The world is changing at a rapid pace. Regardless of whether the change is brought on by technology or societal shifts, learning has become necessary to stay competitive in the job market. According to the World Economic Forum, over half of all workers in India will require upskilling and reskilling to meet the talent demands of the future.
Growing Importance of Upskilling & Reskilling in the Indian IT/Tech Job Market through Online Learning
Co-authored by Parinita Gupta
The Need for Upskilling and Reskilling is a Global Issue
Multiple reports state that more than half of employees will need significant reskilling and upskilling. Not just in technical capabilities like understanding emerging technologies like artificial intelligence. But, also to become proficient in soft skills such as communication, attention to detail and listening skills.
Intelligent automation and AI are expected to disrupt the global workforce with as many as 120 million workers around the world needing to be retrained or reskilled.
61% of people believe that global megatrends greatly affect their jobs and will continue to do so. As a result, many devote significant time to refining their skills. The vast majority are also willing to learn new skills to become attractive candidates for completely different jobs.
“This year’s Emerging Jobs report is a window into the changing landscape of the Indian economy. The country is seeing a rise in digital transactions, and therefore industries are ramping up investments in Block chain. This strong demand for Block chain tech talent has put ‘Block chain Developer’ on top of the list. As automation becomes a reality across industries, the ‘AI Specialist’ is the second emerging job on this year’s list,” – Ruchi Anand, Head of Talent Solutions and Learning Solutions, LinkedIn
“In 2020, we will stay on the path to building specialised talent to address present and future customer needs, skilling our talent and acquiring fresh talent in areas like cloud, digital, security, AI, blockchain and emerging areas such as 5G and quantum computing,” – Mohan Sekhar, Sr Managing Director of Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in India
With the global business landscape changing rapidly, apart from employee benefit essentials such as healthcare, paid time off (PTO), and stock options, companies must provide substantial upskilling and reskilling options if they are to retain their top talent.
Benefits of Upskilling and Reskilling
It is important to look at upskilling from a dual-benefits perspective:
- As business models change and technology gains more prominence, employees equipped with the most necessary skill sets – both hard skills and soft – can steer organizational success in the right direction.
- The best candidates will consistently move towards companies that offer upskilling and reskilling benefits. As Sethi put it, “Talent is looking for employers who offer career development through on-the-job coaching to evolve their career in ways such as applying the skills needed to be a business analyst to transition into the role of an enterprise architect.” Learning opportunities can, therefore, become a significant employer branding advantage.
Top On-Demand Jobs in 2020
Forbes, one you can’t ignore, is pretty clear about the top trending jobs in 2020. Now jobs may be trending due to a lot many reasons, due to high paid salaries, due to no. of vacancies, due to increasing market demand. The top 15 jobs you find listed in the Forbes countdown is how it looks below:
- Blockchain Developer
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) Specialist
- Robotic Process Automation Consultant
- Back-end Developer
- Growth Manager
- Site Reliability Engineer
- Customer Success Specialist
- Full-Stack Engineer (Developer)
- Robotics Engineer
- Cybersecurity Specialist
- Python Developer
- Digital Marketing Specialist
- Front-end Engineer
- Lead Generation Specialist
As you can see, almost all job roles require digital competencies – yet, only a fraction of the current workforce is digitally native.
With a lot happening in and around IT, and the world merging centered around a digital revolution, upskilling and re-skilling have become the most secret keys to success.
As per consecutive reports from different corners of the world, employees contributing in different roles of industries and organizations are deeply worried about automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence taking away their jobs, which is again leading to these two terms come into focus. Now let us understand what we really mean by these two terms.
Upskilling and Reskilling
Upskilling oneself is a process to upgrade and to level up one’s skills and potential capabilities by undergoing certain training and development programs. This leads to the collective experience, more knowledge, and a highly productive performance. Leading Organizations are nowadays focusing a lot upon upskilling sessions, training modules, and short-term courses to upgrade their employee skills and performance.
Upskilling denotes the continuous and indefinite process of learning; however, there is at some point a necessity of intended learning by getting into new process training, new subjects, and disciplines, which leads to Reskilling. Reskilling teaches individuals new skills to adapt to the dynamic needs of the market. It makes one acquire new skills altogether and forget older ones. It is like teaching algorithms to a designer and training a painter to become a surfer.
What Career Aspirants Need to do to Stay Ahead of the Curve
Relearn the Ropes
Suppose you are an automobile engineer at a middle management level. There may be many new technologies that have invaded your space. The important thing to do here is to learn more about these technologies and harness the learning. Instead of feeling threatened by automation, embrace it and exploit its potential. This gives you greater room to grow, upskill and diversify into new areas. Let the machine take care of repetitive tasks, while you move on to bigger ones.
Online Courses to Upskill Yourself
Thanks to the Internet and ITES, we have many online courses that can help you bring up to speed with the latest technologies. In most cases, they are freely available. Invest time in learning through online courses, MOOCs offer a wide variety of programs, training and certification courses that can help you upskill at the comfort of your home in the shortest period of time.
