May 14, 2024

Reinventing Corporate Training: The Impact of AI on Learning and Development

AI is shaking up corporate training with personalized learning paths, leading to a massive 57% jump in employee productivity. This targeted approach is revolutionizing how businesses develop their workforce.

6 min read

Meet our Editor-in-chief

Paul Estes

For 20 years, Paul struggled to balance his home life with fast-moving leadership roles at Dell, Amazon, and Microsoft, where he led a team of progressive HR, procurement, and legal trailblazers to launch Microsoft’s Gig Economy freelance program

Gig Economy
  • The global corporate e-learning market is booming, projected to reach $44.6 billion by 2028, driven by a growing demand for upskilling and reskilling workforces.

  • AI personalizes learning experiences, adapting content and recommending courses to individual needs, leading to a 57% increase in learning efficiency and improved employee productivity.

  • Businesses can leverage AI to identify skill gaps and upskill existing workforces, creating a more adaptable and valuable talent pool.

Staff writer

From AI to FinOps, our team's collective brainpower fuels this blog.

By 2028, the global corporate e-learning industry will reach a total market value of $44.6 billion. This field has exploded since the pandemic, growing at over 10.5% annually. With new learning opportunities emerging, businesses around the globe are increasingly turning to online platforms for corporate learning and development modules.

This growing sector has only further accelerated with the development and proliferation of artificial intelligence tools. AI in education can enhance personalization, identify and remedy skill gaps, and improve the efficiency of online learning by over 57%

Beyond just providing these opportunities, recent data from PwC suggests that employees are increasingly looking to learn new skills. 77% of global workers are willing to retrain or learn a new skill, with 74% believing that training is a core part of the personal responsibility of having a job. 

Source: Total market size in billions of US dollars of the corporate e-learning industry, 2021 and 2028.

Personalized Learning Pathways: Tailoring Training to Individual Needs

The modern workforce is deeply diverse, with the average organization contracting employees over different generations, genders, ethnicities, and physical locations. 

Within organizations, employees are actively looking to expand upon their skills. In 2022, the main focus on workplace learning and development was upskilling and reskilling. 59% of employees sought to learn new skills

Yet, businesses must approach their diverse workforces with a one-size-fits-all education model. These currently existing educational structures need to consider how distinct individuals learn differently. 

AI in education allows businesses to create hyper-personalized training modules, facilitating a more effective learning pathway that teaches necessary skills appropriately to the employee. AI models can rapidly create synthesized lessons, adapting content to fit an employee’s preferred learning method.

In November 2023, Deloitte released Project 120, centering AI’s ability to personalize learning and development opportunities in this project. Project 120 is a $1.4 billion investment into learning architecture to provide enterprises with better educational opportunities. By leveraging technologies like AI, Project 120 offers highly personalized learning experiences.

Antony Stephan, Deloitte's Chief Learning Officer (CLO), comments that the Project “Changes how people learn new skills and develop their careers… We aim to tailor our learning and development experiences to each person’s needs and preferences.”

The AI-enabled personalized learning systems have already delivered over one million hours of personalized, content-rich learning experiences. 

Understanding the Need for AI in Corporate Training

The World Economic Forum predicts corporate learning and development upskilling can create 5.3 million jobs net by 2030. Teaching workers new skills increases their value as employees enhance productivity, increasing business profits.

According to McKinsey, the vast majority of the global economic value that AI technology provides comes directly from improvements to worker productivity. Researchers predict that by using AI tools, workers could add 7.9 trillion to the global economy. Yet, with the ability to adapt to emerging technologies and incorporate them into workflows, these gains will be noticed.

Jim Hemgen, Talent Development Director at Booz Allen Hamilton, comments on the vital nature of corporate training. After investing more in corporate training and AI technology to provide advanced learning opportunities, Hemgen stated that:

“We are investing in key technology and partnerships to arm our employees with the capabilities they need for years. 

