What professional development will look like in 2021

A look into how the learning landscape will continue to transform in the coming year

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Looking back at 2020, no one could have predicted how the working landscape would change – let alone what professional development will look like in the coming year.

But while it’s a time of great adjustment, it’s also a time of great opportunity and, during 2021, we’re expecting to see a real difference in how businesses (and workers) approach professional development.

So, what are some of the key themes we’re expecting to see over the coming 12 months? Here’s just a few you’re likely to come across.

Remote Training

Unsurprisingly, remote training has become the mainstay of professional development in 2020, and it’s probably not going to change any time soon.

With millions of people now working from home, companies have been forced to pivot their training strategies to incorporate virtual learning management systems (LMS), video calls and more in a way they never have before.

In fact, as the Covid pandemic took hold, hundreds of thousands of people turned to online tools to learn new skills during the lockdowns.

But it also means learning and development (L&D) professionals are taking the brunt of this, forced to adapt in order to train and meet learning goals of staff and students on a remote basis.

The good news is that, in reality, they can reach more people than ever before, with the realisation that many of us can now live, work and study from almost anywhere.

In fact, a large number of businesses are now considering maintaining home working on a permanent basis to cut on things like office costs, commute times and more.

The result of this? It means remote training is here to stay, too. Think of 2020 as a test run, with tech innovations in 2021 likely to make remote training easier than ever before.


As well as adapting to staff no longer being in one place, L&D professionals will also need to learn to be flexible as we head into the new year.

This is largely because, as work places and educational sectors innovate to accommodate remote training, the learning landscape will be moving at a much faster pace.

But, more than that, companies will also be forced to provide training that is faster, leaner and more cost-effective as budgets are squeezed, with the ability to pivot as regulations and guidance changes.

The result? The ability to adapt quickly and efficiently to accelerated timelines is key.


As this industry innovates, adapts and grows, so too will the learners.

In the coming year, it will be normal to expect office workers to understand the basics of technology – from using video calls and team software to eLearning systems.

In fact, supporting those who are struggling with these expectations will become essential for L&D professionals, who will also need to make sure they’re tech savvy themselves.

Why? Because, not only will they need to be open to learning the new skills required to reach and train staff and clients through advanced learning systems, but they’ll also need to enhance their student’s learning experience, to ensure they’re getting what they need.


And that’s where data comes in.

No longer will learning be a ‘one size fits all approach’. Already, you can use systems that will track user engagement (read all about it here) and really get to understand what your learners need in order to successfully complete training.

From being able to see where students are struggling, to keeping the training relevant for best training ROI, data is breaking onto the eLearning scene in a big way and, in 2020, this will be bigger than ever before.

So, don’t fall behind the curve. Get in touch with the BuildEmpire team today to find out how we can create the LMS you’ve been looking for.