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Future of Work

54% Believe Technology Will Advance Faster Than the Skills of the Workforce

Research sheds light on workers’ point of view around the digital skills gap and how a community of learners and digital champions can help close it.

Quick Take: Research sheds light on workers’ point of view around the digital skills gap and how a community of learners and digital champions can help close it.


When asked if technology helps or hinders learning new skills, 62% of American workers claim technology always helps them. But what happens when technology moves faster than the world around it?

The return to work and focus on growth is upon us, and we are already seeing the impacts of massive technological innovation brought forth by the pandemic. 

The majority of U.S. employees now believe technology will outpace their skill set, according to Salesforce research. As digital transformation becomes a top priority for businesses, how can companies ensure investments in workforce training and development keeps pace with innovation – and with the wants and needs of employees? One answer – community-based learning.

  • 54% believe technology will advance faster than the skills of the workforce

Skill training and career development are top of mind

Discussing the importance of workplace learning and development begs the question, what does the workforce want to learn? Employees are split — half are looking to expand their current skill set, the other half want to gain new skills entirely. 

  • 48% prefer to gain new skills/52% prefer to expand current skill set

Regardless of where an employee wants to grow, an increased investment in development practices only reaps positive benefits for the workforce. 

  • 75% of employees say an increased investment in workforce development would help them grow their career
  • 72% of employees say an increased investment in workforce development would help them master their current job

Professional networks one way to build and grow skills or advance careers 

In the case of Ines Garcia, Salesforce MVP and Guru, she has been able to meet and learn from Trailblazers all over the world through her Salesforce network. Within minutes, fellow community members “jump to try to help me to solve my business problems”.

Pay it forward: critical to build communities that foster a peer-to-peer learning loop

More often than not, professionals are eager to teach others the skills that changed their career. Tony Nguyen, a Trailblazer and Salesforce Admin at Calabrio, said discussing programs like the Trailblazer Community gives him ‘goosebumps.’  And while the support he receives from the community is invaluable, what truly makes it special is his ability to pay it forward.

In 2020 alone, the Salesforce Trailblazer Community gained 170,000 new members, with a 21% increase in engagement across almost 2,000 community-led events. 

Today, Salesforce is unifying Trailhead and the Trailblazer Community of Salesforce users to create a powerful new, community-based learning platform. Salesforce believes the new Trailblazer Community will turbo-charge opportunities for up-skilling ‘from anywhere,’ facilitating effective peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and building a new generation of digital champions.

Learn more

  • Learn more insights from Salesforce’s workplace learning & development survey
  • Read about Salesforce’s reimagined Trailblazer Community and $700,000 YearUp Grant

Survey methodology

April 2021 Survey

Salesforce conducted a double-blind online survey of knowledge workers* in the United States employed full-time. Data was collected between April 14 and April 17, 2021 and yielded 600 responses.

*Knowledge workers’ work is primarily mental labor (i.e, professional services, business management) over manual or task-based labor (i.e, construction, onsite manufacturing, warehouse operations, retail store service/operations, food service/operations). 

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