Communication was the No. 1 learned topic across all regions of the world in 2019, and coding dominated two generations’ main focus areas, according to data from LinkedIn Learning on Wednesday. Used by 93 million people worldwide this year, LinkedIn Learning offers more than 15,000 subscription-based online courses taught by real-world professionals, the data found. Through the courses, students can either freshen up their current skills, or gain new ones.

SEE: Why IT pros need soft skills to advance their careers (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Professionals of all ages took advantage of LinkedIn Learning’s online courses, but different age groups had different goals, according to the data.

Top courses for career starters

Career starters, or employees with two years or less of work experience mainly focused on becoming skilled developers. These young professionals watched 2x more content on programming languages than the average learner, consuming 47% more hours of content and 50% more courses than their colleagues further along in their careers, the data found.

The findings outlined the following top courses career starters watched in 2019:

However, the younger generation wasn’t the only age group interested in developer content.

Top courses for Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, were also interested in developer content. However, they weren’t as avid in their interest, soft skills in communication and leadership rounded out their other focuses, the data found.

The findings outlined the following top courses Baby Boomers watched in 2019:

Top courses for Millennials

The top courses for Millennials, individuals born between 1981 and 1994, covered the widest range of topics out of any generation. However, a lot of the course material focused on becoming more data-driven, the data found.

Millennials watched 1.2x more content on data driven skills like data visualization, statistics, and data modeling than the average learner. Both Millennials and Gen Xers spent 22% more time on advanced learning compared to their Gen Z counterparts, according to the data.

The findings outlined the following top courses Millennials watched in 2019:

Top courses for Gen X

Gen X, people born between 1965 and 1980, took a step away from technical skills and looked toward leadership skills, the data found.

According to the data, Gen Xers consumed 1.5x more content on executive leadership than the average learner. This generation also did most of their learning on mobile devices, surprisingly, even 39% more than their Gen Z colleagues.

The findings outlined the following top courses Gen X watched in 2019:

Top courses learned by managers and C-suite pros

Gen X wasn’t alone in their leadership interests. Managers, in particular, focused on soft skills, with an emphasis on people management 32% more than other colleagues. They also consumed 2.3x more content on executive leadership skills and 1.8x more on talent management, mentorship, and coaching than the average learner, the data showed.

The findings outlined the following top courses managers watched in 2019:

As for C-suite professionals, they made up 64% of the population using LinkedIn Learning. The data clarified that these C-suite professionals are most likely entrepreneurs, running a company with 50 employees or less.

The entrepreneurial C-suite was 3.2x more focused on how to raise capital or how to pitch to investors, compared to the average learner. This group did a lot of their learning after hours too, with 23% more reportedly taking courses on weekends compared to the average learner, the data found.

The findings outlined the following top courses C-level employees watched in 2019:

Across age groups and employee levels, learning had a large presence in 2019, indicating the efforts employees take to improve their skills in today’s enterprise.

For more, check out The 20 fastest-rising and sharpest-declining tech skills of the past 5 years on TechRepublic.

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