Seek Employment or Apprenticeship in the Area of Your Expertise
Try to take up projects where you can learn additional skills even for free. It is important to apply the theories one learns in real life. You can also take up an apprenticeship in companies that are working in some of these skill sets.
Opt for Higher Studies Abroad
The managers of today can no longer afford to keep themselves out of the global reach. As geographical lines diffuse, and markets stretch beyond boundaries, new business heads need to approach problems with a global overview. A degree from a top university abroad takes care of this need.
With an international business management degree, you can leverage your employability a notch higher. Exposure in a global environment helps to broaden your vision, absorb insights, and learn out of the box thinking. Study abroad to get a hang of how people function or solve problems in other countries. This could help you upskill as well as develop an all-round personality.
Stay Updated and Keep Upgrading Your Knowledge
The only way to upskill is to become the master of your area. As you grow in knowledge, you also grow in talent. Embrace technologies that help you grow. Engage with clients and industry experts to know what’s going on, and how you can benefit from the knowledge.
Evaluate analytics capabilities and decision-support tools within the ecosystem to identify opportunities to enhance decision making and improve student outcomes. Experiment with what’s possible using new technologies.
Pursue opportunities to experiment and to broaden organizational acceptance of the inevitability of failure as well as success in the process of innovation. Extend capabilities through your ecosystem partners.
Why Upskilling and Reskilling are Important for Organizations?
Shields the business from market changes
Upskilling and reskilling your workforce helps you develop a squadron of knowledgeable and agile employees who can easily adapt to new skills, get retrained on the job and set your business up for success.
Upskilling and Reskilling can Mitigate Job Losses
No one likes layoffs. Those who’ve lost their jobs obviously feel the impact, but employers are affected, too. Undertaking a reskilling and/or upskilling initiative is win/win. Once the company identifies a skills gap, reskilling and upskilling training programs can better position the company for expected workforce changes as well as provide a path for workers so they don’t become displaced by technology.
It’s not so much about saving jobs, but rather it’s about developing people. Reskilling and upskilling programs can also help with job retention.
Keeps the existing employees engaged
Millennials make up for the majority of the workforce. 87% of them consider professional development as very important in a job. They want to work at a company that invests in its employees’ career development. Upskilling and reskilling show that you care about your people, their careers and their futures.
So, if through L&D, you can offer a clear career progression within your company, your top talent is more likely to be loyal to you. And you get to take advantage of their growing expertise. So, everybody wins.
Attracts potential talent
Reskilling and upskilling are not only in the interest of your employees; it will attract potential talent as well.
According to a recent survey, college and university students ranked ‘growth opportunities’ as their number one job search priority.
Most of the students leaving a university or college, lack the required soft skills to join a workforce. So, a dedicated reskilling and upskilling program will show the prospective talent how it’s helping your current employees’ careers and if they decide the join the organization, how it can do the same for theirs.
Gives you a competitive advantage
Through upskilling and reskilling, your employees easily become experts at what they are doing; the more they explore, the more they start seeing things from a different perspective. The training equips them to come up with newer and better ways of doing their core jobs. It stirs up their level of efficiency. The result? Improved business and individual performance.
Improves staff productivity
Upskilling and reskilling give your staff a motivation boost. Their newfound skills enable them to work more effectively with others in the team.
They feel more confident about themselves and their work. This helps them to gain a sense of fulfillment and purpose. When they feel challenged and valued at work, it helps you gain their loyalty.
Increases customer satisfaction
Upskilling and reskilling help your employees stay up to date with the latest industry trends, empowering them with the knowledge to provide excellent customer service to your clients. And when clients are happy, they are willing to pay more and become strong brand advocates for you.
Recommended Post: Why Reskilling/Upskilling Must Begin at the Top?
Why Online Learning is the Best Mode to Reskill and Upskill these days?
Classroom training is facing a lot of challenges for most of the people as it requires time and physical presence of an individual to attend the training sessions. So now many organizations are outsourcing the task of upskilling and re-skilling activities to professional firms with expertise in designing effective training modules. These training programs not only equip their employees with highly advanced skills but also attest and certify an individual for all their needs in the future.
Online and distant training programs are also beneficial as individuals can approach them anytime for any of the training certificates they think they might need for an upskilling requirement on a personal and professional level. This makes individuals free of limitations that they might otherwise face in internal training programs of an organization limited to space, time and training quality. They are also free to choose the latest and best training programs from any part of the world irrespective of their location and territory.
Author Parinita Gupta: Parinita is a full-time banking professional. Additionally, she is also a passionate blogger and digital marketer.
She mostly writes about the Banking & Finance, Technology, and FinTech sector. But, she also enjoys writing on other topics as well. You can follow her on Twitter.
Featured Image Source: Talent LMS