Time to learn: Better be upskilled than out-skilled

June 03, 2021 12:45 AM

Empowering the technology professionals of tomorrow with focused certifications

Rajiv Sodhi Portrait

By Rajiv Sodhi

Over the last 12 to 14 months, the world has seen unprecedented changes induced by Covid-19. In India, organisations, across industries, have adjusted to operating in the new dynamic business environment, and nearly every business sector has witnessed a digital inflection point. While adoption of emerging technologies such as cloud, Artificial Intelligence, and machine learning has been expedited, the altered normal has also made the digital skills gap more acute. As businesses continue to embrace the new remote reality, they need to focus on the solutions that help customers achieve more. For this they need to instill technical skills and capabilities among their workforce.

The acceleration of digital transformation, has made upskilling and reskilling a critical business requirement for organisations and to be at par with ever-evolving industry standards. This is necessary to overcome challenges related to decision making, increasing ROI from technology, and finding and retaining the right talent. Companies are investing heavily on their employees to upskill them to increase productivity and survive amidst high competition.

To that end, certification programmes— such as Microsoft Certifications— empower professionals to get trained and that too at their own time and pace. These programmes equip organisations with the best talent to take on technology’s dynamic job roles. The certifications have been specifically developed to help individuals explore topics in-depth through guided learning paths and learn how to accomplish specific tasks through individual modules.

Why invest in certifications? Technology is moving faster than ever before; what used to be a six-month or one-year shelf life is now reducing to a few months. Every organisation today is trying to digitise their businesses, which has increased competition significantly. Business leaders expect their technical employees to leverage the most optimal solutions available in the market to solve complex business problems. For that, professionals need to know all the new features that are being added on a regular basis.

Proper certifications have become essential for staff productivity and collaboration, to save time and money, and drive better customer experiences. Without highly trained and certified staff, organisations are likely to exploit only a fraction of the potential business benefits. Certifications are also essential for professionals looking for a new career as well as for those just starting out.

According to a study, 91% of trained professionals say certification gives them more professional credibility. The certified employees bring many more business benefits to the table. They are likely to be more efficient and therefore represent a better return on investment than non-certified staff. They can help to upskill other staff members, and encourage them to enhance their skills and gain certification. Having a certified staff can also significantly improve the quality of bids and increase their chances of winning contracts. A Microsoft research shows that to build resilience in the new normal, businesses have accelerated digitalisation to the tune of 149 million new jobs in tech by 2025. These new tech jobs will be created across domains such as software development, cloud, data analysis, machine learning, AI, cyber security, and privacy and trust.

Continuous learning is a key signal of resilience and staying ahead. Certifications are designed to validate that those in-demand talents exist. They provide a professional advantage by facilitating globally recognised and industry-endorsed evidence of mastering skills. It is now up to professionals to pick up on their skills and certifications and gain that competitive edge in the market.

The writer is chief operating officer, Microsoft India

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