Upskilling in the new normal of workplace
We are all adapting ourselves to the transformation in the way we work, work from home has given rise to virtual teams and remote working. This requires a major restructuring of how teams are organized, how they perform and spurred a demand for new skills that the post-COVID world requires.
How is learning evolving to meet the new expectations of workplaces? Until a few years ago, a premium educational degree was your royalty for life. The reality of Industry 4.0 is very different, continuous upskilling and Lifelong Learning is indispensable. As organizations are bracing themselves for the post-Covid era, it has unlocked a new learning paradigm, one that is defined by technology and 21st century skills.
Where are we heading towards?
The decade of 90s saw a perpetual takeover of off-shore ITeS by the Indian software sector. With high availability of skilled labour at a fraction of the global cost, soon brought the knowledge processes to India as well. The modern day third wave of global processes, local jobs is being brought about by the Inhouse centers of global corporations being set up in India for high demand skills and precision operations. India is currently home to Global Capability Centers or Captives of over 1300 global corporations employing about a million people. Over the last few years, this talent has grown significantly to create a niche for itself as a skilled tech talent. Cohesively, these aspects mark the beginning of GCC 3.0, the next phase of development for global centers in India.
Access to skilled talent coupled with minimal cost, a positive demographic dividend, an adaptive and diverse culture, makes India the top choice for global MNCs to continue to set up their centers in India amidst the global pandemic crisis. According to a report by Talent Crunch, developed economies like Germany, France, US, Japan and Australia will be affected significantly by talent shortage leading to loss of $1.876 trillion in annual revenues by 2020. On the contrary, countries like India is expected to have talent surplus by 2030, with 245 MN more workers in the next 12 years.
One of the key areas of growth for India is Engineering Research & Development (ER&D) and global companies are leveraging India for their digital initiatives. India is not just attracting traditional companies, but unicorns as well who are leveraging India’s talent for platform engineering. And, with the onset of remote working, the demand for skilled workers has multifold due to which India clearly tops the globalization chart. In addition, the export of India’s talent pool offers global economies with significant benefits. Indian talent in the US’s tech industry or the nursing industry of the UK and UAE are just a few examples.
Its skills not degrees that will cater to the future of work
For decades, we've spent the first third of our lives earning college degrees that we need to seek jobs. These degrees are a trademark to our educational passports that laid the foundation for the remaining two thirds of our journey. This means that the nature of the work, along with the skills and knowledge required to do them, stays constant for a lifetime- which is no longer valid. Certainly, the future of work will not be about college degrees but relevant industry skills.
A study by the World Economic Forum suggests that about 1 BN jobs, almost one-third of all the jobs worldwide, are likely to evolve by technology in the next decade, and we are already seeing this trend. From ordering a cup of coffee to keeping yourself informed, everything is tech driven. this Digital transformation has given rise to a new perspective, stressing the need to use technology to design future classrooms focusing on contextual learning.
Another concern is the absence of soft skills. Intensifying business issues requires you to be a team player and a communicator. This can be accomplished with a mindset of collaboration and with a bridge education solution.
With the upheaval in the job market and the need to acquire relevant new age skills, there’s a 50% uptick in professionals taking to online learning since the lockdown has been imposed.
Booming of Edtech sector
With the top 100 universities going online and the introduction of the New Education Policy, online higher education and lifelong learning are expected to be a $5-billion opportunity by the financial year (FY) 2024-25. India has the second-highest number of EdTech startups after the US, followed by Brazil, the UK, and China all make it into the top 5 countries pioneering in EdTech space. This boost can be attributed to the inflow of investments, acquisitions, upgradations in offering and more importantly, collaborations with prestigious universities.
Universities can no longer strive in silos, the delivery and acknowledgement of content by industry must be equally powerful. For this to happen, the universities need to part away, if not completely but partially from their current operating model and ecosystem. Nearly 600 engineering colleges have closed in the last four years, and 800, reportedly, are in the midst of shutting down because they have not been able to deliver job-oriented outcomes.
This calls for key investments from the university to partner with Edtech players to co-create a curriculum that propels contextual learning in form of business problems, case studies, simulated project tools and infrastructure for hands-on learning and mentoring. Together, they hold the potential to build a tech talent pipeline that evolves as fast as the industry.