As per an article in a leading financial daily “Mint”, the current demand for digital skills in India is 8 times the supply. It will rise to about 20 times the supply in 2024. There is a very clear lacunae in terms of digitally skilled tech talent and it is in our interest to build this workforce and prosper as a country.
NASSCOM is on a mission to empower 4 million professionals with the required digital skills over the next five years to cater to this demand.
The key question is how?
Here are a few ways:
Close collaboration with Academia: One of the ways is to ensure that the academia teaches the required digital skills across engineering and technology institutes. The relevant IT forums, education councils and industry bodies must come together to ensure that the syllabus of technology courses includes a significant proportion of digital skills training and knowledge.
Leverage Online Learning and Certifications: With COVID-19, we all have learned to adapt to online learning. And therein lies a democratic opportunity. We do not really need pre-qualifications to learn anything today. For example: A gym trainer could decide to take a course on Data Analytics and how it can benefit him in his profession. He need not have pre-qualifications such as a degree in statistics to learn online. Further, the power now lies in the hands of the learner to pick the best teacher as per his evaluation parameters. He can also decide the pace of learning and get certified in the process as well.
Comprehensive Training Program: We have globally renowned IT companies and hence extensive experience and understanding of the expectations from digital across sectors. The IT industry must come together to create a unique and comprehensive training program to equip as many people with digital skills as possible. This will enable us to build an enviable pool of tech talent across AI, Machine Learning, Big Data and Analytics, IoT, Cloud, Cybersecurity, RPA, Blockchain, AR/VR etc.
Cross-functional and inter-domain expertise: More than 25% of the IT workforce in India comes from non-technical backgrounds. With practically every industry adopting digital across all their functional needs, we will see a huge influx of Chartered Accountants, visualizers, video film creators, social science graduates, psychology experts etc. Hence, there would be a great need to ensure basic digital training as well as digital collaboration training to all users.
Knowledge Management and Reusability: The cost of the training incurred to equip resources digitally is very high. Figures estimate that the cost of upskilling and reskilling can be as high as US$2000. Hence, organizations must not only focus on great trainers and pedagogy but also an efficient knowledge Management System to accelerate the pace of digital learning and make more employees digital ready in the fastest possible time.
India is at the cusp of a golden opportunity. Data is the new oil and Digital will be the most in-demand skill in the world. Its up to us to reskill and upskill our enormous technology talent as the new normal sets in. Digitally equipped employees and companies will show tremendous growth in the years to come. We are well poised to be the world’s digital arena both in terms of technology talent and in terms of consumption demand.