Sumesh Nair is the Co-Founder and CEO of Board Infinity, a career exploration platform. An alumnus of S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Sumesh is a highly talented and dynamic young entrepreneur having great understanding of various facets of business operations across industry verticals.
In today’s fast-evolving corporate landscape, staying market-competitive is a top priority for young professionals. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing the very nature of jobs and the skills needed to do them. Employers are facing a global skills crisis with digital innovations rapidly altering the demand for skills. Skill-building must catch up with the rate of technological progress.
The unemployment rate in India is 7.5%. According to the World Economic Forum , 85 million jobs are likely to be displaced by 2025 due to changing skills and technological advancement. It adds that 97 million new jobs that require advanced skills will emerge.
Upskilling is crucial to keep up with the changes in one’s respective industry and to further one’s career. Online career skilling came as the cost effective solution during the COVID-19 lockdown. It also helped in boosting economic growth and social development in India.
India has the largest young workforce to supply its industries and to the rest of the world. In the last few years, the Government of India has taken beneficial steps to accelerate the ease of doing business.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed education and work life forever. What worked a few years back may not work anymore. The penetration of the internet, coupled with the lockdown, led to an unprecedented growth of the EdTech sector in India. Institutions and individuals started investing in upskilling and reskilling to meet new demands.
Imbalances in Talent Supply and Demand
Remote working helped meet the imbalances in talent supply and demand through anytime, anywhere learning. Workers across industries had to figure out how to adapt to the rapidly changing conditions. Individuals had to take stock of their skill inventory as well as learn new technical and interpersonal skills for the distance economy. To meet this challenge, online courses helped people develop a range of skills and create a proactive career plan.
Personalisation and Flexibility
Online career skilling platforms created an ecosystem of its own to produce and deliver digital content rapidly. Additionally, greater personalisation for learners led to increased effectiveness at work.
The pace of learning varies from person to person as per individual capability and interest. Students in traditional classrooms often don’t get the personalised attention they need. Game-based learning methods used in online classes boost student engagement by encouraging active learning and increasing attention span. Some can miss or forget important points taught in live classes. However, online classes offer comfort and flexibility to view the recorded lectures.
Blending Learning and Work
The nature of work is evolving quickly, and will only accelerate as humans and machines increasingly collaborate with each other. Adoption of cutting edge technology in learning has become crucial.
Online courses help businesses stay ahead of digital disruption by offering sought-after courses including Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. It combines traditional learning values with digital media for the next generation of learners.
Surpassing geographical barriers provides access to experts and mentors, from across top universities and large corporations. Undoubtedly, blended learning that became popular during the pandemic is the new normal and will continue to progress.
Staying Still Is Not An Option
Technology has sprinted in all sectors over the last few years. Digital transformation had played a crucial role in organisations’ efforts to be more resilient during the prolonged lockdown in India. Organisations had the twin task of identifying the right skill gaps and reskilling the employees. Online education came as a solution to meet the professionals’ need for constant adaptation to stay at the top of the career ladder.
Timing is critical
Today, companies prioritise skill-based hiring. Freshers and young professionals do not have time for traditional education when it comes to upskilling. In 2021, online platforms enabled skill-building to make the most of freshers’ digital transformation efforts and contribute to greater value at work. With the continued capital flow into EdTech companies, India is on its way to becoming a global hub for EdTech.
Online learning will be the driving force of equity, despite the widespread claim that low-income students are negatively affected by this. When done properly, it can accelerate outcomes and improve student learning experience for marginalised students at affordable costs.
Upskilling the existing workforce to meet the demands of the technology-driven future is a long-term investment in learning. With the ongoing scenario, the focus on upskilling and reskilling is bound to grow further in 2022. As companies contemplate returning to the workplace, a new set of skills is likely to emerge for the transition. The concept of a classroom is no longer limited to the four walls of a building. There is certainly no doubt that online learning has truly sparked a series of transformations that will flourish even after the pandemic is over.