Upskill or Perish

Upskill or Perish

According to a 2018 report by NASSCOM, there is a huge gap between the supply and demand for talent in AI and Big Data Analytics.

By 2021, job openings in these sectors are expected to rise by 230,000—but there won’t enough qualified job seekers to meet the demand. With an estimated talent pool of only 90,000 people, there will be a 140,000-person gap between the supply and demand for labour.

Last year, Talent Supply Index (TSI) by Belong stated that the fifth most emerging role in India belongs to data scientists. That sounds promising for the field, but there’s one problem: while the demand for data scientists is growing across all sectors, the talent pool is not. As such, it is imperative that organizations implement learning programs for current and prospective employees. Doing so will narrow the gap between the supply and demand for the next generation of workers as it enters the job market.

Today, several organizations across the several domains (HR, Finance, Marketing and even Operations) are launching learning and development programs to upskill front-line managers. For instance, ZEE Entertainment Enterprises has launched a new program that “will focus on building front line managerial capabilities, both behavioural and functional.” The program, dubbed Embark, aims to provide more than 25,000 training hours to 450 managers across the organization.

Similarly, KPMG has designed the KPMG Learning Academy to “deliver a comprehensive range of off-the-shelf digital, blended, and classroom training courses on a wide range of subjects through our dedicated, accessible online platform.” Specifically, training and development programs are designed to improve the behavioural, technical, and digital skills of employees by using case studies, skill drills, roleplay, webinars, and e-reads. In short, the Academy will help professionals to build their managerial capabilities.

Adding to the examples, Genpact has launched its own upskilling framework called Genome, a re-skilling initiative that helps employees adapt to the workforce, acquire skills, and “evolve as quickly as industries and technologies change.”

In programs like these, managers are often known as culture carriers, performance multipliers, risk mitigators, and/or brand custodians for their organization. Additionally, they aim to offer a holistic approach to upskilling front-line professionals, empowering them with an innovative working style, upstanding ethics, and technical expertise.

Do you want to implement an upskilling program? Here are three ways to get started:

  1. Upskill on-site: Get your hands on new learning processes on the job, preferably in an unstructured yet formal setting. In other words, ‘Learn by Doing’. Replicate a team leader’s approach to work and emphasize a commitment to the growth of colleagues.
  1. Upskill off-site: Employees can obtain critical interpersonal away from their primary workplace. Read blogs and books on relevant topics in your field. Attend seminars to learn from the thought leaders and experts. Stay abreast of industry trends and implement best practices with insights from your favourite leaders at industry-related events. These experiences will enhance your soft skills that employers value.
  1. Diversify your skill set:Apart from the skills that have a direct impact on your daily tasks and responsibilities, focus on skills that may help you in your holistic growth. For example:
  • Learn a new language
  • Write a blog
  • Invest in your reading
  • Brush up on current affairs outside your industry
  • Pursue knowledge apart from your job-related roles and responsibilities
  • Volunteer in your community
  • Acquire social skills to develop networking skills


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Twitter: @pnaving