5 Types of Workforce Training Programs Trending for 2023

by Brian Rahill

The labor market changes so quickly that it can be hard to keep up with trends. These days, workers are switching occupations faster and more often than ever before. Forbes even renamed The Great Resignation “The Great Talent Reshuffle.” In this environment, the workforce training programs trending for 2023 are the ones that will help workers gain the needed skills for in-demand jobs. 

Knowing what kinds of classes people are looking for can boost your enrollment and help your learners move toward meaningful career growth. We’ve identified some in-demand workforce training programs that you can add or expand in 2023.

Two Major Trends For Workforce Training Programs 

Many people are reconsidering what they want and need from their jobs. One out of every five workers say they are very or somewhat likely to look for a new job within the next 6 months. Among workers who changed employers, nearly 50% also changed their industry. 

Regardless of the industry these workers are training for, two trends are influencing their decision-making: online classes and the demand for soft skills training. 

The Demand For Online Learning Is Growing

Although there are more online classes available now than there were pre-pandemic, the demand for online learning is even greater. This course format allows for flexibility when learners are managing full-time jobs or working on a career swap. You may even reach learners outside your area who are looking for the unique courses you offer.

Soft Skills Are In Demand

Soft skills don’t require technical expertise but are useful in every industry and at every career level. According to a recent LinkedIn report, the top soft skills employers value are:

  1. Leadership
  2. Communication
  3. Problem solving
  4. Management
  5. Time management 
  6. Strategy 

Fortunately, these are all skills that are easily teachable in a remote format, so your program can deliver two workforce training program trends at once. 

What Workforce Training Programs Are Trending?

Although the labor market continues to shift, some patterns have emerged. Over the next year or more, these workforce training programs are likely to stay in high demand. 

1. Courses in Money Management 

The expertise of a financial manager is increasingly in-demand–so in demand, that the industry is expected to grow 123% by 2031. Almost any business or organization needs someone who can make informed financial decisions. 

Courses on bookkeeping, accounting, and using relevant software like Quickbooks can help prepare students for money management roles.  More specialized courses might include classes on grant writing, fundraising, or business finance. 

2. Healthcare Industry Courses 

Demand for workers in physical and mental healthcare is growing. Many jobs in healthcare require bachelor’s degrees and state licensure, but others employ workers who have earned certificates. 

Workers looking for entry-level roles in healthcare might seek out training to become an: 

  • EMT
  • Phlebotomist
  • EKG technician
  • Clinical medical assistant
  • Certified nursing assistant
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Behavioral health professional

In addition to formal certification classes, your program might offer foundational classes in subjects like anatomy or chemistry.

3. Renewed Focus On Training For The Trades

Relatively recession-proof, trade jobs don’t require an advanced degree but still provide high salaries. As the public attitude shifts away from “college for all,” more workers are seeking training that can pay off immediately in the form of high pay and reliable employment.

These roles may include: 

  • Construction manager
  • Electrician
  • Industrial mechanic
  • HVAC technician
  • Aircraft technician
  • Elevator mechanic
  • Fiber optics technician

Well-designed training programs in these industries can help students learn the basics before or during their apprenticeship programs. Since many tradespeople work as independent contractors, you might also consider offering courses aimed at helping them run their businesses. 

4. Focus On Sustainable Energy

One area of the trades is growing so quickly that it’s worth listing it as its own trend. Sustainable energy jobs are growing as a result of increased environmental awareness and a mounting energy crisis. In 2022, the renewable energy sector created 700,000 new jobs. To meet this growing need, your program might offer courses in: 

  • Solar energy
  • Wind energy
  • Hydropower
  • Geothermal energy
  • Hybrid energy systems
  • Transportation systems

To decide which of these industries to focus on, look around at your community. Your students are likely to want training that helps them find employment where they are. 

For example, Bristol Community College in Fall River, MA, takes advantage of its coastal location to offer an offshore wind power technician certificate. It’s a smart offering since wind turbine service technicians are predicted to be the second-fastest growing occupation of the decade. 

5. More Project Managers Are Needed

The shift to remote work means that teams are scattered across town and across the world. Skilled project managers help keep projects on track. They are the captains of the ship, overseeing projects to make sure employees meet deadlines, manage budgets, attend meetings, and complete their work. 

Though project managers may earn professional certificates, many people work in project management roles without formal certification. Soft skills are essential. These might include:

  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution,
  • Leadership 
  • Organization
  • Problem solving

Your program can offer specific courses in these soft skills or more generalized project management courses to help prepare project managers across industries. 

Give Your Community The Workforce Training Programs It Needs

This list outlines some national trends, but you know your community best. Investigate the workforce training needs in your community. You might partner with a local business or organization, interview prospective students, or reach out to programs that offer similar courses in other communities. 

We’re all navigating this new labor market together. Offering the workforce training programs trending for 2023 can help make your organization, and your community, stronger.