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How Indians can upskill themselves to stay competitive in the job market

How Indians can upskill themselves to stay competitive in the job market

Wednesday December 13, 2017,

6 min Read


Here’s something to chew on.

Fastbrick Robotics, an Australian company has developed a robot, the Hadrian X, that can lay 1,000 standard bricks in one hour – a task that would take two human almost the whole day.

The World Economic Forum recently predicted that robotic automation will result in the net loss of more than 5 million jobs across 15 developed nations by 2020.

According to industry experts, robots may become the future workforce, and a less pain point for HR, as, “they don't sleep, don't need health insurance, and don’t need casual leave.” Researchers from MIT and Boston University have published a report at the US National Bureau of Economic Research saying that for every 1,000 workers, one robot could reduce wages by between one-quarter and one-half of a percent.

Yes, the statistics look grim. Robots and automation are taking over jobs. And it is only a matter of time when they will take over almost all of the jobs that are repetitive in nature, and some key managerial functions as well.

The Indian Job Market is Changing Too

In the past decade, the growth of digitization, jobs are getting highly specialized and automated. In today’s job sphere, employees can’t afford to not be digitally literate. Skilling employees is important not just to keep up with the technological trends, but also to stay ahead of competition. Here are some important statistics that drive home the point that upskilling is the need of the hour.

Over the past two years, many technologies have replaced jobs that has made it necessary to invest in up-skilling. This shift is now the reason why many want to make use of this transformation and up-skill themselves. New digital technologies are disrupting the business landscape with major consequences for how industries are structured and economic activity occurs. Automation and adoption of newer technologies have changed the landscape for professional managers. Jobs that were earlier done by junior and senior management, and even at shop floor level are seeing the use of artificial intelligence, machine work, and computerization.

What Do Career Aspirants Need to Stay Ahead?

Unlearn, Relearn and Update

If you have been doing your job the old way, it’s time to upgrade your knowledge. Instead of feeling threatened by automation, embrace it and exploit its potential. This gives you greater room to grow, upskill and diversify into new areas. Let the machine take care of repetitive tasks, while you move on to higher roles. Trendwise, the most sought after courses are the following: - Big Data, Analytics, Project Management, Mobile App Development, Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, IT Training and Management courses.

Online Courses to Upskill or Reskill

Invest time in learning through online courses, MOOCs offer a wide variety of programs, training and certification courses that can help you upskill at your convenience. Blended learning platforms also help in enabling young Indian professionals meet their learning needs. According to a report published by KPMG, India’s online market is all set to grow to USD 1.96 billion with around 9.6 million users. This gives you the idea of the vast potential of the online education market, and the scope it offers for digitally savvy people to skill up with minimal resources.

Seek Employment or Apprenticeship in the Area of Your Expertise

Try to take up projects where you can learn additional skills even for free. It is important to apply the theories one learns in real life. You can also take up apprenticeship in companies which are working in some of these skill sets.

Seek Professional Education in an International School

The managers of today can no longer afford to keep themselves out of the global reach. As geographical lines diffuse, and markets stretch beyond boundaries, new business heads need to approach problems with a global overview. An international education at a reputed organization takes care of this need. With an international business management degree, you can leverage your employability a notch higher. A degree from a reputed management school abroad to get a hang of how people function or solve problems in other countries.

Stay Updated and Keep Upgrading Your Knowledge

The only way to upskill is to become the master of your area. As you grow in knowledge, you also grow in talent. Embrace technologies that help you grow. Engage with clients and industry experts to know what’s going on, and how you can benefit from the knowledge. Evaluate analytics capabilities and decision-support tools within the ecosystem to identify opportunities to enhance decision making and improve student outcomes. Experiment with what’s possible using new technologies. Pursue opportunities to experiment and to broaden organizational acceptance of the inevitability of failure as well as success in the process of innovation. Extend capabilities through your ecosystem partners.

Here are 5 off the road new age courses that you may want to pursue:

1. Photography

In the digitally savvy world, photography has become quite popular. Also, the entry of smartphone technology, cloud services, and online professional tools and filters makes photography within the access range of most people looking to employ their creative skills. Companies have also recognized the importance of pictures on the websites, and hence look for photojournalists to build their site. Photojournalists also freelance to sell stock pictures to websites looking to buy good quality images. Media, entertainment, journalism and internet are the key employment generators for this profile.

2. Event Management

Event management is no longer restricted to the elite class or wedding parties. Even in some corporate circles, there is a growing need for capable organizing team that makes sure everything is working clockwork. Event management companies oversee all aspects of managing events: from the point of conceptualization to execution, and feedback. To become an events manager, you will need to have good communication and 'people' skills. You will need to be good at problem-solving, and thinking on your feet. If you have the flair to multi task, organize events, and liaise with different vendors and professionals well, then you can pursue a course in Event Management.

3. Animation and Graphics Design

It’s not just the 3D animated movies that require graphic designers. VFX specialists, graphic designers, animators are in demand in other business circles where there is a high focus on digital presence. To be a graphic designer, you will need to pursue some courses in VFX and graphics. Many computer institutes offer short term and specialized courses on animation, graphics and VFX. A designer can help in the publication of books, software, and design intensive websites for industries such as fashion, home décor, gaming, among others.

4. Ethical Hacking

These days with growing cybercrime, security agencies are constantly in the need of a vigilance system that ensure data is not stolen from critical websites. The cyber-cell of the police department and the intelligence agencies often need to crack into other websites to check the activity of malicious software.

5. Rural Studies

Urban markets are saturating with enough competitors and players offering the same products and services with very little differentiation. However, the rural industry offers a huge potential for growth and commercial value. With a rural management course, you learn topics like forestry, farm management, child development, agriculture, environment management, community development, and the like. Popular institutes like IRMA (Institute of Rural Management in Anand) offer management courses in rural management.