Deccan Chronicle

A defining paradigm in EdTech

Deccan Chronicle. | DC Correspondent

Published on: June 14, 2023 | Updated on: June 14, 2023
A study by Mint+ involving 750-plus HR executives said companies are now looking for competencies, not credentials.   Representational Image/Pixabay

A study by Mint+ involving 750-plus HR executives said companies are now looking for competencies, not credentials. Representational Image/Pixabay

Trigger warning. Your employees’ current technical skills will be obsolete in less than two years. Yes, you read that right. Automation, artificial intelligence (AI), data science and other technological advancements are transforming businesses at such breakneck speed that it is becoming a challenge for organisations and employees to keep pace with new skills.

According to the World Economic Forum, 50 percent of employees around the world need to keep upskilling or reskilling by 2025 to embrace new responsibilities driven by automation and new technologies. With this, tech workers will need to rethink their traditional roles in the  digital transformation journey and adapt their strategies to factor in this constant state of evolution.

So, what exactly are upskilling and reskilling? Oftentimes, in the corporate world, both terms are used interchangeably. That’s incorrect. Re-skilling refers to an employee learning a completely new set of skills to perform a different job. Think an accountant turned web developer. Upskilling on the other hand talks about an employee learning additional skills to be better equipped to do his or her current job. Say, upskilling a financial analyst with a course that teaches them SQL, so they can better extract data from databases. While the two are different, both reskilling and upskilling are imperative for companies to enable their employees’ skill development to remain competitive.

Skill-based hiring is trending…

A study by Mint+ involving 750-plus HR executives said companies are now looking for competencies, not credentials. Thanks to this, employees are racing to update themselves on data science, digital marketing and business analysis and cloud computing. In today’s times, continuous learning needs to be adopted as a lifelong process and it must be supported, and often initiated by organisations themselves. Learning new skills improves job security and offers higher earning potential. According to the study, 40 percent of participants said upskilling is crucial for growth and taking time out to gain more knowledge and additional skills gives them an advantage over peers. For 33 per cent of participants, personal development was the second biggest reason to opt for a new set of skills.

However, one can’t always leave it up to the workforce to reskill or upskill themselves. Companies must look at it this way: it costs more to recruit someone outside of a company than it does to develop and retain an individual that’s already a part of the organisation. That they have prior knowledge of the company is always going to be an advantage! The Mint+ study also found that amid high inflation and a slowdown in global economies, upskilling employees is more beneficial than hiring new ones to reduce costs. Instead, find the employee’s potential, understand the skills they have, measure them up against the roles you need to fill and offer them relevant reskilling or upskilling opportunities through trusted platforms.

Bootcamp to the rescue

Thankfully online bootcamps from edtech players are upping the ante by offering   immersive  learning,  for those working professionals who plan to improve their existing skills and acquire new ones, while still in  their jobs. These are intensive, hands-on training that typically takes 12-24 weeks to complete and help learners acquire in-demand technical skills through live instructor-led classes (in-person or online). Renowned bootcamps employ top-class instructors from leading enterprises and universities and have a dynamic curriculum that’s better than any traditional classroom or on-the-job training.

They work closely with the organisation to understand their challenges, translate them into skills, and deliver these through intensive hands-on training with real-time projects to the learner-employees. Since this provides career advancement opportunities to employees, attrition rate slips and recruiting costs are saved—it becomes a win-win situation.

Relevant upskilling and reskilling can deliver great value, both to individuals and to companies in the Indian labour market. In more recent times, with their market-driven curriculum and focus on in-demand topics and skills, edtech bootcamps have helped companies build a future-ready workforce by rapidly upskilling employees and candidate pools across the most in-demand, industry-leading skills. In the long run, this not only helps build a dynamic workforce but also allows to create a tech talent pipeline that’s equipped to face any technological disruption and digital transformation.

The article is authored by Rohit Agarwal, Vice President - Operations, TalentSprint

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