AT&T bets $1 billion dollars in employee education

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It is estimated that 90% of the maturing companies will experience a technological disruption in the near future; however, only 44% are preparing for it.

Transnational telecommunications company AT&T is undergoing massive training, after discovering that half of its 250,000 employees lack the skills needed to keep the company competitive the medium and long-term.

It is estimated that 90% of the maturing companies will experience a technological disruption in the near future; however, only 44% are preparing for it. In general, recruiters have difficulty finding people for positions requiring emerging technical skills. For companies like AT&T, it often makes more sense to train existing staff rather than hiring someone new; current employees know the company from the inside and understand their culture and processes.

The initiative, called Future Ready, with a budget of $1 billion dollars, seeks to give employees the online tools they need to stay current and relevant to the company. Through online courses taught through MOOC platforms like Coursera and Udacity, as well as leading universities, AT&T employees learn the skills they need for their next promotion. Via a web portal, they can monitor what jobs are available in the company and what skills they need to acquire in order to reach them. It is a roadmap that leads employees from where they are now to where AT&T needs to be in order to meet future challenges.

Until now, employees of AT&T have taken altogether 2.7 million online courses. Through its internal portal, the company has delivered 177,000 badges, and about 500 employees have completed a masters degree online at Georgia Tech, with a graduation rate of 80%. AT&T most prominent future jobs are: data scientist, computer analyst, app developer, and cloud computing engineer.