Upskilling would not only improve chances of employability but would also increase the scope of jobs based on skills they have acquired over a period of time, says Akhand Swaroop Pandit, co-founder and CEO, The Catalyst Group.
The aftermath of COVID-19 has impacted every industry paving the path to a new way of living.
The new normal which is highly tech-driven has also become a catalyst for change around the globe.
With the government now pushing for Digital India and a high focus on Industry 4.0, education is poised to transform the industry.
According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, it was indicated that approximately half of current work activities could technically be automated by customising and implementing technologies that are already demonstrable.
To match up with the fast moving technology, it is only ideal for the people to educate, adapt, re-evaluate, innovate and protect.
Therefore, it is of paramount importance for professionals to prioritise learning and skilling that can help them 'sail through or scale up', during these testing times.
EdTech: a pandemic silver lining
It is during these times of quarantine, when employees across spheres can use EdTech to reskill, upskill, and emerge ready for a different economy.
EdTech -- a new buzz word today -- is not only helping aspirants develop lifelong skills, but have also altered the paradigms of education at all stages of life.
1. Digital learning
Through digital learning, young professionals establish and maintain a professional digital identity, make informed decisions to protect their data privacy, understand data collection technology, and practice safe, legal and ethical behaviours online to ensure a positive online identity.
While safe, legal and ethical behaviour is a foundation, learner-workers can also go beyond this to develop digital identities and competencies that can advance their careers, including connecting with other professionals using digital tools.
2. Innovation and designing
Designing is a skill that can benefit young professionals in many roles.
Innovative designers use technologies within a human-cantered design thinking process to identify and solve complex problems in new, useful and imaginative ways.
Young professionals can build proficiencies in the design process to solve open-ended problems, pilot prototype products and processes, and be a valued contributor in the workplace through these learning platforms.
Further, it also develops their own insights and talents while contributing to organisational improvement.
3. Creative communication
Creative communicators of today have the ability to express themselves clearly and creatively using a variety of technology platforms, tools, styles and digital media.
Professionals can expand their literacy skills by using technologies to communicate complex ideas effectively, tailoring content for audiences, and using digital media, social media and visualizations.
The ability to communicate clearly is a key workplace skill.
Digital tools amplify the size and scope of the audience, making it necessary for learner-workers to effectively and appropriately communicate ideas, persuade, and inform others through digital means including social media.
4. Global collaboration
Global collaborators are those who use digital tools to broaden their perspectives, collaborate with others, and work effectively in teams both locally and globally, across time zones and national borders.
Young professionals use digital tools to collaborate effectively on teams and virtually engage varied viewpoints and expertise locally or globally.
By building familiarity with other cultures, workers learn to use digital tools to better collaborate with colleagues at work.
Additionally, upskilling would not only improve their chances of employability but would also increase the scope of jobs they could apply based on the skills they have acquired over a period of time.
For example, in the case of engineers, doctors and commerce graduates learning and exposure to data science will open up a whole host of opportunities driven by technology transition in their respective fields.
Cyber security is another emerging area which is witnessing massive growth and recruitment. AWS, Azure, DevOps, RPA, Digital marketing and analytics are some of the other key areas which are growing exponentially.
The ownership of learning is a responsibility of the employee by proactively upskilling oneself, in addition to the training programs provided by the employer, so that they can easily adjust to a dynamic business environment and reduce risk of losing jobs.
In fact companies should also develop a strategy to guide employees to develop digital and cognitive capabilities that will enable them to adapt and make them self-reliant.
The employers should also envision a long-term benefit and leverage this opportunity to commit on reskilling and up skilling that can strengthen the workforce for future disruptions.
The unprecedent times of today have definitely brought in painful challenges to many around the world. However, it has also been a ‘wake-up’ call for many to ensure that learning continues to stay relevant.
As they say, any task or circumstances can be faced confidently through the 'Power of Knowledge'.
Akhand Swaroop Pandit is co-founder and CEO, The Catalyst Group, an institute that trains aspirants for competitive examinations.