How LinkedIn's Most Popular AI Courses Can Shape Your Organisation's Upskilling Strategy

LinkedIn reveals its most popular courses and discusses what they reveal about talent development

How LinkedIn's Most Popular AI Courses Can Shape Your Organisation's Upskilling Strategy

By now, we’ve all heard the chatter around artificial intelligence: AI. Generative AI. ChatGPT. There are 33x as many LinkedIn posts mentioning topics like generative AI and GPT than there were one year ago. And [consumer sentiment survey stat]

With the uptick in AI usage, “we are in the early days of a world of work that is more human than before, giving us the chance to do more fulfilling work and to do that work more easily and effectively with others,” says LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky in a recent post. 

As AI enters the mainstream at work, many L&D pros are working to efficiently and effectively upskill their employees to use this business-critical technology in their day-to-day work. And employees are eager to learn AI skills to advance their careers: LinkedIn data shows a 65% increase in learning hours for the top 100 AI/GAI courses from 2022 to 2023.

Below are LinkedIn’s 10 AI courses that learners in Australia and New Zealand have taken the most in 2023, as well as 5 takeaways to guide your organisation’s AI upskilling strategies. 

  1. How to Research and Write Using Generative AI Tools, Dave Birss 
  1. Nano Tips for Using ChatGPT for Business, Rachel Woods 
  1. Generative AI for Business Leaders, Tomer Cohen 
  1. What is Generative AI?, Pinar Seyhan Demirdag 
  1. Get Ready for Generative AI, Ashley Kennedy 
  1. Next Generation AI: An Intro to GPT-3, Jonathan Reichental 
  1. Machine Learning with Python: Foundations, Frederick Nwanganga 
  1. Introduction to Prompt Engineering for Generative AI, Ronnie Sheer 
  1. Prompt Engineering: How to Talk to the AIs, Xavier Amatriain 
  1. GPT-4: The New GPT Release and What You Need to Know, Jonathan Fernandes 

These courses are available for everyone to access for free until December 15, 2023. They offer a starting point to help you develop AI skills and upskill your employees. It also signals what’s coming. As you prepare for this new era at work, use the five takeaways below to guide your talent development strategies.  

5 takeaways to guide your organisation’s AI upskilling strategies 

1. AI upskilling empowers more than hard skills — it also drives career growth 

AI is changing how everyone does their job — not just in tech, but across all roles and industries.  Around the world, the skills required for many jobs have changed by 25% since 2015, with that number expected to reach at least 65% by 2030, according to the recent LinkedIn report AI at Work, due to the proliferation of new AI tools and applications. The pace of change is higher in Australia – skills (even for the same job) have changed by 27% in Australia. 

In this environment, employees are concerned about staying relevant. They want to grow their skills but are relying on talent leaders for guidance on how to use AI at work. And it’s up to L&D leaders to help their employees meet this moment and harness new AI skills to grow their careers. 

As Dave Birss, instructor of the No. 1 most popular course on the list, explains, learning to work with AI isn’t just a skill; it’s a launchpad for career growth. 

“It’s the people who understand how to collaborate with AI that will have a real advantage over the next few years,” says Dave in How to Research and Write Using Generative AI Tools. “When employees fully grasp this, they will be in a strong position to both improve how they do their job today and advance their career moving forward.”

2. Help every employee understand what AI is (and what it’s not)

The most important thing for employees to understand is that AI cannot do their job for them. It’s a tool to help them do the parts of their jobs that they’re good at and enjoy. Whether they’re writing code or writing a speech, employees must bring their own expertise and judgment to the process to get the most useful results — and it’s the job of L&D pros to help guide employees on their learning journeys. 

As Tomer Cohen, LinkedIn’s Chief Product Officer and the instructor for Generative AI for Business Leaders (No. 3 on our list), said in a recent post: “One of the most powerful ways to think of AI is as your copilot, your incredibly capable assistant, constantly at your side to help you excel at your task at hand and in your career.”

Helping employees figure out how to collaborate with AI will help drive better outcomes — from higher quality work to quicker skills building. When asked what changes they value most, people surveyed for Microsoft’s 2023 Work Trend Index Annual Report envision producing high-quality work in half the time (33%), being able to understand the most valuable ways to spend their time (26%) and energy (25%), and — learning leaders take note — being able to learn a new skill twice as fast (30%.)

