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Preparing a workforce for the cloud will be key to achieving India's digital dream

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Dec 27, 2018, 9:55 am IST
Updated Dec 27, 2018, 9:55 am IST
IDC predicts that worldwide public cloud services spending will reach USD 160 billion in 2018.
With increasing technology advancements and digitization, it has become imperative for businesses and professionals to adopt new-age technologies to succeed.
 With increasing technology advancements and digitization, it has become imperative for businesses and professionals to adopt new-age technologies to succeed.

It is stated that India’s workforce will increase to 750 to one billion? That looks like a huge number because the educational institutions are growing rapidly, and this is leading to fresh graduates competing for jobs. In such a scenario, to be at par with the growing technology needs of consumers, it is important for the workforce to be equipped with skills that are required to fill new job roles and address existing gaps. Parallely, with increasing technology advancements and digitization, it has become imperative for businesses and professionals to adopt new-age technologies to succeed. One such technology that has transformed the world across industries is the Cloud. IDC predicts that worldwide public cloud services spending will reach USD 160 billion in 2018, representing an increase of 23.2 percent over 2017.

Krishna Kumar, Founder and CEO for Simplilearn says that this transformation is leading to a stark need for skills that never existed before. “While ‘on the job’ training has traditionally been considered as the best way to learn, the situation today is changing - hiring managers are looking for job-ready candidates who can be productive from Day 1 to streamline time-spent and costs on training/onboarding. This scenario indicates that the onus is on the candidates themselves, and also on higher educational institutions, to be better prepared for the dynamic work environment of today and for working with evolving technology-driven job roles,” said Kumar.

 

Where is the gap?

Kumar said that with organizations moving rapidly towards digitization, they are witnessing a gap in the skills required compared to the skills attained by students across academic institutions. Therefore, in order to prepare students for future jobs, it is becoming increasingly important for organisations to train them in the fields of cloud computing, data analytics, machine learning and IoT, amongst others. Research by Indeed has shown that job postings for cloud computing and cloud engineers have risen 27 percent in the last two years. This has led universities to adopt and deploy advanced ICT methods to facilitate teaching, learning, and R&D activities that meet educational needs and are in-line with the growing dependence on IT.

What institutions can do

For academic institutions in India to overcome this hurdle and prepare graduates for a new world of technology-driven jobs, they need to change their archaic approach towards education in the country, claims Kumar. “Since an alarming 95 percent of engineers in India are barely suited for high-level programming jobs, working on outdated machines and coding technologies should be the first activity to go out of the window. Additionally, institutions should start thinking out-of-the-box solutions to prepare students better. With online platforms easily available to anyone with internet access, partnering with Ed-Tech platforms is another way for colleges and institutions to provide contemporary tech training to students,” he added.

American institutions such as Purdue University, Jacksonville State University, University of Central Florida and Cornell University are opting for cloud-based learning systems that aid student education and serve the additional purpose of providing a revenue stream to the university. There’s no reason why institutions in India cannot pursue similar arrangements with the many options available in the market.

Working in partnership with the government’s push for ‘Digital India’ and skilling people with SQL, Hadoop, Python and more, colleges and institutions can equip students with the essential capabilities to succeed in today’s changing work environment. These trainings can prepare students with skills that are based on industry standards enabling them with contemporary skills and making them job-ready. This is also in line with the National Skill Development Corporation’s (NSDC) long-term objective of creating, funding and enabling a shift to new-age jobs for the future workforce.

Working towards the goal

“As the organizations and professionals embrace the era of transformation, it’s crucial that colleges and academic institutions also transform the way they impart skills and education. Migrating to the cloud is simply the first step of this transformation, followed by technology tools such as virtual reality, adaptive learning and more. Unless this step is implemented effictively, organizations and professionals cannot drive the digital agenda on a broader national level. The skill gap needs to be addressed by all parties simultaneously, but the onus is primarily on academic institutions to ensure that students’ very first steps in the job market are well measured to succeed in the digital era and this paves a path to achieving India’s digital dream,” concluded Kumar.

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