India's higher education system is not responding well to society's changing needs, making it difficult for the industry to find new employees with the right skills, says a study conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV).
Only 40 percent of Indian executives surveyed in the study indicated new employees recruited in local labour markets possess the requisite job skills, IBM said in a statement on Thursday.
Most of India's venture capitalists (70 percent) indicated that startups cannot find employees with the right skills.
The IBM study entitled 'Upskilling India' is based on insights from a survey of academics, corporate-recruiters, and emerging education leaders in India.
In addition, the study also analysed results of recent surveys of startup entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and corporate executives.
"Skill is emerging as the new currency across businesses globally and in India. Today's rapidly evolving economic environment makes up-skilling an imperative across job profiles and sectors. India is caught by both a skill gap and a higher education sector struggling to keep up," said DP Singh, Vice President and Head - HR, IBM India/ South Asia.
The Indian executives surveyed believe that much of the nation's current higher education system fails to meet the needs of students, industry and society.
More than 60 per cent of India's educators surveyed in the study indicated that the higher education system was unable to respond to changing societal needs.
Between 2010 and 2030, India's working population is expected to expand from 750 million to almost one billion.
Young Indians are keen on unconventional and new career choices, online learning and engagement at work, another study said on Friday.
Conducted by education technology firm Talentedge in collaboration with global research firm Kantar TNS, it suggested there could be a rise in off-beat careers in the future such as spa management, pet-grooming, gemology and pottery.
Young Indians have had a nascent realisation that acquiring add-on specialised certification will give one an edge.
"The future of young India is unpredictable and so it is important for them to be more agile and flexible than ever before, and, therefore, must work on constant up-skilling and education," said Aditya Malik, CEO and MD, Talentedge, in a statement.
There has been an increase in interest in online learning of 46 percent over the past three years.
According to the study, youth are seeking more and more instant gratification early in their careers, requiring employers to constantly keep the young employees engaged and stimulated.
"If a company needs to keep young employees motivated, it must create a sense of growth by giving them short term goals and ensure a work-life balance," added Ritika Goswami, Account Director, Kantar TNS India.