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Are You Cleared for Takeoff? Introducing Microsoft 365 Copilot

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STUDY: 80 PERCENT OF PROFESSIONALS LOOK TO CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR CAREER SUCCESS

A recent global study shows that the interest and investment in pursuing continuing education continues to rise globally, with significant uptick in the last year. Emeritus’ 2023 Global Workplace Skills Study, which gathered insights from 6,600 people between the ages of 21 and 65, across 18 countries and five continents, assessed how professionals are approaching learning and skill development amidst continued economic, geopolitical and technological change.

Among global respondents:

  • 80 percent believe that upskilling will help them stand out in the job market.
  • 74 percent would choose a job at an organization that invested in their education over one that did not.
  • 63 percent say their interest in upskilling increased due to recent macroeconomic conditions.

Additional takeaways:

  • Tech-driven skill gaps are a global concern: 53 percent of respondents fear being replaced by technology if they don’t continue developing skills, and 50 percent believe they don’t have necessary skills for career advancement. As a result, 61 percent of respondents said they prioritize job stability when considering new roles, underscoring the need for employers to provide clear growth paths.
  • Professionals with competitive skills still have workforce advantages: 30 percent of global respondents said they are likely to leave a job in the next year, and 52 percent plan to transition to a job in a new field.
  • An overwhelming majority of respondents (80 percent) believe continuing education distinguishes them in the job market, and 78 percent believe it gives them competitive advantage. Data suggests that two-thirds of hiring managers agree, viewing professional education as crucial for employee development (67 percent), and agreeing that organizations should hire for skills rather than degrees alone (69 percent).
  • Online learning is here to stay. Between May 2020 and January 2023, interest in fully online learning programs rose by 8.5 percent, and interest in hybrid learning programs rose 17 percent. Flexibility, access, and up-to-date courses are contributing to interest in learning online.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a transformative force in various industries, and its impact in the workplace is undeniable. As AI technologies continue to advance, they are reshaping how businesses operate, enhancing productivity and unlocking new opportunities for innovation. According to a 2023 Goldman Sachs Research report, a generative AI-led productivity boom could raise global GDP by 7 percent, or almost $7 trillion, over a 10-year period.

In March 2023, Microsoft announced 365 Copilot. Combining the power of large language models (LLMs) with your data and Microsoft 365 apps, this tool will turn your words into a powerful productivity tool. The goal of Copilot is to improve productivity by automating tasks, such as creating a slideshow, analyzing data and drafting a document or email.

Have no fear, the goal of Copilot is not to replace workers but to free up time consumed with “busy work.” Satya Nadella, Microsoft chairperson and CEO, described Copilot as “the next major step in the evolution of how we interact with computing. With our new copilot for work, we’re giving people more agency and making technology more accessible through the most universal interface — natural language.”

Microsoft 365 Copilot will be available for commercial customers for $30 per user per month for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium customers.

Get the Training You Need

Be sure your organization is onboard with Microsoft 365 and earn your wings with the Manufacturer & Business Association’s (MBA) computer training programs. From Excel to Teams and PowerPoint to Power BI, take your mastery of Microsoft programs to new heights.

I’d also recommend checking out the MBA’s Training Catalog in this month’s Business Magazine or visit mbausa.org to learn more.

Casey Naylon is a computer trainer and database administrator for the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact her at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or cnaylon@mbausa.org.