2022 was a bumper year for MasterStart as we saw record numbers of South Africans sign up for our industry-aligned learning content. At a time when SA’s unemployment rate and competition for top jobs are at an all-time high, it demonstrates the value of (and demand for) career-oriented learning opportunities.
Ultimately, reskilling and upskilling will become non-negotiable for individuals as roles expand and require a broader set of skills. For instance, digital marketers now need to know how to gather, evaluate and present data; those working in finance need solid project management skills, and salespeople need to be fluent in business writing.
There are other benefits of upskilling or reskilling too. A recent Workable survey showed 91% of companies and 81% of employees say developing and broadening their skillset has improved productivity at work. And it’s a fact that employees who learn additional and new skills are more likely to be the ones promoted at work.
Taking a look back at 2022, here are the MasterStart courses that were most popular among B2B and Enterprise learners vs which resonated more with the SME crowd.
Most popular courses employees of our corporate client chose
An emerging trend here was people investing in themselves and their personal work-related abilities. There was a lot of interest in developing soft skills that lead to better communication and strategic thinking. Here are the top courses and how they helped our learners.
1. Developing Women Leaders
This hugely popular and personally enriching course shows women how to become more self-aware, connect more authentically with others, and be an inspiring, confident presence.
Through the online programme, women are taught how to practise strong negotiation, coaching, and networking skills while understanding the dynamics around gender, power and politics. We also focus on teaching them the strategies and subtle skills needed to manage relationships successfully—from direct reports to peers, managers and stakeholders.
2. Business Writing
Business writing is hard, but it’s become an essential skill across professions. Our Business Writing online course takes learners through the essentials of creating well-formulated business documents and professional correspondence.
We teach how the correct use of tone and style can foster long-lasting professional relationships—an essential skill in a world where face-to-face interactions are no longer the norm. We also focus on efficiency, productivity and innovative thinking skills, and how business writing can improve an individual and an organisation’s reputation.
3. Power Skills Essentials
Power skills are essential for developing a personal brand that is professional, sustainable and recognisable. At the same time, employers and recruiters are actively looking for specific behavioural skills when choosing suitable candidates.
Our Power Skills Essentials course teaches learners how they can increase their productivity and job effectiveness by developing relevant soft skills such as emotional intelligence, communication, time management, adaptability and flexibility.
4. Strategic Leadership
Strategic leadership differs from operational leadership in that it is focused on the future, views the company as interconnected, and is change-oriented.
Through this course, which was also a favourite among SME employees, we teach learners how to pick up weak signals from both inside and outside the company, and how to challenge their own and others’ assumptions while encouraging divergent points of view. Importantly, it instils the skills needed to become a focused, bigger-picture, agile leader during times of disruption and change.
Most popular courses among Small and Medium Enterprises employees
Courses that resonated with employees of SMEs tended to be more practical and functional, with a distinct strategic focus. Here are the ones that were in high demand and what they teach.
3. Business and Management Development
This course is popular among corporate learners, including in large enterprises, but is especially valuable for those working for SMEs. It gives learners the tools and techniques needed to develop and execute a competitive business strategy in a changing environment.
Through practical coursework, we teach learners how to develop and apply their decision-making skills against complex real-world scenarios and design and communicate actionable, integrated solutions. In an SME environment, business management and development skills are critical for managing organisational change from a hierarchical model to a relational one primed for leading and influencing.
2. Project Management
Project Management remains one of the most in-demand skills globally due to the increasing complexity of projects, the need for better coordination and communication, and for businesses to efficiently adopt modern technologies.
On a practical level, project management teaches employees how to effectively scope a project, allocate resources, work towards a deadline, and budget throughout the various stages. The course teaches learners how to confidently identify risks that could derail a project and explore new, more efficient ways to manage processes.
3. Foundations of Risk Management
Risk management is a crucial component of any business and is key to controlling and mitigating threats that might derail a company. We teach learners how to apply risk language, build a meaningful risk framework, analyse different risk strategies, and adopt the best risk reduction approach for the business.
The course teaches the five basic steps that need to be taken to manage threats to business operations and profit opportunities: identify, analyse, evaluate, treat and monitor risks.
3. Digital Transformation
The rapid digital transformation of businesses has caught many SMEs by surprise, necessitating an urgent upskilling of employees to prepare for the digitalisation of everything—from HR processes, sales and marketing activities, right through to supply chain management and analysing consumer demand. Understanding what digitalisation means to your company—whether it’s a financial, pharmaceutical, agricultural, or retail institution—is essential for survival.
Through our Digital Transformation course, we teach students how to align people, data and technology to implement new ideas and innovations that will increase the competitiveness of the organisation.
Book your spot on these courses this year
Our enrollment successes in 2022 (combined with a 90% complete rate across courses) are testament to the high-quality education and hands-on experience that students receive. It also underscores MasterStart’s growing reputation for equipping students with practical and future-proof skills for the working world.
Our dedicated B2B and Enterprise Teams are ready to upskill and reskill your employees to be future-ready achievers and leaders. Contact us to discuss how we can help your business move forward through certified employee training.