January 12, 2021 4 min read
2020 was a very challenging and promising year for learning. Basically supported by technology, education was forced to accelerate some of the transformations that were already being prepared, especially in the digital world. Although this translates as an advance in the sector, the rapidity of the change also evidenced the areas of opportunity that online learning has.
From integrating digital non-natives to strengthening new skills through continuous learning, education presents a very interesting picture for the coming years.
Adaptation and user experience: first reaction to the pandemic.
According to the PWC firm’s annual CEO survey, in 2019, 79% of CEOs worldwide were concerned about the lack of essential skills in their workforce; This percentage increased by 16% compared to 2016. This indicates that, with the arrival of new technologies, some interests regarding specific capacities are also increasing.
With the arrival of the pandemic, it can almost be said that the percentage for 2019 will be exceeded, due to the accelerated pace with which changes had to be made to the system. However, these changes are not surprising. In the words of Santiago Salazar, CEO of hackU , the startup that empowers digital non-natives through WhatsApp, “ 2020 did not bring anything new, all it did was accelerate an inevitable future, one where technology adapts to people and not the other way around ”. Likewise, it presents the user experience and adaptability as two of the essential needs for the development of the education sector.
This means that online education platforms, rather than emerging, had to adapt to current needs, in addition to simplifying their user experience for the benefit of both usability and institutional and personal resources. Issue that prioritizes continuing education and soft skills as basic tools to develop.
Bridging the gap: the challenge of today’s education
It is important to affirm that adaptation in the education sector must occur in all sectors, that is, it is necessary to create solutions for the entire population and not only for digital natives. This is because the pandemic evidenced the differences in resources and skills that exist between generations, countries and different social sectors.
From the outset, it was clear that 80% of the current workforce was in the hands of non-digital natives; so it is necessary to retrain more than 375 million people. Similarly, much of the base of the pyramid leaves virtual sessions not feeling comfortable with the channel. To this must be added that many people lack a self-taught discipline, as well as those who do not even have a computer or a phone with enough memory to install more applications.
This results in incomplete training in the competencies required by e-learning today, which is why many company employees leave projects quickly.
Occupy existing resources: a practical and effective measure.
In an e-learning market of 36 trillion dollars and focused on 80% of the population (non-digital natives), hackU, is one of the most promising initiatives for the benefit of our new way of learning, since it deals with digital non-natives through training with educational capsules through WhatsApp and with the accompaniment of a personal coach. The proposal of this innovative startup focuses on people who did not have the conditions or opportunities to learn, those who do not have higher education or the necessary technological resources.
With the experience of its founders, hackU stood out in 2020 thanks to its strategic and human approach. It currently reports a growth that has multiplied by 10 times in its first commercial year, going from 180 paid users in one country starting the year, to more than 10,000 paid users in nine countries at the end of 2020, and billing more than 500 million of Colombian pesos this year. In this way, hackU seeks to be the ally of the continuing education of society that educates the more than 350 million digital non-natives in a simple way and throughout their lives.
Regarding what is coming for education, it is projected as one of the sectors where there will be more investment; taking advantage of the development and transformation resulting from the pandemic. Companies will increasingly seek special training in digital form, so the sector will expand even more, creating conditions for all audiences to join.
Developing our digital capabilities is a top priority. It is no longer a matter of calculating the necessary skills in the face of digital transformation, but rather of developing them, of ensuring that all people possess and practice them, no matter where they are. Companies are urgently requiring these skills in their employees and collaborators, which is why people-centered talent developers are so valuable, since they are not only betting on a better educated world, but they know that this is a great option for a world with better opportunities for all.