AI in education isn’t just enhancing learning. On the contrary, it’s about filling in the gaps that already exist in the global workforce:

  • Overcome Skill Gaps – Microsoft states that 84% of their clients find training a major workplace challenge. Their model of using AI to enhance corporate education streamlines the development of new skills, rapidly producing more competent workers.
  • Cover Labor Shortages – Industry experts believe that employers can empower their current employees with AI and automation learning to complete work faster, reducing labor shortages and streamlining development.
  • Develop Adaptability—AI-first learning will allow employees to engage with educational content that aligns with their learning style. As learning will be easier with these AI-first strategies, workers can learn more rapidly and adapt to using new tools and systems.

Businesses that embrace AI in education can enhance learning opportunities, creating better learning and development systems that improve productivity and help workers upskill into better resources. 

Identifying and Addressing Skill Gaps with AI

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023, 60% of workers will require extensive training before 2023. However, identifying the exact skills that employees lack can pose a challenge. 

By exploring the most in-demand jobs and expanding roles, we can identify the skills organizations currently seek. Nearly all of the fastest-growing 10 jobs worldwide are centered around technology. 

Yet, businesses don’t simply have to hire new personnel to fill these in-demand roles. Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor at the Stanford Institute of Human-Centred AI suggests that businesses can focus on identifying skill gaps and reskilling their current workforce. 

Source: Fasted growing vs. fastest declining jobs according to the World Economic Forum 2023. 

Scanning millions of job postings with AI, the Stanford Digital Economy lab identified several in-demand skills and found close parallels in existing jobs. Identifying an employee with similar baseline skills allows businesses to effectively invest in their education, turning them from a near-fit to a perfect fit in as little as 60 days

AI becomes pivotal, helping to identify skills, locate appropriate employees, and create personalized learning modules for them to reach their potential. 

An example of this would be teaching an electrician, who already has an extensive knowledge of copper, to work with fiber. After a relatively smaller amount of training, you can upskill an employee to allow them to deliver more value to your business.

Professor Brynjolfsson’s company works with Amazon to improve its hiring processes. Amazon’s data centers were aiming to hire cybersecurity and machine learning experts. Yet, a relatively small pool of unemployed talent was looking to fill these roles.

Instead of waiting for experts, Amazon has leveraged AI to create its experts. By selecting existing data scientists and teaching them relevant skills like Python, they can apply their available expertise to machine learning tasks.

This AI-first method, demonstrated by Amazon, can turn the $220 trillion human capital market in the US alone into a precise, developing, and enhanced workforce. Businesses will receive more productive and skilled employees, while workers will upskill into new roles and expand their earning potential. 

Schneider Electric Leverages AI in Education To Develop Employee Careers

In 2019, Schneider Electric released its Open Talent Management (OTM) platform, where employees could connect with others, volunteer for opportunities, and learn new skills related to their job roles. After integrating with AI tools in 2023, the OTM platform is now an all-in-one tool that provides its employees with AI-first learning opportunities. 

By using personalized learning on the OTM system, Schneider Electric was able to upskill its internal employees. One team saw productivity enhancements of 2x based on this new knowledge and skills. 

The internal AI platform also facilitates connections between senior and junior staff in their business. Connecting people based on interests or aspirations forges powerful mentorship opportunities. It can also analyze an employee’s future career aspirations and point them toward training opportunities that would help them advance. 

Commenting on the power of AI in education and learning platforms, Nick Day from Roundtable Learning stated that:

“Studies have shown that early adopters of artificial intelligence (AI) for their L&D programs have seen, on average, a 57% increase in efficiency, 55% increase in safety, 52% increase in productivity, and 47% complexity reduction.”

At Schneider Electric, over 20,000 employees utilize the voluntary platform every month. Across 2022, AI recommendations led to over 300,000 training course completions every month

While upskilling their employees, Schneider Electric employees' new skills, acquired through the OTM platform, give the business more value and drive productivity. 

The AI-First Pathway to Streamlined Learning and Development

From identifying skill gaps to crafting personalized learning pathways, AI in education is a powerful solution that enhances learning and development. As AI tools advance, businesses can leverage them to build a more competent and skillful workforce, all while overcoming all-size-fits-one corporate learning initiatives.

Businesses like Amazon and Schneider Electric have already begun to leverage AI in education to drive revenue, enhance training, and upskill their workforces.

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