Why Reskilling is the Need of the Hour
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
According to an article on the World Economic Forum, about 210 million people worldwide are expected to change their occupation by 2030. I consider this to be a revolutionary change. Our world is at the brink of labour disruption and as recounted by experts, this will be the fourth industrial revolution which will alter every facet of our lives – from the way we communicate & shop to our food choices, boiling right down to our career choices.
The fast-paced technological progress is giving way to new developments that were once considered to be futuristic. From automated cars and virtual assistants to robots with cognitive intelligence and more, machines are taking over several roles that were once reserved for humans. Routine tasks such as payroll, data collection and collation, administrative duties, and more are today performed by digital tools. Clearly, duties that were once performed by a human are now being carried out by technology, most of it with increased accuracy and efficiency. Does that sound alarming?
According to statistics by BBC, an estimated 800 million people are predicted to lose their jobs by 2030, thanks to automation. I agree to the prediction considering the rate of technological advancements. This, of course, begs the question – how do we secure our current jobs?
The recent World Economic Forum held in Davos early this year saw the launch of the IT Industry Skills Initiative – a forum dedicated to addressing global skill gaps and the pressing problem of job disruptions that are occurring due to digital developments. The first iteration of the portal is set to be available this April. TCS and Infosys were among the leading IT brands that joined the initiative with an aim of re-skilling a million employees in the IT force.
There’s no doubt that automation will do away with many jobs performed by humans. However, if we were to adopt a different mindset, it could result in a favourable turn of events. Rather than fighting automation, individuals need to find ways to make it work for them. I believe that technology can propel any business when utilized in the most appropriate manner.
In order to be relevant in this competitive industry, skill development is one of the most essential ingredients for development. It is important for individuals to realise the need and importance for upgrading their skills. For example, data analysts can upgrade their skills and become more proficient in deriving insights for strategic planning and decision making. IT architects can upgrade their skills by learning Cloud computing architecture. Individuals in managerial roles should acquaint themselves with the advantages of Big Data and the many ways to apply it on a regular and practical basis.
India is a nation of youth with around 28 million youth population being added every year. More than 50 per cent of India’s population is below the age of 25 and more than 65 per cent are aged below 35. In 2020, the average age of an Indian will be expectedly 29 years, while it will be 37 for China and 48 for Japan. Today’s curriculum should also include skills and knowledge development program to make students industry ready. Providing students a hand-on experience can be of great help to students who will be well prepared to enter the workforce.
Given the advent of rigorous automation, creativity is a vital skill. And that’s where, I believe, lies the key for the future. The ability to think ahead, visualize innovative approaches, lead the changes, guide through hurdles, and provide moral support to co-workers are certain facets that cannot be entirely replaced by machines. Currently, it is essential that HR leaders aid employees in re-skilling. Managers should steer their colleagues towards the new age of automation and help them get a head start. Employees should also adapt digital marketing, social media sites, mobile apps, and a gamut of new technology in order to stay ahead of the game and most importantly to stay ahead of change.