Digital transformation was gradually being adopted by a number of companies across the world. What gave a significant boost to this adoption was the COVID-19 pandemic. The job scenario that people expected to come 3 to 5 years down the line suddenly started reflecting in the present. Only those businesses that had their operations online survived the unprecedented lockdowns imposed from time to time while others had to halt their services entirely. Professionals started to feel a strong need for gaining digital skills to avoid job losses and survive unpredictable times.
The skilling crisis was paramount in a lot of areas like project management, cloud computing, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data science, and automation. Coupled with remote working, reskilling or upskilling employees was a further challenge. The gap between the organization’s needs and employee skills needed to be reduced by working towards reshaping and training for adopting new technologies. Along with that, companies needed to create opportunities, ensure team engagement, track productivity, and mentor the employees to stay competitive in the market.
With the ongoing advancements in technology and ways of working, a number of new opportunities have been generated which were hard to imagine a few years back. To stay afloat in this new transformation, there is a constant need for employees to upskill themselves. Today, the field of software development has been pushed backward in popularity by emerging fields like the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and so on. What’s more! Individuals involved in such new professions are earning lucrative salaries.
One question that can come to mind is though upskilling is important, what path can be taken to develop these new skills. Well, steps can be taken by both organizations as well as employees themselves. When you are trying at an individual level, the best way is to enroll in an online training program and learn the desired subject. For example, a person preparing for a project management certification can take PMP online course and get proper guidance from industry experts. Such courses are often designed to include in-depth training material, interactive quizzes, end-of-chapter assignments, practice tests, as well as integrated labs to work on real-world projects.
There are a couple of reliable training providers like Simplilearn, Cognitive Class by IBM, Udacity, Codecademy, and edX. All of them offer self-paced learning option wherein a professional can learn at his own comfortable pace as per the time he can take off his busy schedule. Some of them also offer instructor-led live training mode where online classes are taken live through video conferencing and learners get a physical classroom like experience. Keeping in view the hectic timings during the weekdays, such live classes are conducted on weekends so that working professionals can better engage throughout the course.
Upskilling isn’t the sole responsibility of individuals looking to survive in the growing digital world. Organizations can also take efforts to offer corporate training programs and help employees gain the futuristic skills and knowledge. Many surveys have found that companies which launched comprehensive reskilling programs were better equipped to address the skills gap caused due to technological disruptions or to execute new business models or strategies aiming to stay competitive and relevant. Such corporate training programs should be introduced with a long term goal in mind rather than to achieve a short term goal.
Time is ripe for companies to double down on their Learning and Development (L&D) initiatives and commit to upskilling their workforce. There is a need to craft a talent strategy that help employees build critical digital and cognitive capabilities. Companies that understand this need and take proactive steps to address it will also strengthen themselves for future disruptions.