The 2023 Emeritus Global Workplace Skills Study Finds 80% of Professionals Look to Continuing Education for Career Success

As the rate of digital transformation increases, 53% of people globally are concerned technology will replace them if they don’t continue skill development

BOSTON, MA, June 13, 2023Emeritus, the global leader in world-class professional education, today announced results from its 2023 Global Workplace Skills Study, which gathered insights from 6,600 people between the ages of 21 and 65, across 18 countries and five continents, to assess how professionals are approaching learning and skill development amidst continued economic, geopolitical, and technological change. Findings show that interest and investment in pursuing continuing education continues to rise globally, with significant uptick in the last year. Among global respondents:

  • 80% believe that upskilling will help them stand out in the job market
  • 74% would choose a job at an organization that invested in their education over one that did not
  • 63% say their interest in upskilling increased due to recent macroeconomic conditions

Now in its third edition, the 2023 Global Workplace Skills Study shows that even as individuals approach broader household spending with caution, education is perceived as a necessary and worthwhile investment for professional opportunities and career advancement.

Additional takeaways include:

  • Individuals seek stability as new technologies intensify anxiety. Tech-driven skill gaps are a global concern: 53% of respondents fear being replaced by technology if they don’t continue developing skills, and 50% believe they don’t have necessary skills for career advancement. As a result, 61% of respondents said they prioritize job stability when considering new roles, underscoring the need for employers to provide clear growth paths.
  • Workforce learning drives stronger retention and culture. Professionals with competitive skills still have workforce advantages: 30% of global respondents said they are likely to leave a job in the next year, and 52% plan to transition to a job in a new field. For employers concerned about productivity and retention, investing in L&D is a compelling choice: 82% of respondents report higher engagement when learning new things, and 74% favor organizations that invest in their education.
  • Upskilling creates competitive advantage. A uniquely dynamic labor market is impacting learner motivations. An overwhelming majority of respondents (80%) believe continuing education distinguishes them in the job market, and 78% believe it gives them competitive advantage. Data suggests that two-thirds of hiring managers agree, viewing professional education as crucial for employee development (67%), and agreeing that organizations should hire for skills rather than degrees alone (69%).
  • Online learning is here to stay. The 2023 report highlights how pandemic-era remote learning fundamentally shifted learner expectations. Between May 2020 and January 2023, interest in fully online learning programs rose by 8.5%, and interest in hybrid learning programs rose 17%. Flexibility, access, and up-to-date courses are contributing to interest in learning online.

“The Emeritus Global Workforce Skills Survey results demonstrate that, despite economic uncertainty, individuals are turning to continuing education and upskilling courses to create career opportunities,” said Ashwin Damera. “In a uniquely dynamic labor market, the results also highlight the huge opportunity that education programs provide for companies to increase employee engagement, drive retention and attract new employees.”

About Emeritus

Emeritus is committed to teaching the skills of the future by making high-quality education accessible and affordable to individuals, companies and governments around the world. It does this by collaborating with more than 80+ top-tier universities across the United States, Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, India and China. Emeritus’ short courses, degree programs, professional certificates and senior executive programs help individuals learn new skills and transform their lives, companies and organizations. Its unique model of state-of-the-art technology, curriculum innovation and hands-on instruction from senior faculty, mentors and coaches has educated more than 300,000 individuals across 80+ countries. Founded in 2015, Emeritus, part of Eruditus Group, has offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Shanghai, Singapore, Palo Alto, Mexico City, New York, Boston, London and Dubai. For more information, please visit

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