Erfurt, 30 June 2020 - "The upheaval in the labour market is here," says Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Kurt Jeschke, Professor and Prorector Corporate at IUBH International University of Applied Sciences. The current IUBH trend study entitled 'Upskilling - Digitalisation and New Learning', in which more than 1,200 managers and employees were surveyed in spring 2020 on the changes in corporate education and training, shows a massive demand among companies for digital forms of education as well as future-oriented - and thus corresponding to the digital transformation - educational content.

The study is based on the question of whether and to what extent existing occupational fields will be rediscovered or completely eliminated by 2030, while the shortage of skilled workers and the lack of qualifications of existing employees will become an increasing business risk. "In many cases, existing employees will soon no longer have a job in the company, while there is a lack of qualified personnel for new tasks or the professional skills are not sufficient to make tasks or job profiles fit for the future," Jeschke summarises the situation. "With our study, we are therefore asking about the changing need for competences in companies, the necessary skills and the requirements for vocational education and training for specialists and managers."


The study focuses specifically on the following questions:

●     What exactly must contemporary and efficient continuing education concepts look like?

●     What are the biggest challenges for companies, HR, employees and managers in different sectors?

●     What hard and soft skills do employees and managers need today in order to successfully fulfil their tasks in the future?


An overview of the results of the study:

Employees and managers are well aware of the developments in the labour market. Managing directors in particular say they know which skills will become relevant for them in the next three to five years. Overall, 60 percent of the participants state that they are aware or totally aware of the skills needed in the future.

The topic of digitalisation is perceived as a major driver of change in the world of work. Accordingly, 42.6 percent of respondents see the greatest need for further training in the area of IT & technology. Other areas in which there is a high demand for the development of professional qualifications are marketing & communication (29.7 %) and management & business (29.6 %). Skills are most in demand in the areas of Online & Social Media Marketing (26.8%), Digital Business Models (22.0%) and Data Analytics & Big Data (21.5%).

A surprising result here is the high proportion of 17.4 % of respondents who see no need for action with regard to further qualifications for the future. Almost a quarter (22.9 %) of the smaller companies are of the opinion that there is no particular need to acquire the stated professional or interdisciplinary qualifications. Companies with 500 or more employees have a more differentiated opinion in this regard. Here, only 13.9 percent and 18.5 percent of respondents respectively expressed negative or neutral opinions about the need for action on future-oriented qualifications.

When it comes to the skills that will be in demand in the future, large and medium-sized companies in particular assume that "soft" skills will gain in importance. These include in particular skills such as conflict management (43.6%), problem-solving skills (42.3%) and teamwork (39.2%). Looking only at the segment of participating managers, they see a different focus. They want to further develop their skills especially in the areas of employee development (53.8%), stress prevention (33.6%) and the area of "delegating & letting go" (32.6%).

The biggest obstacles to training and development for the respondents are the lack of time for training and development measures (40.2%), along with costs (26.5%) and no time to get to grips with what is on offer (26.5%).

With regard to the optimal learning format for the acquisition of competences, all participants agree on the different hierarchical levels: 72.2 % are of the opinion that a combination of different learning formats promises the greatest success as a form of learning. This includes online training, in-depth face-to-face events and personal support from a coach. Pure long-term face-to-face events (18.7 %) and pure online training (9.1 %), on the other hand, are much less popular with the respondents, also because learning in the so-called blended format can be largely self-directed.


Prof. Kurt Jeschke: "The study convincingly demonstrates that digitisation-driven skills gaps are increasingly emerging in the labour market - depending on the industry and/or job description - which are critical to success not only for employees but for companies as a whole. Specialised skilled workers are lacking, while previous know-how is not being adequately replaced by 'future skills'. The awareness for further training is there. However, the answers to the obstacles suggest that many companies have not yet actively supported their employees in upskilling. So we are dealing with skill gaps, some of them considerable, which can, however, be closed with future-oriented and needs-based continuing education programmes."


The entire study is available at: