Over the past two years, the global labor market has evolved at an unprecedented pace. A report by the World Economic Forum indicates that the rate of emergence of new occupations will increase to 13.5% by 2025. However, as more and more jobs are created steadily, professional skills are becoming obsolete at a rapid rate. faster than ever. A study conducted by PWC found that more than 81% of Indian professionals believe that upskilling is crucial to ensuring long-term job growth and stability.
59% of professionals in India have moved into emerging roles in 2021, while many have moved from tech jobs to creative disciplines. Creative roles such as design strategist, UI/UX designer, cross-platform marketer, animator, among others, have grown in prominence in India since 2020, urging professionals to reassess their skills and follow their interests.
People have turned to edtech platforms to take advantage of development-focused courses. Such is the demand that online development certifications account for approximately $463 million of the Indian e-learning market, an increase of 38% since 2016. Post-covid, over 30% of professionals have started spending their time learning new skills online.
This brings us to the question: why are skills becoming obsolete at this rate, and is it important to keep up?
Development: the key to the new workplace
The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and pandemic-induced remote and hybrid work models has led to increased rates of digitalization around the world. To adapt to this changing nature of work, 40% of employees across the world have successfully improved their digital skills during the pandemic, while the rest will need to catch up eventually.
Job descriptions across industries have also become multifaceted, with more and more employers looking for people with a wide range of skills. The boundaries between creative and technical fields have also blurred, pushing professionals to prioritize skills-based learning. For example, UI/UX designers must be able to navigate design-based software, but they must also be able to communicate with users, conduct research, and articulate their findings. Workplaces appreciate creative artists for their imaginative approach to problem solving, as well as their original approach to projects and initiatives.
The merging of creative and technical professions has opened up more job opportunities across the world. A 2021 report highlighted the growth of the design and media industries, with jobs like cross-platform content creator, design strategist, data scientist, creative technologist among many others rising in value. People who improve their skills and shape their resume to match those skills can explore a wider range of career opportunities and broaden their reach.
Upskilling: the key to entrepreneurship
The global economy is booming with over 500 million entrepreneurs and counting. Over the past two years, people have had the chance to pause and reflect on their careers, assess their interests and start new businesses, or contribute to the growing freelance economy.
A GEM report showed that most people, as long as they had the skills or the means to acquire the skills, were willing to consider the idea of a solo/entrepreneurship pursuit.
Estimates show, in fact, that India is likely to have around 350 million freelancers by 2025, making it an ideal option for people looking to upskill and fuel their interests. This heightened affinity for independent businesses stems from the ability to combat burnout and the freedom to expand skills. These factors push people towards advanced courses. For example, a freelance animator may need to improve their software skills, but they also need to have good communication and marketing skills to win clients.
Aspiring freelancers and entrepreneurs are tapping into edtech platforms to explore varied courses from well-known industry experts, influencers, or inspiring professionals to become a full-time creative freelancer or use their solo practice as a side-hustle.
India’s independent and entrepreneurial economy could help the country achieve the national goal of becoming a five trillion dollar economy by 2025.
Development: the key to the future
India’s professional workforce has the potential to be a valuable resource for the economy. The country’s youth employability rate, which stood at 45.9% in 2021, has the potential to increase significantly through improved skills. Technological integration, widespread internet availability and affordable rates have already enabled much of the country’s workforce to unlock the future they desire.
Ongoing government initiatives encouraging people to take advantage of technology-enabled e-learning to advance their careers will enable people in Tier I-III cities to meet their upskilling needs. Moreover, the efforts of government and private actors to diversify languages through various online upgrading courses will steer the Indian workforce towards increasing its value and prepare it for any future career opportunities.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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