Coursera Global Skills Report 2022 Ranks Saudi Arabia Among Top 10 Globally in Business Skills


●      At 91% business skills proficiency, learners in Saudi Arabia demonstrated strong skills in accounting, human resources, and strategy and operations
●      Report calls for workforce leaders to build on the advantage and expand into additional business skills
●      Report highlights opportunity to strengthen skills in mathematics, machine learning, data analytics and other tech-related areas
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia ranks among the world’s top 10 nations for its workforce’s overall business skills, according to Coursera’s latest Global Skills Report.
Learners in the Kingdom demonstrated 91% business skills proficiency, with strengths in accounting, human resources, and strategy and operations. The report urges the country’s workforce leaders to find ways to build on this advantage and expand into additional business skills, such as finance, business analytics, and digital marketing.
The Global Skills Report draws data from 100 million learners in more than 100 countries who have used Coursera to develop a new skill during the past year. The report benchmarks three of the most in-demand skill areas driving employment in the digital economy – business, technology, and data science, with rankings of 75% or above as cutting-edge, 50%-75% as competitive, 25%-50% as emerging, and 25% or below as lagging.
According to the report, Saudi Arabia has 682,000 Coursera learners with a median age of 34 years and about one-third of all being women. More than half (58%) pursue their learning on mobile devices. Saudi learners showed cutting edge proficiency levels in human resources (97%) followed by accounting, and strategy and operations (93% each), sales (89%), leadership and management (88%), and communication (84%).
While the Kingdom has improved its overall business skills proficiency ranking one spot to the 10th position globally, proficiency in technology and data science can be further improved, especially to meet the goals of the digital transformation outlined in the Saudi Vision 2030.
Saudi Arabia, however, ranks 62nd globally in technology skills proficiency and 88th in data science skills. And while learners have cutting-edge technology skills in security engineering (96%), computer networking (87%) and operating systems (76%), the skills are competitive in software engineering (62%). Their skills come in the emerging category across databases (44%) and mobile development (40%), and as lagging in computer programming and cloud computing (each 21%), and web development (11%).
In data science skills, the Kingdom’s learners showed emerging skills in mathematics (38%), but were seen as lagging in machine learning (19%), data analytics (16%), and data management (12%).
Coursera’s Global Skills Report 2022 states that as the Kingdom transitions to a more sustainable economy, leaders across industry, workforce development, and higher education should reinforce its workforce strengths with the World Economic Forum reporting that Saudi Arabia was among the top 10 countries globally for digital literacy.
Anthony Tattersall, Vice-President for EMEA at Coursera, said: “Saudi Arabia has embarked on an ambitious journey towards digital transformation, and a strong focus on enhancing the skills of its youthful workforce. The Kingdom is already preparing for its future through the Human Capability Development Program, a part of the Saudi Vision 2030. As more impactful strategies are implemented to usher in the digital economy, building a competitive and skilled workforce, especially in areas such as technology and data science, will bring long-term returns.”
He added: “Following the pandemic, we have seen two trends gain traction globally – the Great Resignation and increased automation of work processes. These have also underlined the need for more investment in nurturing human capital, with priority placed on enhancing digital and human skills required for a competitive workplace. Our data shows that students and employees need fast-tracked training pathways to prepare them for digital jobs today and for the future, and in turn support the national development goals.”
Global trends in the report include:
●      Entry-level or “gateway” certificate course enrollments among women reached 40% in 2021, up significantly from 25% in 2019. Certificates, such as Google IT Support and Google Data Analytics, provide a clear pathway to gain skills needed for high-demand, entry-level digital jobs. These courses require approximately 240 total learning hours, which can be completed in just six months at 10 hours per week.
●      There is a strong correlation between skills proficiency, GDP, and broadband access. Wealthier countries scored higher in overall skills proficiency, matched by those with high levels of internet access.
●      Developed countries saw more learners acquiring human skills including change management and resilience. Learners in developing countries were more focused on digital skills through courses like supply chain systems and mobile architecture.
●      The most popular business and technology skills globally in the last year were leadership and management, probability and statistics, and theoretical computer science. For the second year in a row, Switzerland had the highest-skilled learners followed by Denmark, Indonesia, and Belgium.
●      Learners also focused on courses that develop the skills needed to understand the COVID-19 pandemic. Enrollment in courses that cover epidemiology and risk management is now four times higher than it was prior to the pandemic.  
With over 100 million learners, 7,000+ institutions, and more than 5,000 courses from 250 of the world’s leading universities and industry educators, Coursera has one of the largest data sets for identifying and measuring skill trends. In the Global Skills Report, over 100 countries are ranked against one another, with percentile rankings attributed to each skill proficiency. A country that shows 100% skills proficiency ranks at the top of the 100+ countries, and a country at 0% is at the bottom.


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