Why upskilling is vital for creating a win-win situation for both candidates and organisations

It is imperative for candidates to upskill in order to improve their career prospects in an intensely competitive job market as employers are also very selective in recruiting candidates who will be an asset to the firm.
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The majority of learners start scouting for their careers towards the end of the last semester of their course. Out of these, a couple of graduates get a full-time job in their preferred business organisation. In contrast, many graduate students do not get the ideal job because of two reasons: first, not having prior real-life experience; and second, lack of unique expertise to offer the agency.

With the rapid increase in technological advances, it becomes compulsory for the aspiring degree holders to develop the essential new-age skills and expertise required to compete in future careers intensified by these advancements. Upskilling has now become mandatory due to the lack of desired jobs and intense competition among eligible applicants.

Technology-driven programmes and employment have experienced a substantial decrease in the past five years. When job-seekers are left with no placement in hand following graduation, they feel demoralised. Even the sincerest candidates find it easier to study law, arts or management studies as a better option than technical or IT-related programs. Such circumstances make upskilling a critical part of a scholar’s curriculum.

How can upskilling bridge the gap between education and employment?

The growing gap between vacant positions and unemployed freshers is the contradiction between the education system and the employer's search for additional skills. While recruiting, companies focus on those candidates who can provide additional value to the organisation while also being good at multi-tasking. The gap between vacancies and deserving candidate's availability is what marks the need for upskilling in the corporate world.

The India Skills Report 2019-20 claims that only 46% of students are able to take up employment or get hired. The figures demonstrate the need to improve new-age skills with the support of vocational education.

A decade ago, the rule of upskilling knowledge began at the completion of the graduation or Master's degree. Whereas, in today's scenario, it has shifted to acquire and develop auxiliary expertise between the ages of six and 18 years. This is where start-up companies enter, offering specific courses in AI, Machine Learning, IoT, coding and other associated technology courses not only to high-level leaners but also to K-12 students.

Recently, AICTE has proposed to incorporate AI, Machine Learning, robotics and other similar courses in all the engineering and other technology-based colleges that are a part of the All India Council for Technical Education.

Also, these courses will be available in almost all the colleges by 2021 to make students industry-ready in accordance with the New Education Policy.

This step conveys the importance of adding ancillary studies along with the basics.

However, a significant move gets overlooked by most of the technology-based colleges/universities/institutes. The step is to provide internship experience to the most meritorious applicants. In most cases, graduates only receive internship assistance and not assurance, which hinders their growth and industry exposure. Advanced new-age skills following an internship makes the individual a well-rounded candidate for the agency of their choice.

How does upskilling functions as a strategic advantage for students and organisations?

Upskilling and reskilling is not a one-sided phenomenon, be it for organisations or candidates. Although freshers are learning new technical capabilities to be ready for jobs, corporations search for more qualified applicants to boost workers' longevity in the company.

Freshers and organisations both keep their technology know-how up-to-date to serve each other's strategic benefits in a dynamic business environment.

These days, companies prefer talent-based recruiting over skill-based recruitment. This is because additional expertise improves rational thinking, problem-solving skills, ability to perform practical tasks and push boundaries to a vast extent. Therefore, it becomes necessary for organisations to hire candidates that offer exceptional skills.

On the other side, graduates are opting for technology-driven courses along with STEM education to improve strategic thinking and cope with the fast-moving world of both information technology and the economy. It also helps maintain job stability, a comparative edge over other candidates, better opportunities with evolving job perspectives and organisational and promotional growth.

Lastly, with the cut-throat competition in the market, each industry would like to exceed its rivals by incorporating technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IoT, etc., to provide improved customer service. At this point, owing to a lack of awareness of trending technology, many applicants enter companies that are not suitable for them, resulting in lower employability.

On that account, higher education colleges/institutes need to incorporate vocational training courses along with internship opportunities in the education system and superior technological exposure to make deserving candidates business-ready for the desired employment.

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