Across sectors, both employees and employers are using the pandemic break to pick up new, specialised skills
Almost overnight, the pandemic has forced all industries to innovate and move to the digital world. But the greatest disruption it has caused is in the education system, affecting nearly 260 million students in India alone. In a society as economically diverse as India’s, the crisis has increased the gap and exposed a massive divide. Experiential learning has taken a hit since the transition to digital education. However, educators need to think beyond classroom training and provide students with tech-enabled learning to deliver quality results from the comfort of their homes.
Learning from home has not just made it easy for current students to learn better, but also opened up a field for working professionals to reskill and upskill themselves and grow within their industries. Finance and accounting is one such industry that has seen major growth, with students not only wanting to kickstart their careers early on by specialising in their areas of interest, but also working professionals wanting to upskill and pursue further education while working from home.
At a time when the world is transitioning to digital, everything from groceries and medicines to education is available at the click of a button. At a time like this, when there are multiple players in the EdTech space, it is imperative for companies to provide application-based learning, along with counseling, for students to pursue the right course that will help them boost their careers. Meanwhile, working from home has made professionals desire to upskill themselves. There is a surge in companies wanting to invest in specialised courses for upskilling and reskilling their employees.
Many Indian companies like Zell, Byjus, Upgrad among others have noticed a significant usage growth in the past year, some as high as 250 per cent. A lot of this growth is due to companies offering short-term (2-4 weeks) courses to working professionals, to help them advance in their careers. For example, finance professionals are more concerned about upskilling than most, as they feel a part of their current skill set might not be relevant in a post-Covid world. It has been noticed that in current times, having soft skills has become the need of the hour, especially when unemployment numbers have been rising significantly. This has added more pressure on professionals to gain new skills in order to be indispensable to their organisations.
Even employers are investing in programmes/courses to upskill their staff. Research shows when employees have skills and credence that helps them advance in their careers, they are more dedicated and motivated to contribute to their organisation. As for organisations, spending money on reskilling existing employees is more cost-effective than hiring and training new employees.
With the country’s focus on online education, the market is expected to grow to about $1.96 billion in 2021. As educators, it becomes our responsibility to support the mindset of lifelong learning and innovate to help professionals up their skill set. If EdTech companies continue innovating and focusing on collaborating with institutions and organisations to provide individuals with appropriate courses and tools for development, there is no limit to growth. This is where technology will come into play, as tech-enabled solutions provide last-mile access to those who are career-resilient, agile and amenable to changes in their industries.
The writer is CEO and co-founder, Zell education
DISCLAIMER: Views expressed are the author’s own, and Outlook Money does not necessarily subscribe to them. Outlook Money shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.