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Posted Jul 16, 2019 14:34 (GMT +7)

Global ‘HBR Ascend Youth Skills Survey’ 2019 Released


On World Youth Skills Day, HBR Ascend, a mobile-first learning platform for young professionals from Harvard Business Review, released the 2019 edition of the HBR Ascend Youth Skills Survey providing valuable insights about the new perspectives and opinions of millennials about their work. HBR Ascend surveyed over 2,700 young professionals and graduating students from 100+ countries.

The HBR Ascend Youth Skills Survey reveals that Millennials are hungry to learn and willing to invest in upskilling to acquire soft skills like Strategic Thinking, Negotiation Techniques, Networking Skills, Communications, and Analytical Thinking,” says Vivek Chachra, Country Manager (India), Harvard Business Publishing.

Insights from the Survey

  • Almost three out of four respondents are confident about their technical ability. Less than 10% expressed a lack of confidence in their technical skills.
  • Top barriers to performance at work reflect more culture related factors than a lack of personal development, including office politics (27%), lack of training and development (26%), unclear roles (22%), restrictive work culture (20%), lack of collaboration (19%), and excessive workload (18%).
  • In USA, 40% of respondents voted office politics as the top barrier to performance. In South-East Asia, 30% of respondents blamed “difficult boss” as their biggest barriers to performance.
  • The desire for improving employability skills was reported in high measures. Negotiations skills (31%), technical skills (30%), and strategic thinking skills (26%) rank highest for the UK and EU. Respondents from the USA are looking to learn technical skills (36%), negotiation skills (31%), and persuasion skills (25%).
  • While a vast majority prefers learning soft skills through articles, blogs and research publications, the majority in India (57%) and South-East Asia (56%) prefer videos as a medium.
  • An employer of choice is defined by five key characteristics: flexible work conditions (27%), a clear career path with advancement opportunities (25%), strong training and development programs (20%), a clear vision of corporate goals and mission (20%), and passionate and engaging leaders (19%).
  • Around 61% respondents indicate they are aware that aspects of their work could be replicated by artificial intelligence. 9% lack clarity around the impact of AI on their role. In USA, only 30% respondents show confidence about their role not being taken over by AI.

Download the report to know more about the survey.

View source version on


Aanchal Sharma

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