India's tech proficiency skill improves, but lags in Data Science: Coursera

The report by Coursera, which draws data from 100 million learners, benchmarks three of the most in-demand skill areas driving employment in the digital economy--business, technology, and data science.

Coursera Global Skills Report (GSR) 2022 reveals that in terms of overall skills proficiency, India has slipped four places to be in the 68th position globally. In Asia, India stands in the 19th position. 

The report also shows an increase in India’s technology proficiency levels from 38 percent to 46 percent, with the country strengthening its position by six spots. On the other hand, proficiency in data science has dipped from 38 percent in 2021 to 26 percent in 2022, leading to a 12-rank drop. 

The report benchmarks three of the most in-demand skill areas driving employment in the digital economy--business, technology, and data science. It has drawn data from 100 million learners in more than 100 countries who have used Coursera to develop a new skill during the past year.

According to the report, Indian learners in southern states perform better than those in the north across all the three domains.

Speaking on the same, Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO, Coursera, stated, “The Great Resignation and automation are mandating stronger investments in human capital, as institutions must prioritise developing the high-demand digital and human skills require to build a competitive and equitable workforce. Our data shows these skills are not equally distributed, and students and low-wage workers need access to flexible, affordable, and fast-tracked pathways to entry-level digital jobs that offer a foundation for a stronger and more inclusive economy.”  

Image Credits: Coursera

Some of the key India insights from the report include: 

  • India now ranks 56th globally in the domain compared to 66th rank last year. Cloud computing is India’s strongest technology skill with 74 percent proficiency. 
  • Slipping by 12 ranks, India scores low on foundational and specialised data science skills. The strongest skill in the domain for India continues to be Machine Learning (41 percent), followed by Data Management (22 percent), Statistical Programming (14 percent), and Data Visualisation (10 percent), among others . 
  • The government, along with online learning platforms, fintechs, and experts in the financial sector have been emphasising the need for new-age financial skills. According to the GSR, learners in India are over-indexed in skills such as investment management (1.38x), blockchain (1.33x), and risk management (1.22x). 
  • West Bengal is ranked the #1 state across the three domains. The state showed the highest levels of digital skills proficiency in the country, outpacing Karnataka (#4 in technology and #6 in data science). Learners in West Bengal also earned a perfect 100 percent proficiency in more than 10 skills across the three domains such as leadership & management, human resources, cloud computing, computer programming, ML, and data analysis. 
  • The government’s coordinated approach to skill development, public-private partnerships, and synergy through institutions like Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) has created a robust pool of skilled workers. The state learners have 100 percent proficiency in security engineering, operating systems, and computer networking. 
“Industry reports estimate that 28 million new technology jobs will be created in India by 2025. This year’s GSR signals a significant need for Indian learners to bridge the critical skills gap, especially in data science, to ensure this digital potential does not turn into a lost opportunity,” said Raghav Gupta, Managing Director, India and APAC, Coursera

“Strong industry-academia-government collaboration that focusses on the rapid deployment of high-quality digital and human skills training would be key to ensuring that the Indian workforce remains resilient and competitive amid rapid technological transformation.” 

Edited by Megha Reddy