Upskilling in the Time of Corona

By adding to their skillsets, young graduates can find their feet in emerging sectors

Upskilling in the Time of Corona
Upskilling in the Time of Corona
Ravish Agrawal - 05 July 2021

The current state of the education industry and job market, in India as well as globally, is one of upheaval, owing to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. There are new developments in existing technologies that require students and professionals to be aware of all changes, and a lot of these advancements are changing the nature of certain career streams. As strange as this may sound, it’s an alarming situation that the shelf life of a ‘skill’ is dwindling by the day. In other words, skills that are relevant today are likely to become obsolete sooner than expected.

So, how can students, the professionals of tomorrow, prepare themselves for this change that is taking place? Upskilling seems to be the only rational solution; however, it is a far more nuanced subject and deserves an in-depth look.

In the last few years, upskilling has nearly become mandatory due to the intense competition among potential applicants and the lack of desired jobs. The widening gap between unemployed freshers and vacant positions is the paradox between the education system and the employer’s hunt for additional skills. While employing, organisations focus on those students-cum-potential candidates who can offer additional value to the company whilst also being great at multi-tasking.

As per the India Skills report 2019-20, only 46 per cent of students can get hired or take up employment. These numbers highlight the need to advance new-age skills with the help of vocational education. Looking back, a decade ago, the concept of upskilling knowledge started after graduation or a master’s degree. However, in today’s time and age, it has shifted to attain and build auxiliary expertise amid the ages of six and 18 years. Here’s where start-ups come into play, offering specialized courses in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), coding, Procurement, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and other advanced programs.

Either way, it is high time for students to look for progressive change and take hold of their careers. And, perhaps, upskilling is the only way to do it. While it is true that students observe, learn, and pick up new skills and capabilities, yet there remains a huge gap in staying relevant that can be filled only by proactively embracing the idea of getting upskilled. Successful professionals realise the importance of actively improving their credentials and skills to attain career velocity and broaden their career shelf life by the remaining current.

Why is upskilling considered so crucial?

The professional world across the globe has drastically evolved and will do so even more as we progress into the future. For students especially, there’s a rising need to keep up with this evolution and be ahead of it. Even though it may seem like the knowledge and experience being received through schools and colleges are useful and gratifying, it is yet not sufficient to shield them from the swift pace of change that can make them redundant. Thus, upskilling to future-proof their careers is extremely important to keep them abreast of industry requirements and trends. More so because we are living in times of information age, where education has considerably developed from the time when students would depend heavily on rote learning and not critical thinking, till the existing day when there is an abundance of creative tools that have a suggestively greater impact on learning.

While different industries continue to get reinvented, owing to the influence of technology, the teaching-learning process, job profiles, online skilling platforms, and business techniques will offer an array of opportunities for students to equip themselves for evolving job roles. The blend of real-time learning, high-quality content, and personalized instructions and feedback methods have driven online learning to its pinnacle. Digital learning has facilitated students to access the broad repository of educational content that is either available in the private or public domains and learn at a pace that is suitable to them. This is one of the biggest reasons why more professionals, other than students, are being recommended to hop on to online learning platforms to enhance their careers, upskill, and thrive in the competitive job market.

Through upskilling, young graduates bracing to join the workforce or looking for better opportunities can ascertain steady career growth in emerging sectors. Furthermore, upskilling improves their prospects of taking over important leadership roles in organizations and strengthens them to meet the economy’s need for a highly abled workforce of the future. Not to forget, these new skills can be their getaway to new roles and responsibilities and a source to follow their passion for greater professional satisfaction!

The author is Co-Founder & CEO, Able Jobs

DISCLAIMER: Views expressed are the author's own, and Outlook Money does not necessarily subscribe to them. Outlook Money shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.


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