In a world rife with continuous change, there is a constant underlying need to learn new skills, acquire knowledge and gain abilities that are applicable in today’s technologically driven industry. In an expanding digital economy, the demand for professionals with both technical and hands-on skills is forcing people to be more aligned to the latest requirements of the industry. The lifespan of skills acquired is steadily getting shorter and the demand for people with newer, more advanced skills is increasing with each passing day.
It is estimated that there will approximately be 105 million fresh entrants into the professional market by 2022. In fact, in the next decade, it is predicted that India is set to become the third largest economy in the world. Even the growing number of professionals both needing and wanting to upskill has created a new variety of students. Equipped with the knowledge of new skills and the ability to execute these skills, they know what and how they want to learn.
With so much happening around the corporate world, hiring new talent is often the first thought when companies think of acquiring new technology skills for their teams. Companies are more now focused on hiring talent with newer skills, as most of them across industries are going through their own digital journeys. Although hiring continues to take place in traditional roles, there is an increased demand for new skills such as cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, Internet of Thing (IoT), robotics etc..
In such a demanding market, online learning provides all kinds of people – from fresh graduates to functional professionals – with the tools to add value to their current skillset and reach new horizons without any limitations.
Online learning - The foundation for new skills
In the recent years, vocational training has taken a backseat, and streamlined education systems have not been able to meet the growing demands of such an evolving economy. A report by the World Economic Forum states that as countries like India become a hub for innovation, “there are already clear signs that technology is contributing to labour market polarization, with a drop in the number of middle-skilled jobs and growth in both low- and high-skilled jobs.”
A well-established collaboration between public and private institutions that uses online learning as the means to educate individuals beyond big cities is an able conductor. Some companies have enabled consistent skill development with the use of online courses and certificates, starting at the school level. Facebook and Google, for example, have announced online learning programs for small to medium businesses to seamlessly transition to online platforms.
As the scales gradually tip from degree-based hiring to ability-based hiring, both employers and professionals alike now put a stronger emphasis on skills. Over the next few years, degrees will take a backseat, which in turn will lead to students seeking online education bundles that are more personal and connected to careers of specific employers.
Continuous learning is essential
To define the future of work and steer the much-needed engine of change, companies are developing strategies that will help them decode business needs and adjust to variety of employment arrangements to achieve business goals. We all know that the demand for skilled talent only going to increase with time and the only way to stay competitive is by ensuring that the right people are hired.
Hence, the requirement for retraining and continuing education is touching new heights today. The advancement in technology has led to the development of new fields and markets, which require an entirely new set of skills and this has changed the game not only for people beginning their education today, but for current professionals as well.
Students need to now acquire skills which can make them employable in today’s market, while working professionals need to constantly upskill. With this, online learning has become a viable option to an expanding base of patrons seeking personal and professional development. As the world shifts to a more on-the-go way of things, mobile is evolving as a popular medium to learn new skills when juggling with a hectic lifestyle.
While the education system used to view online learning as a secondary means to brush up on one’s skills, this clearly is no longer the case. Offering cutting-edge online learning facilities to students has become an invaluable method of educating students and has spearheaded the development of educational institutions. It has also become an essential tool for offering courses that supplement the traditional modules of learning, which still need to catch up to the latest developments in the world.
Business upskilling need of the hour
For organisations looking to compete in the digital ecosystem, the digital trends are high on the agenda. Due to the rapid technological revolution, companies now focus on hiring skilled employees and upskilling them with time to be able to work in a digitally challenging environment.
For many organisations, digital learning is a simple way to upskill employees in a scalable way. However, even though there is a growing number of companies offering flexible online learning solutions, the number is still meagre compared to the growing demand for new skills. The parameters of growth can only be assessed basis how well India can integrate technology in education and inspire young professionals to be more future-oriented.