Accelerated and developed digital technologies are redefining the business world globally.
The pandemic has hit the world as one of the most complex challenges of recent times. Massive in both its scale and impact, it has taken a huge toll on human lives and devastated the global economy and destroyed millions of jobs. Governments worldwide are still struggling to contain the virus, even while grappling with the crucial question of kick-starting the economic activity. As governments, businesses gradually navigate this crisis, the focus now is on economic recovery and reopening businesses.
A key fallout of the pandemic is that the digital skilling process has accelerated. Accelerated and developed digital technologies are redefining the business world globally. In the current business ecosystem, digital is not only about technology, but it also covers how work is undertaken, how data lies at the core of decision-making. Therefore, the impact is being felt intensely on the type of talent needed in the changed circumstances. While many jobs are getting obsolete, many more non-existing ones are emerging.
Why Digital Skilling?
Basis the emerging trends, digital skilling will fast become indispensable to overall business strategy. With the mushrooming of multiple learning channels, organizations will increasingly focus on hands-on, project-based training for skilling in a digital way. The outreach of educational programs is improving with digitization. With digital education coming into play, both learners and trainers will experience new opportunities to teach and learn and fostering greater involvement in the overall learning process. However, the dire need in the current challenging times is to constantly shift the learning curve and ensure productive training of both domains and as well as soft skills as per the requirements of the industry.
Digital skilling will play an important role both from the learner and the employer perspective; hence, it is imperative that we standardize the content. For the learner, digital solutions play a big role in standardizing content, pedagogy and delivery models ensuring quality learning with scale. As Industry 4.0 norms gain momentum,it is clear that most of the present jobs will either evolve or pave the way to newly emerging jobs roles in almost all key sectors, namely Healthcare, Retail, ITES, Hospitality, Textiles, BFSI etc
Digital Skilling in India
The digital skilling for learners in India is rapidly gaining momentum for the domain and soft skills. The soft skill competencies are already getting digitised with the help of short concept audio videos; real-life scenario-based AI solutions and smart gamification. The domain skilling requirements will be largely driven by simulations using AR/VR solutions to replace the lab experience. Domains like healthcare are now progressing towards the remote learning process combined with internship-led hands-on knowledge in the hospitals.
While both the student and teacher are increasingly using digital platforms, currently more as a forced solution, we will need to ensure against and avoid going back to the old school methods once the pandemic ends. Hence, we should hasten the incorporation of key learnings in the current learning and education models.
Challenges in Digital Skilling
The state of education in India needs urgent attention, especially in rural areas. The sector is currently battling grave challenges such as outdated teaching methods, teacher shortage, dismal student-teacher ratio, and meagre teaching resources. Digital learning in India will therefore be integral to the future of education.
Digital Skilling- The Way Forward
With the internet becoming omni-affordable and omni-accessible, there will be a greater digital and traditional confluence of teaching cum learning methodologies. The government is also looking at policies that will help boost digital skilling in the country. It is introducing measures to improve the quality of digital infrastructure in the country and popularise the use of innovative educational tools. In the near future, digital skilling will result in transformational changes in the way universities and colleges provide education. Digital technology is also an antidote to language barriers. With learning material getting digitized, its translation into vernaculars is no longer cumbersome. The pandemic situation has unfolded many new learnings ranging from students in schools to employees in the workplace. The trainer ecosystem is now already equipped with a classroom and technology-oriented delivery, which needs to be leveraged going forward. The industry is working on maintaining high productivity levels in working from home mode. To speed up the economy through digitized vocation training, academia and industry need to apply the learnings immediately into program designs and execution frameworks.
Sunil Dahiya, EVP, Wadhwani Opportunity, Wadhwani Foundation