Upskilling via EdTech: A silver lining in the #newnormal
Did life come to a grinding halt when the lockdown was announced in March 2020?
The answer is no, because organizations promptly moved online as they took to the digitization of processes.
According to the 2020 McKinsey report, it’s been observed that over the last seven years, 55% of companies have gone completely digital, by the time they’ve hit the pandemic. Over the last three years, 58% of companies have experienced digital interactions with their customers, which is a growing part of the #newnormal.
New skilling is a process whereby the market orients towards the growth of the employees, as they take to reskilling and upskilling
Instantaneous automation of processes sowed seeds of anticipation, as the term, ‘unemployment’ became even more pronounced. Keeping the growing skill gap in mind, companies thought it wiser to bolster the L&D and invest in new skilling. New skilling is a process whereby the market orients towards the growth of the employees, as they take to reskilling and upskilling.
New skilling is an incessant part of the organizational eco-system that fosters growth, whereby the employee can improve upon the prospect of employability. New skilling is also done to combat the growing skill gap and also arrest the growing economic tension caused by the pandemic. The pandemic has underlined a clear shift in the way the workforce will be managed, recruited, and retained in the future.
As we look at the plusses of digitization, most employees take to EdTech, as a means of reskilling and upskilling. This will become an essential part of the new working ecosystem as employees will work towards preparing for new skills that will fill in critical positions that will be required by organizations shortly.
Technology gives these professionals the exposure of interactive learning with industry heads and prodigies
Technology gives these professionals the exposure of interactive learning with industry heads and prodigies. The reach of technology is global, ensuring that professionals receive quality education even in the most remote parts of the world/country. EdTech companies offer students an array of learning options (in terms of subject and its deliverance).
These include the live virtual classroom models, micro-learning modules, e-learning content, blended learning approach, and a lot more. Some EdTech companies also offer the option of delivering instructions in regional languages, making comprehension of the subject that much easier.
Bridging Divides & Filling Gaps
Digitization has helped blur divides. For instance, owing to the variety of courses offered by EdTech companies, it becomes that much easier for women to opt for mainstream courses that will help improve their financial prospects without being judged or stereotyped by their male counterparts. It helped break through the glass ceiling in many ways, ensuring productivity remains the mainstay.
Digitization has helped blur divides. For instance, owing to the variety of courses offered by EdTech companies, it becomes that much easier for women to opt for mainstream courses that will help improve their financial prospects without being judged or stereotyped by their male counterparts
The new normal has forced professionals to become digitally agile, making themselves resilient to new working models. A new working model could be exploring a 70% offline working capacity permanently. This could interfere with the newly inducted skills imbibed by the workforce.
This means the employer should take adequate measures to develop their employee’s critical digital and cognitive thinking, social and emotional abilities to come in terms with the change and grow resilient to the same. The robust learning pathway will automatically be linked to the professional’s appraisal cycles, helping them advance faster up the corporate ladder.
According to the Global Skill Gap report that was released by Udemy, we learn that in India, advancements in the sectors of IT skills (65%) and web development (64%) takes precedence over other soft skills (62%). Companies like Wipro, Accenture, and Zensar Technologies have embarked on a major reskilling drive, fast emerging as leaders at making India a digitally sound nation.
97% of Indian employees feel the urgent need to reskill. 92% believe that learning is a constant process, and upskilling should be inducted as an integral aspect of every working professional’s eco-system. Of the 97% mentioned above, over 69.7% comprises of the youth (traversing between the age bracket of 24-45 years). About 82% of the youth who’s just finished college feel that their education system isn’t aligned with the needs of the industry.
EdTech has an added responsibility towards overcoming language barriers, whereby the skill of the rural citizens will be positively mobilized to elevate the economy
Technology is fast making inroads into the rural pockets of India. 73% of the rural Indian citizen is on its way to becoming a digital citizen. 68% of the youth comes from the rural pockets of India. Owing to the lack of educational infrastructure, even the most literate youth is sucked into the migrant labor force.
This simply means EdTech has an added responsibility towards overcoming language barriers, whereby the skill of the rural citizens will be positively mobilized to elevate the economy. The youth from regional speaking pockets have under-utilized talents, as they haven’t got the requisite means of mastering the same owing to language barriers.
Cost Saving for an Effective Future
Companies have hugely benefitted from moving online. Funds saved from travel and overheads have been diverted towards research and development. Companies also benefit from productive deliverance from their employees as employees save on travel time from the origin to the workplace. Employees can work seamlessly from remote locations, and it only takes a virtual meeting to get things done.
With companies taking to the digital route reskilling seemed essential to keep the economy from dying
During these downtimes, employees took to upskilling (a process of learning something instead of filling the talent gap) and reskilling (a process of learning a new skill set that could be adopted for a new job profile). With companies taking to the digital route reskilling seemed essential to keep the economy from dying.
While candidates are expected to upskill instead of bridging the talent gap, reskilling will give impetus to the hustle that will aid in the financial advances of the employee. This in turn will help the fast-depleting economy to revive faster as it gradually inches onto more profitable percentages on the global GDP charts.
Guest contributor Girish Singhania is the CEO of EduBridge India, a Mumbai-based workforce development organization started by a group of IIM alumni and professors in October 2009. He brings 15 years of experience across education, FMCG, and Financial Service sectors and is driven by a visceral “hard-wired” need to strategize, innovate, execute, and disprove the words – “It can’t be done”. Any opinions expressed in this article are strictly that of the author.