National Security at Risk: Upskilling/Reskilling Not Keeping Pace With Advancements in Tech

A National Skills Coalition report released earlier this week, Closing the Digital Divide: The Payoff for Workers, Business and the Economy, states that 92 percent of jobs today require digital skills. You read that right.

We live in an era when technological advancements are a constant and it’s hard for organizations in both the public and private sectors to stay ahead, or even keep up, with continual change.

The report also states that although digital skills training programs are on the rise across the U.S., large gaps remain. This challenge, of course, extends to the Federal government and, in particular, the U.S. Department of Defense and Intelligence Community.

Both the DoD and IC are trying to keep pace with technology advancements and their applications to their respective missions and offering training in artificial intelligence/machine learning, software, platforms, etc. to their workforces. However, their upskilling and reskilling efforts aren’t keeping pace with the rapid rate of technological innovation and this presents a tremendous challenge to ensuring the security and defense to our nation.

Procuring technology is only the first step. Upskilling and reskilling opportunities are absolutely critical to successful adoption. Providing contextualized content is also key to any training efforts.

In an interview with Government Technology, the author of the NSC report said: “[t]raining programs also need to provide contextualized, integrated education so that people understand the real-world application of the digital skills they are learning.”

At FedLearn, we strive to offer content and courses that are contextualized to the missions of the DoD and IC so our learners can “connect the dots” between what is being shared and how new knowledge and skills can be applied on the job and in support of mission objectives. This can lead to exciting “aha” moments and the ability to apply what they learned at work in a rapid manner (faster time to proficiency in learning and development speak) in support of mission requirements and national security.

What are your thoughts about the state of upskilling and reskilling the DoD and IC workforces in digital and technological skills? How are things stacking up today? Is contextualized content important? I’d love to start a conversation.

Dr. J. Keith Dunbar
Founder and Chief Executive Officer