The latest India Skill Report (2019) stated only 45.6% of the youth graduating from educational institutions are employable. To address this skill gap, it is imperative to understand the concept - 'return on skill' (ROS). A skilled person is most often at an advantage to leverage oneself in the larger scheme of things.
The Skill gap was one of the most- discussed topics while celebrating National Youth Day this year. It has become a major issue once it was realized that there exists a huge gap in understanding the skillsets required by the industry and supply of graduates with those extensive skill sets.
One of the primary reasons for the skill gap is the outdated curriculum having no resonance with the demands of the industry. While the workforce is investing heavily in enhancing their knowledge and skills in the era of automation, educational institutions are happily imparting traditional knowledge. Stakeholders have taken several initiatives to bridge the gap via industry-academia interactions, internships to provide students hands-on experience, a better understanding of the industry and how it functions. However, most of it is still in their planning phase and the on-ground implementation is barely visible. The result? Organisations end up investing significantly to train fresh hires and equip them with skills that are most required for the organisation.
While challenges abound, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is in full swing and is transforming the workforce at a rapid pace. Let’s have a look at some of the technologies that have become a significant part of the economy this year and will remain to be something to look out for in the years to come:
Technologies That Boomed in 2019
The youth seek chances to experiment and work on new technologies. This is a boon for companies as it increases productivity and they can hire proactive team players. Some of the new-age technologies that have thrived in 2019 are Cybersecurity, Internet of Things and Cloud Computing. While Cyber Security is implemented to secure our systems from external threats, Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects of different types and sizes. It includes vehicles, smartphones, home appliances, industrial systems all connected over public or private IP Networks. Cloud computing is the delivery of tools and applications such as databases, storage, networking, and software to name a few, over the Internet. A lot of companies are moving towards cloud computing.
These technologies played a vital role in shaping the industry. Also, the data-driven economy seeks candidates who possess analytical thinking and problem-solving skills which can help make logical decisions. Millennials are in the process of upskilling themselves with these technologies so that they can make themselves relevant for the market to the ever-changing technological trends.
Upskilling mid-level employees
The year 2019 focused on upskilling fresh hires which dominated the IT companies. As jobs for cybersecurity, data scientists, machine learning saw an increase in demand, the IT sector started to constantly upskill their employees. When the year began, companies focussed on searching for aspirants with effective skill sets to mitigate the need to train the existing employees. Towards the end of the year, they began to realize the importance of upskilling their mid-level employees. While companies were focussing on the new hires, the existing employees were not equipped to deal with the technological changes. This created problems in the workforce in terms of dipping productivity rates. To alleviate this concern, companies began to upskill their mid-level employees. This move not only helps in building talent but also improving employee bonding. Companies that invested in their employees for upskilling found that their employees felt more valued as their personal development was being considered.
Upskilling across all levels - The need of the hour!
As companies are focussed on cost-cutting, there is a need to adopt new technologies to sustain the process. As a result, skill mapping becomes handy and essential. Non-IT professionals need to upskill themselves to face the challenges of automation. A few sectors apart from IT that demand upskilling across all levels include Education, Healthcare, Manufacturing. In education, the upskilling of educators is essential as they play an important role in training future generations, making it imperative to stay updated with the recent trends and technology. In Healthcare, technologies such as cloud computing are majorly influencing the healthcare sector, and professionals must upskill themselves on the same. Manufacturing industries experience a surge for skills in digital design, automation and 3D printing, that are necessary to remain relevant in the market.
Another major aspect to look forward to in 2020 is the upskilling of CXO-level employees. This would help them grow their businesses and develop their organization. CXOs getting acquainted with the new skills and implementing them within the organization to achieve larger strategic objectives will be key to success in running the organization effectively.
The process of upskilling is a constant process as ‘Change is the new permanent’. Change is there to stay! It is Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection in the present day. The fittest with the most valuable skills sustains the race, if not winning the race!