When it comes to staying relevant in the 21st century, the first and foremost skill one needs is the ability to keep learning new skills.
Rapidly evolving technology and shifting work culture make upskilling a must-have – for any organisation, business or individual. This need has been amplified by the emergence of new domains such as metaverse, NFTs, and Web 3.0.
According to an annual report by Great Learning, 79 percent of people are planning to upskill in 2022 to meet changing industry demands as well as for personal growth.
The pandemic provided us with the opportunity to experiment with a completely new work culture – work from home. Now, with offices re-opening, companies are focusing on building a workforce that is digitally agile.
Sekhar Garisa, CEO, Monster India; Abhimanyu Saxena, Co-Founder, InterviewBit and Scaler; and Arjun Gupta, Founder and CEO, Courseplay; recently came together for an insightful discussion to discuss the evolving upskilling sector.
“Upskilling is a condition of employment these days,” Sekhar said.
Monster.com is working to make upskilling opportunities available to job candidates. Sekhar suggested that instead of relying on new hires, organisations should focus on retaining existing employees by providing them with on-the-job learning opportunities.
Focusing on skill sets
Companies have started recognising the importance of upskilling, and are focusing on improving their employees’ skill sets.
“It has to fit into every single aspect of employee experience in the company,” Arjun said.
Courseplay provides cost-effective online training programmes for employees.
Abhimanyu agreed that upskilling was “a must [have] for a business. If I am a young startup, and people in [my] company are not getting the right kind of mentorship from the best in the industry, it is going to impact my business negatively”.
Scaler’s vision is to create a future-ready India by providing technology education.
According to Sekhar, upskilling was in demand across all industries and occupational roles, not only in the IT industry, and was driven by the technical intensity of each role.
New technology can only be fully used if employees continue to expand their skill sets.
Abhimanyu said companies had begun to focus on manufacturing in India and for India. Companies with this kind of model sought employees with strong problem-solving and design skills.
For a long time, there has been a debate about whether employees should upskill themselves or their organisation should give them upskilling opportunities.
According to Arjun, companies nowadays are interested in knowing what their employees are learning outside of their organisation. For example, if an employee registers on a third-party learning site, the companies connect with those sites to track the employee’s growth.