My Skillset is Becoming Obsolete: What Do I Do?
In an eye-opening message to 2,800 learners at an online graduation ceremony for UpGrad, NASSCOM Chairman Pravin Rao on Sunday (Aug 9th, 2020) said, “Shelf life of skills is now only 2-3 years.” Also the COO of IT giant Infosys, Rao believes that individuals will have to keep augmenting their skillset in order to stay relevant as a majority of corporates are in a phase of transformation.
As the emphasis on automation rises, machine learning and algorithms are set to spur growth in terms of employment opportunities. Both put together are expected to create ~133 million new positions across all industries. McKinsey research says ‘the impact of the above two segments will be as enormous as that of manufacturing and agriculture in the previous generations.’
People need to unlearn, learn new stuff and therefore commit to lifelong learning.Pravin Rao – COO – Infosys, Chairman – NASSCOM
What is the current state of affairs?
Millennials and the following Gen-Zers who are gradually trickling into the professional workforce, are already taking the concept of ‘continuous learning’ in their stride. 50% of this millennial workforce comprises of freelancers – a bracket that has to keep pace with industry mutations without any corporate backing or stimuli. Freelancers are always faced with the dilemma of ‘how to remain abreast of trends, changing client demands & ensuring their skills are relevant to service those demands’.
A study published on freelancing portal UpWork revealed that 55% of freelancers engaged themselves with work-related upskilling in the last 6 months versus just 30% of non-freelancers who did the same. This not only indicates that freelancers are better equipped to match the pace of evolving customer needs but also that re-skilling and upskilling are at the core of ‘employability’.
What can I do to stay relevant?
There’s a whole lot things you can do and none of them are optional if you want to grow professionally as more disruptions continue to shape-shift market requirements.
- Make Professional Headway with Continuous Learning:
‘Gig economy’ or the ecosystem of freelancing and project-based work style is not the only space seeing a myriad of changes. To match strides with the technology and innovation demanded by industries, most of us have to re-skill ourselves to stay on top of these progressions as demands swing rapidly.
An emerging trend is that education is also being relooked at in order to create some connectivity with the requirements of workplaces.
In order to execute the task of ‘Upskilling India’, the Govt. of India has been actively driving the initiative of Skill India Mission. Several reskilling programs have been launched across the country, including us at Text and Clicks Academy. Click here for the course offerings that we have tailored for you.
- Micro-credentials and Nano-degrees through Online Courses:
COVID-19 has accelerated the process of migrating to online learning thus leading to creation of several reskilling programs. Many trainers have taken the reskilling revolution online in order to keep the learning process unhampered during these trying times.
Most trainers are partnering with online course providers like us at Text and Clicks Academy and others in the same space viz. Coursera and Udemy. These online courses in India (keeping the focus local) are brief, cover a wider spectrum of skills, and offer value at a lower cost without compromising on imparting the required skills while still being in accordance with the Skill India Mission. This major transformation in the training space creates a win-win for the ‘seeking employer’ and the ‘upskilled employee’.
Such new found synergies have led to the advent of ‘micro-credentials’ –addons to formal education thus creating a specialist.
These ‘nano-degrees’ or mini certificates carry the same weight as a full time education since they are either University Affiliated or Government Certified.
Learning Management Systems are being continuously developed, improved and deployed in order to keep advancing our learning curve.
- Challenging your co-workers:
In 2016, 1500 participants were invited to the Adobe Analytics Challenge to compete in providing an innovative solution for an analysis project. In doing so they were trained in the latest and most relevant analysis tools with real world data to process and were trained live in executing the same. Leading consultants were presented the findings of this exercise with company data and they found that most of them picked up additional skills!
One contestant when asked, said that ‘it does not matter what role you are in or what your job description is or where you work – the ability of presenting yourself and your ideas is critical. Many around you will have the propensity to be more outspoken, confident and articulate in their communication but competition makes you learn that you have a voice too and it is just as important as anybody else’s.’
Challenge yourself and keep upskilling and reskilling.
- Network to Learn:
For generations, the fraternity of successful individuals has advocated the idea of coming together, sharing ideas, and learning from one another. Over time these congregations of intellectuals have evolved into ‘learning networks’ where they assimilate knowledge which is outside of their daily professional lives. These learning networks ensure that several questions across domains are raised and answered thus benefitting every participant – Upskilling Ideas!
We are cognizant of these emerging trends and organize several 1-day online boot camps held by industry experts who are willing to answer all your questions – Find your next skill here! You can even interact with your fellow learners and gain from each other’s experiences.
Direct your efforts towards learning and innovation will follow along with personal as well as professional satisfaction. If you remain flexible and keep thinking ahead, you will be able to sail through breaks and disruptions in the economy. Transitioning your skills and upgrading them are the key to sustaining your career in an ever changing economic scenario. It is another major reason why you must dedicate yourself towards continuous learning – be it online learning through a learning management system or professional learning networks.
Skilling India will become a dream come true – benefitting each and every one of you provided you keep expanding your horizon and advancing your learning curve matching pace with industry trends.
Beat the disruption, remain ahead of the competition – learn from our expert trainers and upskill yourself!
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Voracious reading regimes coupled with a penchant for writing led me away from a glamorous yet mundane corporate career. When nobody's calling, the mountains always are - you'll invariably find me atop one.