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Indian Graduates and Employees are on High Alert! Reskilling is Must to Stay Employed! If we go by NASSCOM report, about 40 per cent of India's total workforce must be reskilled over the next five years to cope with emerging trends such as AI, IoT, machine learning and blockchain

By Ayush Bansal

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The rapid emergence of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation are generating the need for new skills which in turn disrupting the existing job market by creating a huge digital and technical skill gaps in employees. These emerging technologies are dominating and would continue to dominate the future industry, creating a constant need of up-gradation of technical skills of employees to sustain not only in the current job market but for the future market as well.

The pace at which there are new technologies and innovations happening in the industry outstrips knowledge and skill very quickly, therefore it is important for employees to keep up with the speed of innovation.

If we go by NASSCOM report, about 40 per cent of India's total workforce must be reskilled over the next five years to cope with emerging trends such as AI, IoT, machine learning and blockchain.

With technology changing exponentially over the last decade, the shelf life of skills has shortened. Skills that were relevant at the beginning of the career has now become almost obsolete.

As per a new World Economic Forum (WEF) report titled "The Future of Jobs 2018', the Fourth Industrial Revolution will make 75 million jobs obsolete by the year 2022 but will also create 133 million new jobs — a net gain of 58 million. Thus, in order to sustain in the industry, it is crucial for employees to reskill or upskill to stay industry-relevant.

The primary problem is our Indian education system both at school and university level is not in sync with the modern industry requirement. Most of our Indian graduates lack the skills and aptitude required to learn new and advanced technologies that are needed to survive in the future job market. To put it bluntly, the question is: Is India producing the right kind of Employees for the jobs of tomorrow?

The Answer is "not yet' Except a Few Prestigious Institutions

For this, educational institutes should assess learner performance continuously over each semester of their graduation or post-graduation. The examination system should be designed in such a manner that could assess a learner's progress systematically. We should remember the world of work we are preparing students for is constantly changing, and many jobs are becoming obsolete. Therefore, colleges or universities need to prepare their students not just to earn a degree, but also to make them job-ready. This is a high time for Universities to adopt technology in the learning process to be able to provide on-demand learning. Internships, while learning on the job, should also be encouraged along with on-site/online learning, leading them towards certifications. Work-based learning always ensures a higher productive employee, thereby reducing attrition and the cost of hiring for employers.

The reskilling market in India is driven by the needs of a large working population looking for industry-relevant skills. Therefore, it is important for both the industry and the government to provide upskilling on existing skillsets and provide reskilling for newer job roles.

Many corporates have proactively incorporated skill upgrading modules into their working schedules. Employees are being given an opportunity to upskill or reskill to meet the job requirements at the cost of the company. This employee up-gradation module helps both employee and employers to work with each other for the long term while meeting the pace of technology and future demands.

The need for upskilling and reskilling to minimize the skill gap of employees has given rise to many EdTech companies to cater to the huge requirements for continuous learning and upgrading skills of emerging technologies that have spawned a booming job market.

In order to reduce the unemployment rate of India, we need to find an effective way to skill, upskill and reskill our youth before they enter the industry, and provide them with a lifelong learning path. This is not only beneficial for the employees but will also be rewarding for the industry. Instead of making the academic process aimed at just examinations and maintaining the current format of "one size fits all', a combined effort will lead to the affluence of job opportunities, finding upskilled talent to come on-board, and in driving economic growth of the nation.

Machine Learning

New-age technologies like Machine Learning, Data Science, Deep Learning, Robotics, AI, etc. are game-changer within the corporate and education sector. Just for AI solutions, many industries are aggressively investing with global investments forecasted to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.1 per cent to reach USD 57.6 billion in 2021.

Considering the emerging job trends globally, the government has taken its first step by announcing the initiative to skill and re-skill Indian youth to cater to new-age technologies and job roles on Budget 2019 where Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said government will now focus on new-age skills like artificial intelligence and internet of things to help our youth get jobs overseas for which a dedicated curriculum will be developed across identified sectors. The idea behind it is to ensure that employees have access to global economic opportunities by remaining relevant in the new competitive world of work and that businesses have access to the upskilled talent for the jobs of the future. Now with Government's support and initiatives, India being one of the fastest developing nations, can be one in Technology advancements too.

"Skill India' can be made even efficient if EdTech is involved. E-learning, Online Networking, assessments, exams, exposure and fun can attract students not only from different countries but the in-house talents as well.

Ayush Bansal

Co-Founder of Foxmula

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