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With the continuation of the lockdown across the country, employees are still working remotely to maintain social distancing. Although several industries have been massively hit, we have already established how the analytics industry is having little to no impact of this crisis and also have a smooth transition to this new working culture.
Although this pandemic brought in several disruptions, it also provided opportunities for analytics professionals to upskill themselves. In fact, in a recent survey done by Analytics India Magazine, 76.9% of the analytics professionals are devoting their time on training through self-learning, while 23.1% of them are spending time on training to upskill themselves through company-driven programmes.
In another research, in association with Jigsaw Academy, Analytics India Magazine has revealed how there is an urgent requirement of ed-tech companies to enhance their e-learning and online services with Learning Management Systems and machine learning, as the spread of this deadly virus has increased the adoption of online education among analytics professionals. These results show how these analysts are utilising their time to learn new skills by themselves to stay relevant in the post-pandemic world.
Self-learning is the need of the hour
With an uncertain future, businesses are betting big on automation, which in turn, would bring an economic downturn in the coming times. The automation boom will bring in new-age technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as opportunities for new software development. Therefore data scientists and analytics professionals are having concerns staying relevant in these competitive times. This brought in urgency for analytics professionals to upskill themselves with newer tools and technologies.
According to a NASSCOM report, 40% of Indian IT employees need to reskill themselves to survive the post-pandemic world. NASSCOM believes that the skills that were in demand earlier have no relevance in the current world order. Therefore NASSCOM FutureSkills has recently introduced a free course on artificial intelligence, in collaboration with the Union IT Ministry.
The dean of IIT Roorkee, who recently launched an advanced certification online course on deep learning in association with US-based CloudxLab, has also said that “technology continues to advance rapidly, and this is perhaps the best time for professionals to learn new technologies.” The institute decided to facilitate the course through live videos, which will help analytical enthusiasts utilise their time in upskilling themselves.
Experts also believe that this pandemic will bring in the demand for newer technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning as well as robotics in almost every aspect of the organisation. Consequently, business leaders will demand their existing employees as well as new hires to be updated with these technologies. Besides, this lockdown has also provided significant traction in cloud computing, which again, will create a demand for individuals with cloud skills.
Alongside, businesses are also strategising to cut costs to have continuity during this crisis. It gets challenging for enterprises to organise enough training programs for their analytics team to enhance their skills. And therefore, self-learning has gradually gained traction among employees, who are willing to re-skill themselves.
LinkedIn’s “Workforce Confidence Index” also revealed that Indian IT professionals are determined to learn new skills to unlock new opportunities. The survey stated that 63% of active job seekers, 65% of full-time employees, and 61% of self-employed professionals would spend their maximum amount of time in online learning.
Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, LinkedIn, stated that it is reassuring to see a majority of India’s workforce remain confident about the long-term outlook, and determined in the short-term to upskill, pivot, and adapt.
Post pandemic world would also bring increasing usage of predictive analytics for businesses to be aware of a future crisis. Analytics professionals who are working on entry-level data science jobs can also utilise this lockdown opportunity to learn core data science skills from free online courses, which can provide them with more exposure in their organisation.
Self-learning can not only offer an enhancement to an analytics career, but will also make you relevant in the post-pandemic world.
How can ed-tech companies help?
With self-learning being the main objective for analytics professionals during this lockdown period, it puts a lot of pressure on ed-tech companies to enhance their online learning services to provide better accessibility of their resources. Additionally, online learning – being the main source of education for many – has triggered online learning providers to invest in newer technologies like machine learning to improve their e-learning services.
According to the research done by Analytics India Magazine in association with Jigsaw Academy, it has been stated how ed-tech companies can utilise new-age technologies and systems to ensure an advanced delivery of their online education. Learning Management Systems and Database, along with predictive and automating models like AI and ML are some of the key tools being used by ed-tech companies.
Coursera had recently launched an AI-powered tool — CourseMatch – which had been designed to integrate campus courses with courses on Coursera with the help of natural language processing. This has helped several universities share their relevant courses to students from across the world.
These new enhancements in online education delivery with the help of artificial intelligence create opportunities for students from across the world to gain knowledge of these online courses. Edtech companies are also enhancing their examination processes with the help of AI-powered teachers. Eklavvya is one such company that has been delivering online exam proctoring services, with the help of web camera and live streaming along with facial recognition system, that is helping in controlling and monitoring online examination process smoothly.
Gradeup is another company that has been working with artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide a platform for students to have comprehensive online courses from some of India’s best universities. The company uses artificial intelligence to suggest relevant topics to their students and uses ML algorithms to detect questions, images, equations etc.
Embedding new-age technologies in ed-tech platforms will help these companies understand their students’ study patterns, which in turn, will help them in creating courses and environments suitable for their students. Machine learning also allows teachers and faculties to create effective learning modules for their students.
With the extension of the lockdown, there indeed has been an increase in self-learning among analytics professionals. There is all more need for data scientists to reskill themselves to stay relevant during the crisis. And therefore, ed-tech companies must enhance their online learning services to provide enough support in offering effective learning to their students.
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Sejuti currently works as Senior Technology Journalist at Analytics India Magazine (AIM). Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org