By John Kallelil
Organisational success depends on many crucial factors but there is no denying that people are at the heart of any business. This is why enterprises need a smart workforce that is in tune with the evolving times. As a result, businesses are increasingly investing heavily in learning and development initiatives to bring their teams up to speed and boost the overall productivity score.
A significant shift in hiring: adopting the skill-first approach
The traditional approach to hiring relied on checking off a few parameters and boxes, such as work experience, educational background etc. However, in today’s skill-based economy, the scenario has become more interesting.
It no longer suffices to have your degrees and industries aligned to the job one is applying for. Businesses are focused more on the specific skills required for a role and the aspirant’s ability to reskill/upskill with time.
According to World Economic Forum 42% of jobs will require a different set of skills in the next three years and more than one billion workers will need reskilling by 2030. Considering the growing skills gap globally, enterprises need to match both current employees and new hires to new-age skills and roles.
LinkedIn’s research highlights that the skill sets for jobs have changed by around 25% since 2015. It further states that this number is expected to double by 2027. This implies that the jobs are evolving even if the talent isn’t switching jobs. Similarly, the business requirements are also changing even if the organisations aren’t changing their business strategies. As per OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) projections, more than a billion jobs, that is, one-third of jobs at the global level are expected to undergo transformations due to technology in the next decade. These stats are indicative of the fact that having skills or rather being skilled thus becomes imperative.
The widening skill gap
The job landscape has shifted dramatically at the global level. Demographic changes coupled with technological advancements have led to this paradigm shift and it is believed that the next decade will see new jobs emerge that require additional skills and knowledge.
Companies of all sizes have a challenging time keeping up with the pace of technological advancements. Though the latest technology creates powerful business opportunities, it also widens the skill gaps. This happens specifically in industries like healthcare, IT, construction & real estate, and manufacturing, where skilled workers are much sought after.
In the current scenario, especially within the Indian marketplace, there is a widening gap between available jobs and talent. As per the India Skill Report 2019, only 45.6% of the youth graduating are employment ready. The primary reason behind this is that a major proportion of the workforce either doesn’t possess the requisite skillset or doesn’t qualify for those specific job roles.
The emerging job market demands and expects skills that go beyond what the public or private education system is offering currently. And this gap is only going to widen in the future. In such a scenario, professionals can no longer rely on their existing skills and education. In order to stand from the crowd, they will have to upskill themselves so as to be prepared for the future as it evolves.
Upskilling: the dire need of the hour
The process of upskilling refers to learning new skills and improving one’s competencies. In today’s fast-paced world, technological advancements coupled with the emergence of Artificial Intelligence have made skill enhancement inevitable.
Blockchain analyst, chief security officer, podcast producer, telemedicine physician, cloud architect, drone operator, chief listening officer, market research data miner – just a handful of jobs that didn’t exist a decade ago. Upskilling is not only necessary for job aspirants and candidates who are embarking on their career journey, it is even more important for seasoned and experienced professionals who are now making decisions based on a new technology strategy and tool stack For this, chief learning officers must look beyond traditional approaches and seek out more efficient upskilling methods such as immersive learning.
Ed-tech: An effective solution for upskilling professionals
Executive education combined with technology has a force multiplier effect on the workforce. Ed-tech has empowered participants across the globe access to international education, acclaimed professors and prestigious universities. With the help of educational apps, live-online training and superior connectivity, the world is quite possibly the biggest classroom right now.
For professionals, it has opened up a plethora of opportunities. Upskilling in the traditional paradigm meant that candidates were bound by geography, time zones, and had to take a sabbatical from work. But technology has opened up avenues for aspirants now.
You can access international universities and faculty for specialised training in topics ranging from digital transformation, strategy, financial leadership, emotional intelligence to data science, blockchain and Web 3.0. All this without disrupting your work-life balance as technology makes it possible to learn at your own pace.
Ed-tech platforms today play a vital role in bridging this talent-skill gap by enabling upskilling through high-quality learning from top global universities. Many players are making concerted efforts to offer global quality education to learners catering to future-centric capabilities and skillsets. They then design their programs in accordance with the requirements to help navigate organizations with the skills-first approach.
Today’s executive education programs empowered by technology offer leadership insights and business acumen for dealing with the new normal and real-world challenges. Since the demand for customised education is on a surge, these ed-tech platforms are focusing on providing both custom programs and open programs that fulfill the needs of senior managers and businesses across sectors. With a focus on experiential learning, ed-tech transforms learners into leaders and innovators of the future!
The author is founder and director, XED Institute.