Learning to code and software development are among the most popular new skills being taken up to boost employment chances post-pandemic, according to a new study.
A survey of more than 30,000 workers across Europe, including more than 11,000 in the UK, found that nearly half (43%) of those in the UK had chosen to learn a new skill.
A third of those said they had done so to open up new employment opportunities, with key digital skills like coding and software development the most popular choices.
In the UK, around one in 20 adults said they have started learning to code since the beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020 and as the digital industry grows with more businesses moving online as social distancing measures closed physical business spaces.
The research, carried out by YouGov and Kantar Sifo on behalf of open-source software firm Red Hat, found that nearly half of those taking up coding (43%) came from a non-technical background.
“If the pandemic has shown us anything it’s that the future is digital,” Werner Knoblich, Red Hat’s senior vice president and general manager for Europe said.
“It’s heartening to see so many people taking up computer programming or software development as a new skill, particularly those from non-technical backgrounds.”
Animation and graphic design, personal development courses, academic study and first aid training were the other most popular skills taken on to boost jobs.
Away from seeking new skills for employment purposes, the study found that learning a new craft such as knitting, painting or drawing was the most popular new skill taken up since the start of the pandemic.
This was followed by cooking and learning a new language.