Addressing India’s Reskilling Challenge – A Report By AIM

Reskilling India report

Even with the third-largest developer base and a substantial tech-savvy talent pool, India lags behind its peers on major AI indicators. This is despite a thriving startup ecosystem, high-growth companies which have made a substantial investment in setting up CoEs and the Government investing in building a robust tech infrastructure.

Behind the AI and data analytics boom, lies the story of a massive talent gap as workforce struggles to remain employable. The skills’ shelf life has shortened, with technology changing exponentially over the last decade, skills that were relevant at the beginning of the career have become obsolete. In order to remain employable, the workforce needs to reskill to take advantage of new opportunities. The rise of edtech companies in India is not surprising, given the huge clamour for continuous learning that has taken root in the professional sphere. This is backed by the rise of emerging technologies — artificial intelligence, its subset machine learning and data science which has spawned a booming job market revolving around new technologies that has substantially transformed India’s IT labour market.

The changing job economy has resulted in new opportunities for the Indian workforce. As estimated by a consulting major, AI has the potential to add US$957 billion, or 15 percent of India’s current gross value in 2035. The booming economy, fuelled by AI and advanced analytics requires more Indians to enter the workforce with a different skill-set. As per our estimate, close to 97,000 AI positions lie vacant in India.


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But, the challenges are also increasing multifold — on the one hand India Inc is struggling with disruptions like automation that are redefining jobs and secondly, it is grappling with finding the right talent with the right skillset for AI/ML and data science teams. Meanwhile, the upcoming generation that will enter the workforce soon is fed on an outdated curriculum that hasn’t kept up with the industry’s demands. In our report, we dig into the educational stakeholder landscape to see how they are transforming the skills market by developing training courses and certification programmes that correspond to in-demand skills required today. We look at the type of educational institutions offering data and analytics programs; how the educational landscape is changing in response to the heightened demand for analytics skills and what needs to be done to fill the skill gap.

The second half of the report looks at our last three years ranking data to find out the winning attributes that have helped analytics institutes rank on top consistently and how other training institutes have fared over the last three years.

Key Highlights

  • The online reskilling market is estimated to be $93 million and is expected to grow at a rate of 38%.
  • As compared to other educational categories (secondary supplemental education providers and GMAT/ GRE/GATE test preparation providers) the reskilling market is more mature
  • Current market is largely B2C driven but educational stakeholders are also actively catering to the B2B segment
  • Reskilling market in India is driven by the needs of a large working population looking for industry-relevant skills
  • Online key players are also moving towards blended educational solutions by creating offline touchpoints to provide peer interaction
  • Emphasis on personalised learning has led to mentorship and offline touchpoints that helps students gain hands-on experience for particular concepts
  • Business Analytics course was the starting point, besides this, other courses that are gaining traction are Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science & Analytics & Data Engineering
  • Partnerships between analytics education providers and universities in offering niche courses
  • Higher demand for short-term diploma courses in in-demand areas such as Blockchain, Data Science and Machine Learning
  • Virtual classroom concept that began in 2014 has brought high quality analytics education more accessible
  • Key tools learnt are R, SAS, Python, on big data end Hive, Pig, Hadoop and in AI/ML end Tensorflow and Keras

Key Players In The Reskilling Market

In order to capitalise on these opportunities, IT companies, educators and policymakers need to develop a deeper understanding of the existing workforce, the skill-set required in the future, and the gaps that will need to be addressed. This implies that these three key players need to align the broader economic developer agenda with the shifting job market and work towards building a strong talent that has the baseline and digital skills required for current landscape. At the Government level, policy makers will have to assess secondary and postsecondary education and align it with the skills that are required for tomorrow. Many leading Indian IT majors have undertaken employer-training initiatives, pre-employment training and have also provided their own courseware. Collectively, the key stakeholders can foster a workforce development ecosystem and provide domain specific training with a job-first approach. Given this scenario — educational stakeholders have made a very strong business case for reskilling the workforce and have actively partnered with renowned educational institutions to launch technical certifications and degree programmes tailored to fill the skill gap.

Analytics Education Landscape

The nature of analytics education has evolved over the last few years and a mix of models have emerged in the online and offline space to accommodate the changing requirements of students. Learners seek a career-focused analytics education augmented by classroom setting that prepares them for job functions in data analytics space.

