officer at Degreed, to glean additional insight into the findings from How the Workforce Learns 2023.

How do you apply the findings in our study to your organization in a meaningful way? Steve Boucher, Director of Strategy and Advisory Solutions at Degreed, helps connect the dots so you can start applying tangible takeaways from our latest How the Workforce Learns report. 

A Forward-Looking Introduction to Win the Skills-First Future

To recap: in 2023 we’ve covered timely, technical, and foundational topics. What’s left? The future. We’re always thinking about the future, and that future revolves around skills. The World Economic Forum estimates that, amid the lightning-fast pace of technological change, businesses worldwide will need to upskill approximately one billion workers in the next few years

The way to fill that skills gap? Help employees learn skills—fast. Of course, L&D will play a critical role in the new skills economy because it provides people with the learning they need for skill development. In many ways, L&D can lead the charge by preparing companies for the quickly approaching future. 

To learn more about a skills-first future and the role L&D will play, check out our quick 15-minute introduction to Embrace the Skills-First Future.

3 Resources to Dig Into The Skills-First Future

Since skills are the future, you’ll need more than just a 15-minute introduction. Here are some additional sources to sink your teeth into to prepare. 

In a piece for Time Magazine, Mitra Kalita interviews Annee Bayeux, Chief Learning Strategist at Degreed, about our approach to upskilling and reskilling. 

When you bring up the topic of skills, academies aren’t far behind. In this Brandon Hall Group webinar, a panel of experts gets together to discuss how academies can efficiently close skill gaps, simplify and elevate learning experiences, engage employees, and reduce the burden on administrators. 

The Degreed blog deconstructs common, and subsequently ineffective, strategies for upskilling and reskilling your employees. 

After Reflection Comes Ambition and Innovation 

It’s been a turbulent year, and we’ve felt it. But more than ever, Degreed is here to help L&D navigate this tumultuous and exciting time in the world of work. 

  • If there is a time-sensitive issue, like an uncertain economy, we’re committed to providing you with resources to help you persevere.
  • If you’re getting stuck in the technical elements of your L&D role, we’ll break down those technicalities for you. 
  • If you need fundamental information about the state of learning in your workforce, we’ll provide the raw data.
  • If you need help seeing the future of L&D, we’ll let you borrow our chic Degreed wayfarers to see what’s on the horizon.

In many ways, Degreed is one of the best in the business at figuring out the complexities coming your way and innovating accordingly. And after reflecting on the challenges of 2023 and our skills future ahead, Degreed has built a product plan that anticipates and innovates

In other words—bring it, 2024! We’re ready for you.

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