Sanjeev Goel, business head, Manipal ProLearn, lists 10 courses that are currently most suitable for working professionals to upskill or reskill to ensure they remain of value in the job market and in future-ready organisations.
Upskilling has always been a continuous journey for any working professional.
It is no longer sufficient to depend only on one’s work-experience to be highly skilled and competent in one's role or job.
The wide availability of content on the Internet has ensured that e-learning -- whether paid or free -- is the first initiation into a non-disruptive mode of self-learning.
The COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated the momentum towards e-learning due to two primary reasons.
First, with no commute required to work and back, most employees are being able to balance time better in a work from home situation. This saved time allows people to browse for content and enrol in courses that will help them work smarter.
The objective of upskilling is to help them both now and in the future to remain ahead of their peers.
Second, the near cataclysmic downsizing in many organisations has resulted in a vast number of employees being pushed to enrol in e-learning to either survive the downsizing or to re-skill themselves for roles outside their comfort zones to ensure they remain relevant and employable in the specific domains that organisations are investing in.
It is not just the professionals themselves who are enrolling in e-learning courses, but progressive organisations too are taking the initiative.
The imperative is to reinvent their organisations by evaluating their employees's skills and thereby filling the skills gap through e-learning to reach the goal of being a technology-driven and agile workplace.
These are 10 courses that are currently most suitable for working professionals to upskill or reskill to ensure they remain of value in the job market and in future-ready organisations.
1. Data Science
Data is the oil of the new world. Skilled professionals in data science are one of the most sought after roles.
There are courses ranging from being 'Data Smart- -- a general comprehensive understanding of how to benefit from using data science -- to more advanced courses using specific tools.
Data Science training enables a professional to implement Big Data techniques using tools like Python, R, Knime, Excel, Tableau, SQL, NoSQL, Hadoop, Pig, Hive, Apache Spark and Storm. Those interested in analyst roles can pursue short-term or long-term courses depending on their requirement.
2. Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing is the next trending skillset finding high demand in the global IT industry.
Basically, it is the delivery of computing services – servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more - securely over the Internet to offer faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale.
This expertise is central to the way large modern businesses operate.
Digital products or services are available anytime anywhere in multi-devices, thanks to Cloud Computing technology.
Working professionals can get post-graduate certificates and even post-graduate diplomas in Cloud Computing.
3. Product Management
According to LinkedIn’s 2019 survey, Product Management was among the most promising domains of the year. It had a 29% year-on-year growth in terms of job opportunities.
In 2020, COVID-19 further accelerated the demand for skilled professionals in this field due to a sudden shift in consumer interest, market demands, and business operations.
Certification in Product Management increases the value of the professionals in the product management spectrum.
Explore the options available to get a good understanding of the domain, tools and technologies that can assist in the journey, and hands-on experience to actually build a product from an idea.
Threats in cyberspace pose a great risk for all kinds of industries and demand a permanent fix.
The cybersecurity professionals can be adept at both defensive and offensive (ethical hacking) techniques to build a strong firewall against these threats by strengthening the infrastructure such as network, servers, connected devices and also enhancing awareness inside the organisations and among the clients.
Cybersecurity is the most critical function for any organisation which uses services like email, Web sites, online/ mobile applications, connected devices being used by employees and/or customers, or organisations which store their customer data on their servers.
HackerU, a premier Israeli cybersecurity institute, offers a Master Certification in Cybersecurity in India.
5. Risk Management
Certified risk management professionals are high on demand as an important part of their business strategy is to overcome any crisis by mitigating failures or losses.
A course in risk management helps in managing strategic risks and anticipating external risks which are becoming increasingly difficult to manage and mitigate.
While firms are building strong risk management teams, there is a huge shortage of certified enterprise risk management professionals to meet the demands of the post-COVID-19 days.
Basic to advanced Enterprise Risk Management certificate courses are available in eLearning platforms to help working professionals to build competencies to manage multi-stakeholder risks.
6. Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
Lean is a business improvement methodology that helps industries to achieve a faster rate of improvement in cost reduction, quality, customer satisfaction and process speed.
This has put Lean Six Sigma certified professionals in huge demand with their salaries increasing by 17% since 2008.
The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt course teaches the core principles and tools of Lean Six Sigma as well as application of DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology and generate solutions to empower your organization for continuous improvements.
7. Business Analytics
Predicting future business and growth is vital in this volatile situation. With the surge in fields like AI, machine learning, and data science, analytics has become one of the most sought after professions.
There is an increasing demand for highly skilled business analysts across various sectors with top companies always on the lookout for professionals who can fill the gap.
Starting from exploratory data analysis, statistical and quantitative analysis, testing analytics models and forecasting through predictive modelling using Microsoft Excel, business analytics courses train candidates to be experts in the field.
With a highly scientific approach, the course elucidates some of the most complex statistical tools used for data analysis, real-life case study demonstrations, and videos.
8. HR Analytics
Analytics is one of the key HR mantras nowadays. The data-driven approach helps HR professionals to manage people at work and make better decisions.
Check out the program on People Analytics and Digital HR launched by IIM-Indore, in partnership with Jigsaw Academy.
A Human Resource Data Analytics course enables the professionals to develop an in-depth understanding on techniques and application of data analysis in making better decisions on matters like recruitment, performance evaluation, leadership, hiring and promotion, job design, compensation, and collaboration.
The course also teaches them how to conduct basic data cleaning and analysis with datasets using Microsoft Excel and make smarter HR decisions. Hence, HR professionals with analytical skills will have an edge over their peers and ascend the ladder with ease.
9. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing has been one of the high-demand roles across sectors for the last decade.
The demand is still high, and has become a critical skill in the post-pandemic period.
There are many courses including basic short-time, certificate, diploma, and postgraduate diploma in digital marketing.
There are courses for specific needs such as social media marketing, affiliate marketing, mobile marketing, etc.
The courses focus on building holistic skill sets to meet the organisation's strategic needs to boost business interactions with their customers and target prospective clients in an increasingly dynamic and competitive online environment and generate revenue, while being exceptionally razor-sharp in identifying the right potential customers.
It also teaches essential disciplines in digital marketing, including search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), social media, conversion optimisation, and web analytics.
10. Design Strategy
Design has been at the core of modern products and services.
Now, design strategy is included in every step of product development in order to get user-friendly products suitable for all segments of the population.
A course in design strategy and innovation is a huge asset for leaders to learn not just the art but also the science behind modern design knowledge and techniques.
Currently, certifications from leading educational institutions like MIND (Manipal Innovation & Design) are available in Design and Innovation.
It is up to each individual to choose a suitable course. A new certificate in the resume gives an edge to candidates over others for employment and career growth.