Artificial intelligence-related courses have emerged as the most popular in the UK this year, with Stanford University’s online machine learning course topping the charts, followed by courses such as AI for Everyone, Introduction to TensorFlow, and Programming for Everybody.
So says a study carried out by online learning platform Coursera among its database of 1.3 million UK-based learners. The company says the findings show that people are keen to learn, and are willing to enroll in online courses on their own to gain new skills.
And, with the UK’s AI industry forecast to contribute £232 billion to the economy by 2030, these skills will be vital.
The Coursera findings support a separate PwC study which revealed that 54% of UK adults say they are ready to learn new skills or completely retain to improve their employability. To bridge the digital skills gap, companies must offer those employees who want to upskill or reskill the opportunity to do so, the firm insists.
This year, the UK government announced investments of £1 billion in the AI sector, including funding for 1,000 PhDs and training for 8,000 secondary school teachers in computer science. Meanwhile estimates suggest that Europe will need 346,000 more people trained in data science by next year.
Coursera director of data science Emily Glassberg Sands said: "Given the rapid rate of technological developments, learning can no longer be confined to the beginning of our working lives. The onus is on businesses to build a workplace culture where learning is celebrated and workers have the time and headspace for self-development.
"As we move into the next decade, talent will underpin the UK’s efforts to maintain its position as a world leader in innovation. Recognising this, businesses will hold a major responsibility ensuring individuals at every career stage can gain valuable digital skills."