Closing the Skill Gap: hy and Udacity launch Strategic Partnership for Digital Education and Training

hy – the Axel Springer Consulting Group enters into an alliance with the world’s leading provider of online education / Integrated offer of strategy consulting and further education / Joint support of digitization and transformation

Berlin, 19.01.2020 – Many companies face a double problem in the digital transformation. On the one hand, the personnel market does not offer as many skilled workers with digital skills as are needed. On the other hand, the widespread retraining of their own employees in traditional presence formats takes far too long, is not scalable and is further complicated by corona. This opens up a skills gap that seriously hampers transformation and growth. The lack of skilled workers often proves to be the most important bottleneck in the transition to digital products and business models.

Two leading experts in digital transformation are now joining forces to help close the skill gap. Udacity, the global online training provider that upskills the world’s workforce for careers of the future, and hy, the consulting subsidiary of Axel Springer SE, are entering into a strategic partnership.

The demand for qualified employees for artificial intelligence, data science, cloud computing, programming and other future technologies has risen sharply. In the meantime, demand far exceeds supply. In surveys, almost 90% of all managers name the “skill gap” as one of their greatest challenges.

The traditional solutions of the continuing education market are often perceived as inadequate and outdated: They often do not impart knowledge at the highest level. However, this is precisely what companies need in order to keep up with the globally dominating digital groups. At the same time, the offer is limited in space and/or time and therefore not scalable. In the struggle for market share, many companies fall behind simply because they cannot provide a sufficient number of sufficiently qualified specialists in time.

Udacity owes its worldwide success to the scalable up- and reskilling of employees*. The courses, divided into so-called “nano-degrees”, enable broad target groups within companies to quickly, efficiently and sustainably gain access to world-class qualifications. They are taught by the best in the world, are brought up to date with the latest technology, undergo permanent success monitoring and complete practical tasks in the courses that provide directly usable knowledge in their everyday work. Further training takes place on a part-time basis, takes place at their own rhythm and is not tied to time and place. Compared to the costs of a new hire, the upskilling costs through Nanodegree programmes are only 1%. 

With the same budget, upskilling can achieve a much higher success rate than new hires. The company’s own staff is thus raised to the knowledge level of Google, IBM or Amazon. Even digital champions are relying more and more on upskilling. Amazon, for example, is planning to spend around 700 million dollars on technology upskilling by 2025 to help employees to switch to more highly qualified jobs.

Axel Springer hy is one of the leading German strategy and implementation consultancies for digital transformation. In the four years since its foundation, the company has supported 80 clients in 160 projects in the development and implementation of growth strategies. In its partnership with Udacity, hy contributes its knowledge of the German market and its consulting expertise. Ideally, upskilling projects are seamlessly embedded in a strategy to ensure that the workforce is retrained with the right skills. In addition, upskilling projects are always particularly successful when on-site implementation is guaranteed. With these consulting services, it is all the easier to create economically significant benefits. hy ensures that employees trained with the help of Udacity create the greatest possible economic value.   

The partnership between Udacity and hy provides that customers can obtain Udacity’s services with or without consulting support from hy.  

„We are pleased to have created a compelling joint offer combining hy’s industry-leading consulting services and Udacity’s best in class digital transformation programmes”, says Sebastian Thrun, Founder and President von Udacity. Samuel Schofield, Vice President, EMEA and APAC, adds: „This further underscores our investment in the DACH territory, where we’ve seen significant growth in demand for Udacity as organisations seek to ready their workforces across manufacturing, automotive, financial services and telecommunications for competing in a digitally transformed economy.”

“Udacity is a pioneer and market leader in digital training” says Christoph Keese, Managing Partner of Axel Springer hy. “With its range of services, Udacity sets standards worldwide. For the first time, it is now possible to access the knowledge of the technological elite without living in the epicentres of digitisation. This offers German companies the opportunity to close the qualification gaps quickly and sustainably”. The partnership with Udacity comes alongside the existing partnership with Egon Zehnder. “With our partner, we will be able to offer comprehensive solutions in the future, which are tailored to the digitisation and transformation projects of our customers and thus lead to more success”.