December 14, 2021

How EdTech Provides Career-Ready Skills

Throughout the pandemic, education technology, or edtech, was the lifeline of learning and employee development, making learning at a distance possible for millions of students. Our Digital Pulse Learning survey shows fast edtech adoption and advancements resulted in positive student engagement. Students are more optimistic today about online learning (57%) and digital materials (52%) than before the pandemic.

student engagement

Improved Student Engagement & Employee Development

The pandemic showed why edtech is one of the most powerful learning tools to foster career development and student engagement. It also proved to be one of the most important tools for learners who are seeking alternative learning opportunities. The affordable, accessible and flexible nature of edtech helps students and employees receive the training and development they need to succeed.

EdTech growth shows no signs of slowing down. The online learning market is projected to surpass $370 billion by 2026 and has seen strong funding activity supporting continued growth. From Coursera’s IPO to Chegg’s stock doubling, the edtech market has exploded. And while we believe the market will sustain continued growth, we know that edtech companies’ strategic focus must broaden and evolve to survive.

Survival in this crowded market requires going beyond just supporting traditional education paths. It requires innovating to solve complex economic problems. This includes developing learning tools that reskill the workforce and bridge unemployment gaps, as well as investing in employee development opportunities for job-ready skills.

Digital learning companies must differentiate their offerings to remain competitive and meet market demands. Here are a few ways we believe the edtech market will evolve in the next few years.

Using EdTech to Encourage Employee Engagement

In today’s economy, companies face one of the greatest labor shortages in history. Employers are left searching for new ways to recruit, hire and retain workers. Many have turned to offering free skills-based learning to entice workers to stay or join their company. These employee development plans are a sought-after competitive benefit and offer a career path of swift internal mobility.

At Cengage Group, our workforce skills business – ed2go – has seen sharp, increased demand for online vocational training and reskilling. The business delivered a 21% revenue growth during the second quarter of fiscal year 2022 and continues to see strong demand. This signals there is market growth opportunity beyond higher education, and we can support workforce reskilling efforts for a career-ready workforce.

We believe in getting America back to work and connecting employers with the right talent. This will require digital learning programs that can scale quickly to meet employer demand. In addition, they should provide flexible learning options and help employees reach their personal and professional development goals.

employee development

EdTech Partnerships Develop Job Ready Skills

Solving unemployment and hiring shortages in America requires edtech research, investments, partnerships, and new alliances between companies, colleges and nonprofit organizations. These partnerships will create career-ready workers, build a more diverse workforce and give Americans a fair chance at work.

For example, both Microsoft and Google recently partnered with community colleges to further skilling and certification programs. Community colleges are the backbone of workforce development, but they need support in tackling reskilling challenges at scale. Examples include faculty training for fast-changing fields like cybersecurity or support to scale online programs to reach more learners.

This is a growing area and one in which Cengage is investing new resources. Our Cengage Group Workforce Skills business already partners with more than 400 U.S. community colleges to provide online career training courses for thousands of students. We’re able to help community colleges quickly scale up online training programs. These programs prepare learners for certifications in in-demand careers such as medical billing and pharmacy tech as well as in technology jobs.


career ready

Data-Driven Approach to Career-Ready Development

With tech giants like Google getting involved in online learning, students no longer tolerate glitchy or outdated services. Moving forward, we believe that online learning tools that are personalized and responsive will survive. Edtech companies must embrace data analytics to develop more personalized and responsive tools to improve learning experiences.

job ready

Cengage Group’s Commitment to EdTech

At Cengage Group, we use data to inform our innovation. To remain competitive, we make regular updates to our platform. These updates are based on student and faculty feedback and contain firsthand knowledge about what they’re demanding. This type of connection to the end user is critical for edtech innovation of the future.

Overall, the future of edtech is bright, with individual learners propelling the market forward in new ways. Every learner has a personalized learning opportunity from primary and high school education to employee development. They need technology and tools that can connect them at every stage of learning. The edtech companies that help individuals realize the power and joy of learning throughout life will be successful long term.

Visit our website for more information about Cengage Group and our own edtech evolution to help power individual learning paths.