Global Skills Index

Discover the skills of tomorrow—and where to find them.

METHODOLOGY

Coursera’s Global Skills Index (GSI) assesses the skill proficiency of learners in each country / industry (entity) and measures which skills are trending around the world.

The GSI builds on Coursera’s Skills Graph, which maps the connections among skills, content, and learners on the Coursera platform. The Skills Graph contains a vast skills taxonomy of over 40,000 skills in the subject areas of Business, Technology, and Data Science.

Benchmarking

Skills in this taxonomy are mapped to the courses that teach them using a machine learning model. For every competency in the GSI, this tagging allows us to extract assessments in courses teaching relevant skills. These serve as the pool of assessments used to measure individual learners’ skill proficiencies.

With the set of assessments for each competency defined, we consider grades for all learners taking each assessment in the relevant pool. We then train machine learning models to estimate individual learners’ skill proficiencies, adjusting for item difficulty. We in tandem estimate standard errors for each learner’s skill proficiency.

The average proficiency for a company for industry is calculated by averaging across proficiencies of learners in an entity, weighting by the inverse of the standard error on the proficiency estimates and trimming these weights to avoid undue influence by any one learner.

This weighted average for each domain or competency is the GSI estimate of an entity’s skill proficiency. Performance bands are computed by segmenting skill proficiencies into quartiles:

  • Cutting-Edge
  • for 76th percentile or above
  • Competitive
  • for 51st to 75th percentile
  • Emerging
  • for 26th to 50th percentile
  • Lagging
  • for 25th percentile or below

The GSI reflects the average skill proficiency of learners within each entity on the Coursera platform. Note that the GSI estimate does not necessarily reflect the average skill proficiency of all entity members because Coursera learners may differ from the average resident of a country or employee in an industry.

Competency Growth

We measure competency growth using the year-over-year growth in enrollments in related courses on the Coursera platform between 2017 and 2018. Competency growth provides high-level insight into which competencies learners are increasingly investing their time for skill development and potentially signaling which are therefore trending within the labor market.

Trending Skills

We measure trending skills within each domain (Business, Technology, and Data Science) on a quarterly basis, incorporating several measures of internal and external demand for each skill into a single, weighted index, standardizing each index component using z-scores. Tracking the value of this index over time allows us to see what is increasing and decreasing in popularity.

Download the full Global Skills Index for even more data-driven insights by region, country, and industry.

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