• In cases where learning is delivered purely online, participants look for realtime learning in a format that allows learners to pursue it at their own pace

• Candidates look for course content created by top instructors, with industry and university collaboration to provide a well-rounded analytics education

• Executive programs are also in high demand as these are intended for senior professionals who want to renew their skillset and understand how data can be helpful in managerial decision making

• In case of executive analytics courses, technical skills such as data management are augmented by soft skills such as business understanding and communication

• Analytics education providers in India mostly offer Business Analytics (BA) and Business Intelligence (BI) programs that combine analytical number crunching, reporting and visualization techniques

Learning Formats

The learning formats can be broadly put under 4 categories:

  • Self-paced learning delivered via recorded video content
  • Instructor-Led live classroom sessions delivered online
  • Blended learning format with classroom and online delivery
  • Bootcamps for intensive, in-person learning that provides a hands-on experience

Breakup of courses by learning format

  • Around 87 percent of analytics courses from private training institutes are delivered in the self-paced learning models
  • 6 percent are delivered in the hybrid (Self-paced and Instructor-Led online) format and 4 percent in Instructor Led weekend and self-paced format
  • There’s only a 3 percent uptake for weekend classroom format

  • On average, analytics courses by private institutes offer 105 hours of instructor contact hours
  • The hybrid model of self-paced + online Instructor-Led courses has the highest number of contact hours at 157.
  • The blended learning opportunity allows learners to get continuous feedback and participate in real-time assessment
  • Weekend-only model has the least contact hours at 75
  • For those looking for face-to-face learning environment, weekend model is the best fit

Breakup by Course Type

  • 56 percent of all long-term analytics/ data science programs by analytics training institutes in India are part-time courses
  • The rest 44 percent are full-time programs

Ranking Data Science Institutes In India

Analytics India Magazine started the tradition of ranking Data Science Institutes in India that are at the forefront of reskilling revolution. Our annual ranking report, started in 2014 measures the institutes on various parameters such as course content & comprehensiveness, faculty details such as those with PhD or industry experience, student experience, for example post completion engagement. Other parameters included external collaboration, placement assistance and more. Each of these parameters is ranked on a scale of 0-5 where 0 is for worst and 5 for best. The institutes that could not be a part of the list either did not participate in the ranking process or could not make it to our list. For long, professionals and aspirants have relied on our findings to make informed career and educational choices.

What’s remarkable is how these educational stakeholders fully embraced the challenge, had a pulse on the changing trends and forged deep industry bonds to ensure adequate bandwidth and resources to achieve the talent roadmap. The institutes that have consistently come out on top are the ones that have excelled in providing an experiential data and analytics programme delivered in collaboration with international universities and industry majors. What’s more — the certifications and diploma programmes are tailored towards early-stage and mid-career professionals who need to upskill data and analytics skills that has become core to organisations. The institutional strength is also measured on the basis of training pedagogy, faculty strength and its industry focused curricula. The institutes that are top-ranked are also rated on their inventory of data resources, labs with access to in-demand computational tools and networking events. A key evolution of analytics training institutes is how these online players have broadened their offerings by providing offline touch points to students with basecamps, meet-ups and networking events.

Some of the value-added services provided by Data Science Training Institutes are:  

  • Reputed University Credentials (international & Indian)
  • Branded Bootcamps
  • Corporate Tie-ups
  • Capstone Projects leading to hands-on experience
  • Internships & Placement Assistance
  • Networking Sessions

Another shift has been in the form of accelerating interdisciplinary research with industry stakeholders in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science that serves to catalyze R&D in India. Based on our ranking report, we look at the top performer in the game that has consistently clinched the #1 spot and list down the reasons behind its top slot.

Ranking Market Map

We dig into the last three years ranking reports — 2016, 2017 & 2018 to find out the winning factors that helped edtech firms stay on top of the game. The 4 key parameters are — course content, faculty, student experience and external collaboration. Some of the other details under these parameters are course comprehensiveness, post-completion engagement of students, capstone projects and others that result in student retention and placement success. The fast-evolving talent market requires a blend of skills for analytics-enabled and data science roles. Analytics training providers that managed to keep abreast of industry developments, develop/ revise data analytics courses and forge collaborations with key industry players to match skills required by employers have continued to retain the top spot.

