Unemployment issues were nothing new when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, which only worsened the job insecurity faced by young Indians due to the declining labor market. work in 2020.
A series of lockdowns imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak has forced graduates to face the grim prospect of unemployment this year as well. This vulnerable job has been further accentuated by the lack of quality higher education, limited resources and impending skills shortages due to technological advancements.
After the second wave of Covid-19 that erupted in May 2021, India’s unemployment rate stood at a dangerous 11.8%, according to data released by the Center for Monitoring India’s Economy. On the one hand, unemployment has skyrocketed due to job losses and business collapse, leading to the rapid emergence and adaptation of new technologies. On the other hand, these emerging technological skills have continued to widen the skills gap among job seekers with traditional credentials. As a result, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed.
We have had a massive wave of jobs that have been brought online, in a work-from-home mode that still continues to be online. The majority of these jobs, such as sales, data analytics, digital marketing, and web development, were available to early-career professionals. However, the matching of skills has led to many open positions. Large IT companies are unable to close even half of their positions, resulting in a significant loss of revenue.
To close this growing skills gap, a market-oriented education system has had to evolve. This has enabled job seekers to adopt ed-tech solutions and prepare for employment by opting for small-sized certification courses. These bite-sized courses were revolutionary in nature. First, the delivery method was technology driven and could replace existing classroom environments. Second, there was an unbundling of skills and only the most relevant had to be sought. Unlike a traditional diploma which is a pile of references that are of no use, these courses have been able to help with industry needs. Third, delivery has also taken more engaging forms – live lessons, cohorts, peer learning and more, previously unavailable on large MOOC platforms.
A new wave of platforms has formed that brought together learners and recruiters to publish these courses as well. The trend has manifested itself not only in technology-focused courses, but also in finance, law, accounting, and general management. These alternative qualifications help individuals to hone in on emerging technologies in a short time and apply for jobs in available career fields. The best part was that talent suddenly became borderless. People from India were recruited in Europe, with young people in India from tier 2/3 cities connected to businesses in tier 1 cities. jobs have also gone online.
Companies had to take their training online to upgrade them after hiring and onboarding. As a result, alternative degrees are now increasingly available to provide short-term development opportunities for job seekers and, in turn, to help businesses thrive by taking advantage of emerging technologies.
Alternative credentials include micro-accreditations, digital badges, and industry-recognized certificates are provided by various professional institutions and organizations. Adopting these credentials helps people qualify for available positions, making them competent for the future job market.
Nowadays, the online education market is largely driven by courses in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Reality and Machine Learning, according to a study by KPMG India and Google. These career areas are in high demand in today’s job market, but the lack of skills of job seekers has prevented them from finding employment. A bite-sized certification course is the only way to solve this problem on time!
Online certification courses have shown us the way forward to boost our economy through quality higher education. In a convenient and affordable format, these courses fill the skills gaps created by the rapid proliferation of new technologies. Through this educational transformation, people at high risk of losing their jobs, regardless of their academic background, will be able to move into relevant roles. Unlike traditional education, which places great emphasis on academic history, these certification courses provide an equal space for professionals by allowing people from all walks of life to take these courses.
Therefore, if we look at the numbers now, Michael Page India, India Inc. reported a 14% employment increase from the third quarter of 2020 to the third quarter of 2021, based on sectors like engineering, manufacturing and technology.
In the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate, making it difficult to track prices in the long term. Therefore, a demand-driven and competency-based alternative to the traditional diploma system is created.
This trend has led several companies to offer alternative degrees instead of training their employees. Additionally, most of these employers have created their own study programs, quickly expanding their publicly available credentials. Thus, this form of higher education will prevail in the future and continue to find wider acceptance. The list includes organizations like Google, Microsoft, and Infosys, among others.
Throughout the career progression from a newly qualified entry-level to a mid-career professional to an expert, alternative degrees help develop technical, behavioral, domain, and analytical knowledge. It also instills leadership and soft skills. Thus, these courses will provide unprecedented opportunities for millions of people who might otherwise be left behind by the 4th Industrial Revolution.
As we move towards a culture of lifelong learning and skills development, the higher education landscape will be reshaped to provide better employment opportunities for young people.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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