Charting The Course of Learning Tech After The Acquisition of Learn In
A month ago, Learn In announced a new equation: Degreed + Learn In. Now that the dust has settled and thought leaders posted their opinions, it is time to analyze what the acquisition of Learn In means for the learning tech space and Degreed + Learn In.
How Does The Acquisition Fit Into Learning Tech Trends?
As far as the big picture goes, the acquisition of Learn In follows a narrative of growth in learning and development (L&D). Despite discussions of a looming recession, companies are determined to invest large sums of money into learning technology.
Consider how Learn In is one of many recent acquisitions: SumTotal, Hitch, and EdCast. And companies like Guild, Multiverse, and CoachHub snag headlines by raising and earning millions of dollars.
So even in a teetering economy, learning and development gets a clean bill of health.
The Importance Of Building Employee Skills
More specifically, companies want to invest in L&D technology that builds skills. For thought leader Josh Bersin, the acquisitions of Learn In, SumTotal, Hitch, and the $90 million investment in Gloat underline the “importance of building employee skills and capabilities.”
Why the distinction of skills? David Blake, CEO of Learn In and Degreed, explains that while companies are good at learning, “[they] aren’t very good at upskilling.” This has led learning tech companies—like Learn In, whose mission is “to help more people close the skills gap—to focus on deep skill building.
(To better understand these nuances, check out the athletic metaphors in Allie Nawrat’s article for Unleash.)
The Rise Of The Large Learning Platform
It takes a mammoth learning platform to facilitate proper career growth. So to fill that tall order, Degreed, like other companies, is acquiring and assembling a more comprehensive solution to surpass the skills gap.
But as these solutions expand, naturally, the categories and distinctions between learning tech solutions shrink. Dani Johnson, co-founder and principal analyst at RedThread Research, went as far as to say that the “LXP era may be over,” and Degreed pioneered the LXP category over a decade ago. So safe to say it’s a new landscape in learning tech, “where there is no distinction between large learning platforms.”
What Does This Means for Degreed + Learn In?
But what’s Degreed without its LXP distinction? Well, it’s Degreed + Learn In. And critics and thought leaders seem to agree that this puts them at the precipice of something promising and innovative.
Here are a few quotes from thought leaders about the acquisitions of Learn In:
Mainly, what seems to excite everyone is the ability to scale deep skill-building. Bersin describes the vision as “the nirvana idea that every major training manager wants.” Yet, in the same breath, he warns about the complexities and complications of such a comprehensive solution.
Yet, David Blake is at the helm, and that counts for quite a lot for thought leaders. Bersin reminds us, “[David Blake] pulled off a brilliant idea before; we’ll see if he can do it again.”