Coursera Global Skills Report 2023: U.S. Learners Prioritize STEM Education and Human Skills Amid Changing Job Expectations

Midwestern States Emerge as Business and Technology Talent Hub

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The rapid pace of globalization, digital transformation, and AI advancements have created a renewed demand for digital and human skills among U.S. learners, according to Coursera’s latest annual Global Skills Report. The fifth edition of the report also highlights the increasing demand for STEM education and industry micro-credentials.

The rise of digital jobs and remote work is creating unprecedented opportunities for local talent to participate in the global workforce if they have the right skills and credentials,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO. “This report provides actionable insights on the changing skills landscape and the rapidly increasing availability of skilled talent around the world to help institutions inform their human capital and workforce strategies.”

Key U.S. findings include:

  • The 22 million U.S. registered learners on Coursera represent 8.4% of the country’s working-age population. In the U.S., the average learner age is 35, with 41% using mobile learning and women representing over half (51%) of learners. The US has the highest demand for industry micro-credentials of any country globally, with learners amassing 1.3 million enrollments in entry-level Professional Certificates, in the last year (a 22% increase). The growing demand underscores the trend that individuals are increasingly turning to online micro-credentials to secure new jobs and advance their careers.
  • STEM training demand rises alongside U.S. job growth. The CHIPS & Science Act calls for pathways for more Americans to enter STEM fields as the demand for talent outpaces supply. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the U.S. will need over 1 million more STEM professionals than it is currently on track to produce over the next decade. STEM course enrollments from U.S learners grew to 4.6 million as of March 31, 2023, a 22% increase from the previous year, with 41% of enrollments from women. Enrollments in entry-level STEM Professional Certificates grew 47% to 740,000 enrollments in the same timeframe.
  • U.S. learners are prioritizing critical human skills like leadership, collaboration, change management, and conflict resolution more than learners in other countries. Cumulatively these topics have had 1.9 million enrollments. The demand for human skills underscores a growing recognition from individuals and organizations that workforce agility is critical to succeeding in a world characterized by relentless change.
  • The Midwest emerges as a top business talent hub, with Illinois rankings outpacing coastal states. The Midwest represents four out of five leading states for business skill proficiency, including Illinois (1), Wisconsin (2), Indiana (3), Michigan (4), and Maine (5). Illinois ranks first for skill proficiency in business and data science, outranking major coastal hot spots, including New York and California. Florida is rising as a tech talent hub, tied with California as the top-ranking state across technology skill scores.

Overall, U.S. learners perform best in business skills, earning the highest proficiency rankings for accounting (90%), sales (70%), and marketing (74%). However, foundational data science skills present the greatest opportunity for investment, with mathematics, probability, and statistics among the lowest ranking proficiency scores.

With over 120 million learners, 7,000 institutions, and 5,400 courses from 300 of the world’s top universities and industry partners, Coursera has one of the largest data sets for identifying and measuring skill trends. In the Global Skills Report, 100 countries are ranked against one another, with percentile rankings attributed to each skill proficiency. A country that shows 100% skills proficiency ranks at the top of the 100+ countries, and a country with 0% is at the bottom.

To download the full report, visit

About Coursera

Coursera was launched in 2012 by two Stanford Computer Science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, with a mission to provide universal access to world-class learning. It is now one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, with 124 million registered learners as of March 31, 2023. Coursera partners with over 300 leading university and industry partners to offer a broad catalog of content and credentials, including courses, Specializations, Professional Certificates, Guided Projects, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Institutions around the world use Coursera to upskill and reskill their employees, citizens, and students in fields such as data science, technology, and business. Coursera became a Delaware public benefit corporation and a B Corp in February 2021.


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