Subramanyam Reddy (Subbu) is the Founder and CEO of KnowledgeHut, the leading technology workforce development company that helps enterprises and individuals around the world move forward to the next level with the help of technology. in 2012, at the age of 28, Subbu, as he is known to everyone, started KnowledgeHut. He on-boarded 12 employees and with an initial investment of $10,000 (Rs 5 Lakh). They almost gave up after the first two months of no revenues and no more savings to invest. But then the leads started flowing in and by the end of third month, they generated revenue of around $28,000 (Rs14 Lakh). Since then, there has been no looking back. The company has grown from strength to strength and is now expected to clock an Annual Revenue Run-Rate of Rs300 crore in March 2022.
For a majority of working professionals, internships have been our first experience of a professional environment, our first brush with our own potential, working with peers, and gaining the all-important real-life experience of the possibilities the future holds, and proving our mettle to the world. Internships have also been a gateway to professional networking, landing job-offers, and getting one’s merit and skills validated by the industry. The pandemic changed all of that with hiring and internship opportunities suddenly coming to a halt for an extended time.
According to the leading job site, Glassdoor, more than half of the internship opportunities were cancelled by recruiters during 2020. A year later, CNBC reported that only 22% of college students had been able to land internships.
The world scrambled to find alternatives to continue work, adapting to the new normal, reducing on-site work and switching to remote and hybrid models, and as the markets began recovering, a paradigm shift had occurred in the way students could gain experiences that validate their skills and get a head start in their career. This shift is work-like experiences offered by learning and skilling platforms.
What really is a work-like experience?
Simply put, work-like experiences are intensive, focused activities that simulate a working environment and require participants to deliver projects as they would in the real professional world. They enable a learner to demonstrate their skills and prepare for a job through practical application of the skills learned, adhering to timelines, and delivering a project. The wonderful thing about work-like experiences, is that they aren’t limited to freshers alone. Working professionals learning a new skill can also avail of them. The advantages work-like experiences have, include:
- Demonstrate the skills you have learned
- Build your professional network
- Experience a professional work environment
- Develop your CV with validated skills
- Stay ahead in a highly competitive scenario
A recent Gartner report about major work trends post Covid-19, mentions that there is a shortage of critical talent in the market.
Enterprises need to address this through interventions such as upskilling and reskilling their teams and creating mobility within the organization for employees to meet the business needs while also driving organizational change.
The Right Balance
On-site internships are a great way for learners to gain a real perspective on how the real work environment functions and prepare them for their dream career, irrespective of the industry that they are interested in. Enterprises prefer candidates with demonstrated skills, so that they can hit the ground running and become productive employees, contributing to the enterprise achieving their business objectives.
During the pandemic and its aftermath, work-like experiences have filled a crucial gap for jobseekers and students alike. As internship opportunities dried up, these experiences became a way for learners The future of work depends on a workforce that hasn’t only acquired skills but is also knowledgeable in how to apply them in a real work scenario. Work-like experiences facilitate the development of skill development and providing the mentorship, interaction opportunities, and a validation of skills that helps candidates achieve their professional objectives, irrespective of the industry they choose to work in.