77% of professionals in Southeast Asia plan to upskill in 2023

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Great Learning has released the Global Upskilling Trends Report 2023. The report examines global upskilling choices, focusing on five key markets based on demand for upskilling programs: Southeast Asia, United States of America, Latin America, India, and Middle East Asia. 

The SEA upskilling insights are based on a profiling of learners across Southeast Asia who pursued Great Learning’s programs recently along with a survey of 750+ working professionals and recent college graduates in Southeast Asia from different backgrounds.

It offers valuable insights into the current trends related to the intent to upskill, top domains to upskill in, the motivating factors that drive individuals to pursue upskilling, the obstacles that hinder others from engaging in upskilling activities, and more.

77% professionals in Southeast Asia plan to upskill in 2023 vs 74% professionals globally

The intent to upskill in 2023 is high among professionals in Southeast Asia, with 77% planning to invest time in upskilling themselves, whereas the global average stands at 74%.

Notably, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines see the most demand for upskilling courses, showcasing a significant desire among professionals to enhance their skill sets and stay abreast of technological advancements.

Professionals with more than 12 years of experience invested the most in skill development in Southeast Asia

One key finding of the report is that over 50% of learners who enrolled with Great Learning in 2022 from Southeast Asia had 12+ years of experience, indicating that individuals with extensive work experience invested the most in skill development. When surveyed, 76% professionals with more than 12 years of experience showed their intent to upskill in 2023.

Data science and Management were the most sought-after domains in 2022; this trend is set to continue in 2023

  • In Southeast Asia, Data Science was especially appealing in 2022. While the majority of learners had 15+ years of experience, the field was also favoured by professionals with under 3 years of experience. The intent to upskill in the domain in 2023 remains high across experience levels.
  • Management was the 2nd most sought-after field for upskilling in Southeast Asia, after Data Science. 50% of individuals pursuing new management skills had 15+ years of experience. This year as well, Management is the outright choice for professionals choosing to upskill. Artificial Intelligence was popular among senior professionals with 15+ years of experience, which accounted for about 60% of the learners who enrolled with Great Learning’s AIML programs in Southeast Asia.

84% of individuals in Southeast Asia consider upskilling important to future proof their career compared to a global average of 76% 

More professionals in Southeast Asia consider upskilling important compared to the global average of 76%. 64% professionals in the United States of America, 66% in the Middle East and 76% in Latin America consider upskilling to be vital to future proof their careers. The trend in India is similar to that of Southeast Asia as 85% professionals in India consider upskilling important.

Office work and Affordability are the biggest obstacles preventing professionals in Southeast Asia from upskilling in 2023.

In Southeast Asia, affordability and office work are the leading factors preventing professionals from upskilling with 20% and 19% professionals quoting these as hurdles. Nearly 11% of the professionals believe upskilling can compromise their social life, while 9% of the professionals do not feel the need to upskill in their current roles.

Arjun Nair, co-founder of Great Learning, said, “The job market in Southeast Asia for digital skills such as Data Science, AI, Machine learning is growing significantly. In addition, senior leaders are investing in developing their management skills to lead their organizations through digital disruption.

“We observe a strong willingness to upskill, with 77% of respondents planning to enhance their skills in 2023. As organisations continue to prioritise digital transformation and data-driven decision making, we anticipate a surge in professionals from Southeast Asia enrolling in programs that offer in-demand skills.”