edX Survey Finds Nearly Half (49%) of CEOs Believe Most or All of Their Role Should be Automated or Replaced by AI
Survey also reveals a significant disconnect between C-Suite and worker perspectives on the future of work, with only 20% of workers believing most or all of their role could be replaced by AI
We’re excited to announce the publication of Navigating the Workplace in the Age of AI. The report is a summary of findings from a new nationwide survey that explores how AI is reshaping the world of work at all levels of the organization.
Together with research firm Workplace Intelligence, edX surveyed 800 knowledge workers and 800 C-Suite executives, including over 500 CEOs, from across the U.S. to gain unique insight into how professionals are preparing for the age of AI. The results uncovered often conflicting views between workers and executives on the pace and impact of automation on their companies, jobs, and personal career advancement.
Among its key findings, the survey uncovered that executives—including those at the highest levels of the organization—are open to a significant amount of support from AI. A remarkable 49% of CEOs surveyed believe that “most” or “all” of their job should be completely automated or replaced by AI.
Other key findings from the survey published in edX’s Navigating the Workplace in the Age of AI Report include:
- Most companies are finding it difficult to get ahead of this trend. 87% of the C-Suite say they’re struggling to find talent with AI skills, and 77% say AI is disrupting their business strategy.
- Leaders say AI will replace many functions at their organization, but employees don’t realize how much they’ll be affected. Only 20% of workers think “most” or “all” of their role could be replaced by AI.
- While executives are embracing AI, many are concerned about falling behind. 79% fear that if they don’t learn how to use AI, they’ll be unprepared for the future of work.
- AI proficiency could provide a considerable career boost. Most executives believe workers who are skilled at using AI should be paid more (82%) and promoted more often (74%).
- Surprisingly, the C-Suite doesn’t mind if employees use AI to work for another company. 82% say employees should be allowed to use AI to work multiple jobs.
- Workplace learning programs aren’t keeping up, and some workers have one foot out the door. Just 24% are using their company’s programs to learn AI skills, and 39% say it’s likely they’ll quit for a job that offers better learning & development opportunities within the next year.
Executives also estimate that nearly half (49%) of the skills that exist in their workforce today won’t be relevant in 2025, and they feel 47% of their workforce is unprepared for the future of work. Fortunately, 72% of the C-Suite believe their company should increase its investment in learning & development programs focused on AI over the next 1-2 years.
“With more companies moving full speed ahead toward an AI-driven workplace, leaders are faced with an important decision: Embrace AI or be left behind,” said Andy Morgan, Head of edX for Business. “While there are many ways executives can adapt their business, offering an outcomes-based learning and development program should be a central part of the long-term strategy to integrate AI.”
“Although most C-Suite executives recognize that AI can benefit their business, savvy leaders know that AI can support them in their own roles as well,” added Dan Schawbel, Managing Partner, Workplace Intelligence. “Executives who take steps to become proficient with AI will be better-equipped to make decisions that will position their companies for success in today’s ever-evolving business landscape.”
“This data makes clear the startling ways AI is transforming the world of work,” said Anant Agarwal, Chief Platform Officer, 2U, Founder of edX, and former director of CSAIL, MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. “As a leading developer of talent, edX continues to rapidly expand its portfolio of AI-focused educational offerings, including hundreds of AI-related courses and a new AI Boot Camp in partnership with top universities across the U.S. And through edX for Business, we’re working hand-in-hand with companies to equip every level of their organization with the AI skills to drive impactful business outcomes.”
To view the full findings, download edX’s Navigating the Workplace in the Age of AI Report here.
Learn more about edX for Business at https://business.edx.org/.
Research findings are based on a survey conducted by edX and Workplace Intelligence between July 10-24, 2023. In total, 1,600 full-time, U.S.-based employees completed the survey, including 800 C-Suite executives and 800 knowledge workers. Respondents were invited to take part in the survey via email and were provided with a small monetary incentive for doing so. All respondents had passed a double opt-in process and completed an average of 300 profiling data points prior to taking part in the survey.
About edX for Business
edX For Business is 2U’s comprehensive upskilling and reskilling solution, chosen and trusted by enterprises across the globe. Designed to engage every level of an organization, it offers an expansive portfolio of outcomes-based online learning programs taught by top universities and industry leaders, including curated academies in artificial intelligence, supply chain management, data analytics, sustainability, and leadership. Find out why employees of more than 60% of the Fortune 500 are learning with edX at edX.org/enterprise.
About Workplace Intelligence
Workplace Intelligence is an award-winning thought leadership and research agency focused on the world of work. We help companies, and their executives, tell their workplace story in a meaningful, relevant, and impactful way using primary data, insights, and interviews. For more information go to our website and subscribe to our Insider newsletter.
edX is the global online learning platform that fuels the world’s ambition. edX was developed in 2012 by Harvard and MIT to make the world’s best education available to everyone. Today, as a part of 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), edX connects over 78 million people with online learning to meet every professional moment. Together with top-ranked universities and organizations at the forefront of their fields, edX offers thousands of job-relevant programs across nearly every career discipline, from artificial intelligence and robotics to sustainability and public health. Find online courses, certificates, boot camps, and degrees that fuel your ambition at edx.org.