AI training for employees: How employers can get – and stay – ahead of an AI-powered future

The time to get started with AI training was yesterday.

Table of contents

Chapter 1

The AI training landscape: What is AI and why do your employees need training?

Is generative AI as transformative as the personal computer and the internet for businesses? Are employers effectively stepping up their skilling strategies to keep up?

In this chapter, we'll cover these questions and more, plus:

→ A quick overview of the advancements in AI
→ The transformative business impact of generative AI
→ Why employers need to move quickly on employee training

What is AI and why is it such a big deal for employers? 

ChatGPT is the fastest growing application in history.

UBS study, February 2023
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Bill Gates believes generative AI is as revolutionary as the personal computer, mobile phone and the internet itself.

By 2030, activities that account for up to 30% of hours currently worked across the US economy could be automated — a trend accelerated by generative AI.

McKinsey Global Institute

“We’re about to see a major disruption in how everyone works, and I do think that the frontline population will be impacted most.”

Bijal Shah, Guild chief experience officer & head of platform at a CNBC Disruptor 50 event about AI

Businesses stand to gain tremendously – if they can figure out how to train their employees quickly and equitably.

a graphical illustration of statistics about employee sentiments toward their employer's ability to deliver on AI

The value of AI isn’t in the systems themselves but in how companies use those systems to assist humans.

Chapter 2

Which workers are embracing generative AI? Beware the growing equity gap. 

While AI is expected to impact the masses, AI training programs are typically only accessible to white-collared “high-potential” employees — leaving frontline workers behind.

How do employers stop a skills gap from turning into a skills chasm? 

In this chapter, we'll cover:

→ Statistics about current AI usage 
→ Why frontline workers are most likely to be negatively affected
→ How employers can turn frontline AI training into a competitive advantage

AI is expected to impact many, yet AI programs are usually only accessible for the few. 

More than half of the available AI education programs require a bachelor’s degree and they’re designed for either engineers or executives. 

Guild internal research

AI survey results: Who is thinking about or currently using AI – and what does it tell us about equity?

AI and gender:

AI and income:

AI and race:

AI and education level:

AI tool usage is highest among younger, affluent, educated white men in financial services.*

*Guild survey of 355 members and learners, June 2023

Chapter 3

Getting – and staying – ahead of an AI- powered future: Why your entire workforce needs access to AI training today 

As excitement around generative AI peaks, employers have a short window of opportunity to build their talent.

In this chapter, we'll cover:

→ The impact of the Gartner Hype Cycle
→ Where most employers are today
→ Competitive advantages they stand to gain by investing in AI training right now

Employers have a short window of opportunity to build the skills needed for an AI-powered future. 

the gartner hype cycle for AI, a timeline that demonstrates the best time for employers to invest in AI training

The most successful companies will be those who lean into today’s excitement to build the hard-to-obtain skills that will be indispensable tomorrow. 

But most employers haven’t clearly addressed the usage of AI tools to their workforces. Spoiler: They need to take a stance.

Chapter 4

Implications of AI on retail, healthcare, and beyond: Freeing frontline employees for meaningful work

What implications does AI have on frontline work across industries? 

And more importantly – what are proactive ways companies can equip frontline employees with AI skills to not only improve their efficiency today but also mitigate the impending skill gaps in the future?

In this chapter, we'll cover:

→ Why employers that roll out AI for frontline workers will have a competitive advantage  
→ AI applications for frontline jobs across industries 
→ How closing the equity gap will require AI training from the frontline to the c-suite

Employers who prioritize AI training for frontline workers will be more productive and competitive. 

Implications of AI in retail frontline roles

Implications of AI in healthcare frontline roles

Implications of AI in insurance frontline roles

Implications of AI in hospitality frontline roles

From the frontline to the C-suite: Companies that deploy AI training for every level of their workforce will see serious business, talent, and ESG advantages.

Chapter 5

An equitable framework for organizing AI learning needs: Introducing AI skilling bundles

Companies need to manage the culture around AI in their organizations and upskill their entire workforce. 

Employees want to understand – and feel good – about what’s happening, and for doors to open to new opportunities.

AI skilling bundles are designed to meet these strategic needs.

In this chapter, we'll cover:

→ Why AI training should meet employer and employee needs
→ The foundational elements of good AI investments
→ How Guild’s AI skilling bundles provide equitable learning opportunities to employees at every wage-earning level

How can employers define the culture of AI as we head toward a job revolution?

Who is preparing the workforce for the wave to come?

Economic impact


Estimated global unrealized revenue by 2030 caused by talent shortages.1

Labor market predictions


12M job switches may be needed and 30% of hours worked will likely be automated in the U.S. economy by 2030 – with generative AI accelerating this trend.2

Employee interest


Application volume growth in AI programs in the last 12 months for employers with AI programs in their catalog.3

What do employers and employees need out of their AI training? 

What employers need

What employees need 

a graphic depicting the different types of AI training for employees

The top 3 foundational elements of effective AI skilling investments

1. Put employees in the lead 

2. Focus on AI literacy training

3. Develop durable skills

The equitable AI skilling framework: Introducing Guild’s AI skilling bundles

graphical representation of Guild AI skilling bundles

This comprehensive strategy ensures that employees across all levels and departments can effectively engage with AI technologies.

[E-book] Equitable AI training framework for enterprises


  1. Guild internal data as of Aug 2023 for Guild partners that have AI programs in their catalogs
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