By Subramanyam Reddy,
In the last quarter of 2022, layoffs are a common theme in daily news. After enjoying a bullish decade, the tech industry’s growth is slowing down against the backdrop of economic uncertainty, and to prepare for the recession on the horizon, several tech majors – including Meta, Twitter, Netflix, and Amazon – are engaging in mass layoffs. In 2022, 15,708 employees have been laid off by 44 start-ups. Globally, 42,000 workers have lost their jobs and the number keeps increasing by the day.
In a recent report, the Society for Human Resource Management states, more than 75% of recruiters struggling to find candidates for open roles believe that there is a very real skills shortage among the applicants. This makes the job market extremely competitive as organisations look to reduce spends and at the same time, need a skilled workforce to drive the organisation into the future. A study by the World Economic Forum indicates that 85 million jobs are set to be displaced, and 97 million new ones is to be created by 2025. These new roles will require candidates to have a specific set of skills too.
It is safe to say that skills training is a safe investment against the changing tide of the times.
Traditional education, while endowing learners with fundamental knowledge, often lacks in practical skills that learners need to succeed in a professional environment. Skills training organizations have made a significant contribution in mitigating the skills gap and helping professionals and enterprises alike in ensuring that the talent has the right skills to get the job done. That said, it is not always easy for working professionals to find the time to undertake skills training. Thankfully, this challenge is solved by the availability of online, self-paced learning programs. Self-paced learning allows tremendous flexibility and freedom to a learner to choose their own time and pace for learning a skill, while not disrupting their work or other commitments.
It has been observed in some cases that 60% of learners drop out of non-flexible skills training programs owing to time constraints. In comparison, self-paced courses allow learners to pick the skills of their choice and follow their own schedule, without requiring them to take a break from their jobs. Another reason that online, self-paced skills training is popular amongst working professionals is that they create an unprecedented level of accessibility to the skills ordinarily considered as super specialised where a certain amount of gatekeeping is done by traditional educational institutions. Self-paced learning allows learners the flexibility to take charge of their career trajectory and alternatives to not fall into the trap of unfulfilling professional life.
Domains like software engineering, data science, AI & ML, data analytics etc. are amassing relevance as they become essential to the development of the present-day products and solutions. And these are the areas where the most skills gaps exist. Interestingly, these are also the areas where professionals and students alike seek training and find tenable solutions in self-paced learning. While recession and progress move in cycles, they act as catalysts of change. The effective change in the nature of work and specific jobs is a by-product of such changes. One can survive, and even thrive in the face of such changes, by keeping one’s skills relevant & current. An investment in oneself is the best bet one can make.
The author is CEO and founder at KnowledgeHut upGrad. Views are personal.