3. Offer varied levels of AI learning opportunities to meet — and engage — employees where they are 

The most popular courses reveal that some employees want baseline AI knowledge in courses like What is Generative AI? while others are looking to hone more advanced, technical AI skills relevant to their role or function.

Since employees come to AI from different entry points and want to use AI in different ways, learning and upskilling programs must make space for people to learn across many levels of expertise and departments. 

Workforce futurist Terri Horton offers tips for how to meet employees at different starting points in her newly released LinkedIn Learning Course, Gen AI for HR.

She provides a three-step process for scaling Generative AI knowledge across levels and departments

  • Assess employees' awareness and knowledge of A.I. First, use Generative AI to create an employee survey. Then, analyse the results of the survey, identify knowledge gaps, and create a plan for building AI fluency at your organisation.  
  • Run a pilot program to help employees incorporate AI into their day-to-day roles. Small programs help maximise benefits — and mitigate potential risks — of upskilling employees with AI.  
  • Teach employees how to use AI in their specific job or function. Customer service reps can use AI for responding to customer queries or challenges; finance employees can use AI to analyse data and create summary narratives; and marketing employees can use AI to create content, summarise research, or do keyword analysis for SEO. 

“Keeping pace with AI adoption will require employees to upskill and reskill continually — and HR will enable much of this learning,” Terri said. “However, employees are often resistant to change, and some may be apprehensive about artificial intelligence. So, in addition to skill development, the training should include use cases that are relatable, resonant, and come alive for them.” 

4. AI impacts the C-suite — as learners and leaders 

As AI makes its way into all areas of the business, it’s important that senior executives — and any aspiring leader — begin their own journeys into the world of AI to understand its uses and implications. 

According to a LinkedIn report AI at Work, just over half (57%) of Australian executives are planning to increase their use of AI at their organisation in the next year. And business leaders are “2x more interested in using AI to increase productivity than to cut headcount,” according to Microsoft's 2023 Work Trend Index Annual Report.

With this in mind, learning leaders must create ways to train leaders on how to use AI to be more efficient in their day-to-day work. Executives will also benefit from leadership training that tackles the bigger questions that come with the arrival of AI to the workplace, including responsible AI.  

“Leaders must ensure that humans remain the sole decision-makers,” says Pinar Seyhan Demirdag in her course, What is Generative AI? “Ultimately,” she says, “the goal is to strike a beautiful balance between leveraging the power of generative AI to enhance human creativity and imagination and optimising production, while also maintaining human control and oversight over this advanced technology.”

5. L&D pros are uniquely positioned to support change management around AI  

AI has already created a shift in how we work, with a recent McKinsey survey showing that 79% of respondents have had some exposure to Generative AI, and 22% are using it regularly in their own work. And as even more AI tools come into play in the coming years, L&D teams are in a unique position to guide their organisations through change: They can help everyone keep pace and adapt, while also building a culture of continuous development around AI. 

As Frederick Nwanganga says in his course Machine Learning with Python: Foundations, “The skills you acquire in these courses should serve as a stepping stone to continue learning and exploring how to solve more complex problems.”

Think of AI as similar to onboarding any new tool: Explain the “why” behind it and share ways in which it can be used. You can also set an example by implementing AI for core L&D functions and sharing the benefits (and maybe even the roadblocks) of streamlining and simplifying your work. 

For example, learning pros are already harnessing AI to jump-start tasks such as identifying missing or underdeveloped skills on their teams so they can build targeted development programs and create employee development plans to accommodate each learner’s progress and performance.

Final thoughts: Emphasise experimentation over mastery  

AI isn’t a skill you learn once and then you’re done. It’s a fast-moving field where everyone is learning as they go. 

“AI is reinventing the world of work,” says Dan Brodnitz, Global Head of Content Strategy at LinkedIn Learning. “It’s challenging employees to think about and build new skills, but also grow future-focused careers. L&D pros are at the centre of this shift as they guide employees on this journey.”

If you haven’t started using AI yet, take the courses above to start learning how it can help you at work today. If you’re already using AI on a daily basis, keep experimenting. Employees and businesses are just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible. 

To get more insights into global AI trends, download LinkedIn’s Global Future of Work Report here

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