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10 sectors that require upskilling and reskilling in 2019

Nikhil Barshikar
9th Jan 2019
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Technology - a boon or bane? This question has been a matter of debate for a long time. While it has faced its fair share of flak, technological progress has brought in major changes to our lives.

From banking to healthcare, nearly every industry has gone through a massive transformation thanks to the advent of new technologies. At the same time, the skills required for the jobs in these industries are changing as well. According to NASSCOM report, about 40 percent of India’s total workforce has to be reskilled over the next five years to cope with emerging trends like AI, IoT, machine learning and blockchain. With the start of 2019, let’s have a look at the 10 sectors that need to upskill and reskill in the forthcoming year -

BFSI

The Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BSFI) sector in India has witnessed robust growth in recent years, sturdy at upwards of $292 billion as of 2018. However, as we stand on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution, it is also experiencing major disruptions. Top banks across the world are shelling out billions of dollars to upgrade their systems, enhance security and improve digital banking or mobile banking experiences for today’s tech-savvy consumers. In fact, traditional banks are joining hands with fintech firms to cater to their customers the best way possible. With the fintech revolution taking the banking sector by storm and the changing nature of the workforce, upskilling is the need of the hour. According to Josh Bottomley, Global Head of Digital, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC, many roles and job titles of tomorrow are unknown to us today. He implies that banks in the near future will hunt for people with adaptability and an evolved skill set indispensable to these jobs.

IT / ITeS

While the IT/ITeS industry in India is expected to grow by 9 percent in the 2019 fiscal year, IT companies need to transform themselves to adapt to challenges posed by marketplace shifts as well as the changing demands of customers. The major focus should be on the reskilling and upskilling of the workforce as new technologies such as AI, data analytics and machine learning will continue to rule the sector in the coming year. An Intel report reveals there will be a significant rise in AI spending by Indian IT companies over the next few months. Considering that the IT industry is directly impacted by technological advancements, it requires people who can’t be replaced by machines. Further upskilling is necessary to bridge the wide gap between the demand and supply of skilled talent in the IT/ITeS sector.

Manufacturing

Several scholars and industry experts believe manufacturing jobs will become obsolete in the near future. Their predictions are true, to an extent at least. Robots have been replacing humans in manufacturing plants for years now. It all began in the 1960s when the US started using robots in automotive factories. While those robots were only capable of simple, repetitive tasks, industrial robots have advanced at the speed of light over the last few years. This explains why the manufacturing industry has to upskill and reskill its workforce more than ever. In today’s age of automation, traditional blue-collar workers will need special skills to meet the requirements of future jobs. There is already a clear demand for professionals who are well-acquainted with new technologies like the computer-based design and 3D printing.

Ecommerce

Despite its late entry into the Indian market, the ecommerce sector has seen exponential growth in a brief period of time. And, India’s $18 billion ecommerce industry is on the lookout for people who are trained in a wide array of new-age skills. For instance, the demand for SEO professionals is on the rise since it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make a mark in the extremely crowded digital marketplace. Then come the data analytics experts, who utilise information in unparalleled ways to help ecommerce players better cater to the needs of their customers. In fact, data analytics will continue to remain one of the most sought-out skills in the sector. Looking at the huge impact made by AI in this sector, it’s only natural that companies require more people who are familiar with it and its applications.

Retail

Technology is disrupting the retail industry with each passing day. What’s concerning is that a growing body of evidence shows many retail jobs will become redundant in the upcoming years. Leading retailers have already started taking measures to prepare for the changing times where technology and data sit at the heart of every operation. Along with the technological advancements, shifting customer expectations have made the need for upskilling and reskilling more important. Many companies are addressing this issue by training their employees with basic IT skills, which will prove to be indispensable for tomorrow’s jobs. At a time when online shopping is slowly becoming the new norm, it’s necessary for the retail industry to focus on upskilling its workforce.

Wholesale Trade

The wholesale trade industry is a major contributor to India’s economy. As with any other sector, technology has left its footprint in this industry. However, it has been recognised as one of the top hiring sectors in the country. Unfortunately, the existing workforce of this sector lacks in inventory management, customer service and soft skills. And, this can cause a possible decline in the wholesale industry in the near future. To avoid this, employees in the sector need to go through training that can help them build up the above-mentioned skills.

Logistics

According to the Economic Survey, the logistics industry in India is likely to touch $215 billion by 2020. The survey further revealed that in order to develop this sector, it needs to put emphasis on several factors including new technology, automation and upskilling of the workforce. To keep up with the changing times, then, the training ecosystem needs to shift from quantity to quality-driven training. Instead of having a broad overview, employees will require specialised training in supply chain management and operation skills.

Healthcare

Healthcare was one of the first sectors to ride the technology wave. Constant technological innovations in the medical field have saved numerous lives and improved the quality of life for several others. Not only have these advancements changed the experience for patients, but they have also made a significant impact on the lives of health professionals as well. The introduction of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), for example, has been a game changer in this industry by enabling easier sharing of patient information, enhancing patient care, improving public health and lowering treatment costs. Simultaneously, technologies like big data and cloud computing are also revolutionising the healthcare sector. Another major trend is the emergence of online health consultant platforms. Needless to say, the workforce requires upskilling and reskilling to match their abilities with these technological changes.

Telecommunications

The telecom industry in India has lately been experiencing job losses due to consolidation. However, the gloomy scenario will improve soon, as suggested by the skill development body for the sector. According to the Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC), as many as 14.3 million employment opportunities will be created in telecom as well as telecom manufacturing over the next 5 years. While the numbers give a ray of hope, this industry is in dire need of quality professionals capable enough to work with new technologies and enhance their performance with greater efficiency. It’s no secret that many jobs in the telecom sector are already automated, which further stresses the fact that upskilling is indeed the need of the hour.

Education

Gone are the days when classrooms were filled with textbooks, blackboards and chalks. The rapid evolution of technology has changed the way education is imparted to children. Schools around the globe are now spending a huge amount of money on education technology. With the rise of digital learning tools and education apps, pedagogy is also constantly evolving. Standing at this point, the importance of upskilling the teachers can’t be stressed enough. Since they play a vital role in shaping our future generation, regular skill-enhancing programmes need to be organised for teaching professionals.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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