Are we ready to Re-Skill or Up-skill?


In the old days it was considered an achievement if someone worked for a Company for 40 years and then retired happily with a Pension. Now, the average time in a single job is 3-5 years, What’s more, 35% of the skills that workers need — regardless of industry — will have changed by 2022. So to be re-skilled or upskilled is the new survival mantra.


What does Re-skilling and upskilling mean?
• RE-Skill is the process of learning new skills so you can do a different job or you can teach people to do a different job
• Up-Skilling is the process of learning new skills in the same job or or teaching workers of new skills


So re-skilling or upskilling are a must, in what is termed as the brink of the fourth Industrial Revolution. According to a news report on workforce re-skilling by the World Economic Forum, one in four adults reported a mismatch between the skills they have and the skills they need for their current job. NASSCOM has indicated that 40% of the Indian workforce has to be re-skilled.


Continuous learning lies at the heart of thriving in Industry . INFOYSYS – One of the top Leaders in the Computer Business in India has over 125 thousand employees spread world- wide. To keep this huge Human Resource relevant, they have developed over 250 Self Learning Programs . Also, simultaneously 1500 Courses and over 3600 micro learning Videos have been created so their staff are being Up-skilled all the time. Similarly, TCS, WIPRO, MAHINDRA also offer Re-skilling Programs for their staff.


We are doing things to-day, we never dreamt of 20 years ago. I can sit on my armed chair at home and order Groceries/ get most Banking jobs done viz. transfer Monies / Open an FD / Book rail / airline tickets / Pay Electricity / Telephone / TV Bills. I can also play the share Market, Watch Movies of my choice, Read or listen to Books, Gossip on face Book and even Pay my Income Tax on line. Can any one predict what will be the scenario 5/10 years down the road?.


Those in the Airline Ticketing Business will have to re-think what skills they would need if they plan to remain in the same Business. Those working in Banks – what Courses they need to take up, to remain relevant because Ledgers are now literally in the Clouds. If you are running a Retail Business are you prepared to consider delivering groceries to your Customer, like Zomato or, Swiggy does with foods.? In other words , would you consider moving your business to a Backroom place , without paying high rents on Main Streets, and get Digital Marketing to announce your products with free home delivery?


We are told that Big time names like Mark& Spencer are downscaling, as they cannot beat the Online people like Amazon/Walmart etc. So if you were working for M&S or such type of companies , would you still be in employment?


So as employees we needs to go back to the drawing board and consider carefully the latent skills we have and get ready to fight redundancy. Was for example, Photography your passion earlier? It was dormant, as you were enjoying your selling career .Is it time to re-think and re-visit your earlier passion. You could take up classes and get ready to change course. Perhaps you were good in Maths – you could you take up training in DATA Analytics so you crunch figures on your Lap top? If you are in Automobiles – very soon cars are going electric – are you ready for the Car revolution?


If Companies, do not offer re-skilling you should venture into the sky classroom. We have in EdX, Upgrad, Cousera, Alison,gwin 99.Udacity, Stanford, Khan Academy ,IGNOU Distance , Learning , NCS,etc helping you re-skill for free. Our Government has realised that though we have a young population, our skill sets do not match Industry requirements. So has taken up to re-skilling very seriously. Vigorous efforts are being made to ensure new Investors who come to set up Industry here will have ready man-power with the newer skills needed. The ITI’s with the PMKVY ( Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana) and SKILL INDIA Programs for other categories of skilled, highly skilled will get us back on track.


Also the proposed Education Policy document has envisaged a much more flexible approach to education, which includes Vocational training at school level with the normal subjects student leant now. In fact Chowgule College Margao have started a Vocational Degree Program where students can obtain a Degree in various Programs viz. Sound Engineering, Software Development, Multimedia and Digital Film making, 3D Media and Virtual Reality-VFX ITES (Business Processes and ERP Operations) Contemporary Dance, Photography, Multi-media & Digital film making ,Drawing &Painting, Audio-Visual Photography, Animation & Creative Design.3 D Animation & Graphic Design. Digital marketing. In fact they permit students to take a break for a year or more at Diploma level and then return for the advanced Diploma( again take a break) and then finally work for a degree in the courses indicated.


Students in College/ University doing the conventional Programs must realise that they must be flexible enough . They must get trained with Industry needs in mind, and do some additional studies in Institutes quoted above. For example one could do a correspondence course in Actuarial studies to get a handsome job in the Insurance Industry and develop a statistical /data analysis skills. Or choose a Financial Analyst Program where the job market is lucrative.


If you are a Computer Nerd you could explore learning in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Internet of things, Block Chain, Machine Learning etc.


Some could consider Events management -through correspondence and take up linked Courses in Sound Engineering/Music/ Choreography/Photography etc. If you have a fancy for catering you could consider specialising in Foods of certain countries or consider Nutrition and dietician or Food Technology as extra specializations.


If you inclined towards Sports perhaps you could join a Fitness Center (Norbert’ Fitness Center) and learn to become a Fitness Trainer. Umpteen opportunities exist provided you are ready to explore your personal potential and get ready to beat the odds. Once you have trained yourself try and find an opening as a Volunteer/Part-timer in Industry (without Pay). This way you get some exposure , as also indicate to the Potential Employer that you have the initiative to take up challenges.


Remember just graduation or an Engineering degree is not enough. Constantly upgrade your skills, so your CV gets a good response. Good luck.