Image: iStock/dusanpetkovic

Udemy published an article on Wednesday outlining the key findings of its 2021 Workplace Learning Trends Report. The report detailed training courses that have seen a surge in demand on Udemy for Business, the company’s online learning platform. The company also analyzed organizational “learning behaviors” to identify six trends Udemy believes will “define the workplace in 2021.”

SEE: TechRepublic Premium editorial calendar: IT policies, checklists, toolkits, and research for download (TechRepublic Premium)

“While much of this year has been uncertain, one thing has become undoubtedly clear,” said Shelley Osborne, VP of learning at Udemy, via email. “The future of work many of us have been talking about is no longer an eventuality — it’s our current reality. Around the world and across industries, organizations are fundamentally rethinking every aspect of how we work. As we look ahead to what the workplace will look like in 2021 and beyond, our recent report shows that continued upskilling and learning agility will be required to keep pace with our ‘new normal.'”


The top trend listed focuses on skills to assist “self-mastery.” Anxiety management, resilience training, stress management each saw more than a 1,000% surge in use on Udemy for Business, with meditation and mindfulness training increasing by 886% and 784%, respectively. Udemy said that the “increased demand for productivity and mental health skills indicates that employees are adamant about mastering their minds and taking control of their time.”


The report also notes the importance of collaboration in a remote work setting. In the last year, courses key to collaboration such as listening skills, business communication, business writing, and business etiquette surged by four-digit percentage points. Consumption of conflict management and interpersonal feedback courses increased by 890% and 686%, respectively. The technology and software industry saw a more than 3,000% increase in listening skills courses.

SEE: Key details: NASA’s mission to Mars (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Data literacy

The third trend listed details the importance of data literacy in the modern workforce with Udemy stating that “data literacy is the new computer literacy.” In 2020, the consumption of business intelligence training increased 1,411% on Udemy for Business. Salesforce courses increased 664% and SAP courses saw a 428% surge in consumption on the platform. Software skills to enable data visualization also saw a boost in 2020. For example, Google Sheets courses increased 858% between 2019 and 2020.


Digital transformation has accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, courses to enhance automation skills have also increased in the last year, per the report. Between 2019 and 2020, PyTorch and TensorFlow courses increased 542% and 458%, respectively, with OpenCV seeing a 300% surge in demand. Within the technology and software industry, TensorFlow courses increased 1,599%.

Hybrid tech

In a section entitled “Farewell Silos, Hello Hybrid Tech Roles,” the report provides data illustrating ways organizations are embracing agile project management. Consumption of DevOps skills courses such as JMeter increased 2,590% between 2019 and 2020. Docker certified associated courses increased 1,308% during this time. Online learning related to cloud computing also saw a boost with Microsoft AZ-900 courses seeing a 2,417% increase on Udemy for Business.


Cybersecurity attacks have increased markedly during the coronavirus pandemic. That said, organization prioritizing cybersecurity training is listed as Udemy’s sixth workplace skills trend. With the switch to remote work, general training topics including “information, network, wireless, and web security saw notable growth” as members of IT teams helped structure “a safe remote workforce.”