If we look at the last 3 years, Bangalore headquartered Jigsaw Academy has clinched the top spot consistently. When it comes to the third spot, there have been changes with INSOFE coming third in 2016, losing the spot to UpX academy in 2017 and regaining the title again in 2018. Throughout this period, Jigsaw Academy consistently grabbed the #1 spot with its carefully crafted data-centric programs.

Here are the key attributes for edtech firms clinching top spots on ranking report:

Industry-driven courses: Edtech companies that have recognized the need for accelerating formalized education through partnerships with renowned education providers Analytics institutes that have stayed true to their core offering (Data Science) and have diversified the learning options to provide candidates with a specialized development path or mentor-style learning opportunities Edtech firms that offer the highest placement rate with a return on investment Edtech firms that have focused approach towards Data Science education, have an updated industry-driven curriculum that offers the knowledge and skills for analytics-enabled roles

Formalizing analytics with higher educational institutes: Edtech companies that have recognized the need for accelerating formalized education through partnerships with renowned education providers

Accelerated programmes: based on the needs of working population: Analytics institutes that have stayed true to their core offering (Data Science) and have diversified the learning options to provide candidates with a specialized development path or mentor-style learning opportunities

Placement Success: Edtech firms that offer the highest placement rate with a return on investment

How Jigsaw Academy Stepped Up The Reskilling Game To Prepare Talent For Data-driven Workplace 

Jigsaw Academy has consistently been ranked as the #1 Data Science training institute over- 2017, 2016, 2014 and 2013 and also topped the list last year. The reason why Jigsaw Academy clinched the top spot was because the institute is one of the few “specialists” that stuck to its core — developed a set of top programmes in collaboration with international universities that are suited to beginners, developers and even leaders to fill the data science talent gap in India.

In the last 8 years, Jigsaw Academy has developed an elite set of graduates from over 30+ countries who are crosstrained in all aspects of data science and data visualization and are working across 3000+ companies. In this report, we look at Jigsaw Academy’s role in leading the data science revolution in India and how it is advancing data science and AI education in India. We also look at the reasons why we believe Jigsaw Academy has become the home for data science education, providing a broad set of audience with a comprehensive curriculum that allows them to shift careers into analytics and data science domain effectively.

Key Drivers Of Jigsaw Academy’s Rise

1) Jigsaw Academy has excelled by addressing a large set of audience through its innovative offerings across online, in-person and corporate training. Jigsaw Academy has a long-standing history of collaborations with leading universities such as the University of Chicago Graham School and IIM Indore that help them in driving advanced and established leadership in the field of data science. In fact, Jigsaw Academy’s PGP in Data Science and Machine Learning is one of the elite flagship programmes offered by the University of Chicago Graham School and Jigsaw Academy. This PGP in Data Science and Machine Learning was ranked number 2 in the list of executive data science courses in India. Recently, Jigsaw Academy in collaboration with IIM Indore launched a 10-month intensive Integrated Program in Business Analytics in response to the constant demand for data-centric education used to power business decisions

2) Jigsaw Academy is one of the first institutes in India to bring advanced analytics training to industry. While there are a lot of courses available in the market, what differentiates the Jigsaw Academy offerings are that they provide a comprehensive coverage of analytics as well as its business application

3) As industries and enterprises became more data-intensive and shifted towards an AI/ML stack, Jigsaw Academy was quick to capitalize on this shift and introduced a full-stack ML & AI course which was ranked number 4 in the list of best courses and programs on AI in India. The full-stack AI/ML course was developed to reflect the strategic direction where the market is heading and also in fulfilling new talent demand. 4) Corporate training is another key area where Jigsaw Academy has excelled with training initiatives for Fortune 500 companies like Titan, Reliance Industries Limited & data visualization firm Gramener. So far, Jigsaw Academy has trained over 150 companies and their corporate training programmes are well-suited to senior leaders who are tasked with building teams and piloting several PoCs within their organisation.

4) Corporate training is another key area where Jigsaw Academy has excelled with training initiatives for Fortune 500 companies like Titan, Reliance Industries Limited & data visualization firm Gramener. So far, Jigsaw Academy has trained over 150 companies and their corporate training programmes are well-suited to senior leaders who are tasked with building teams and piloting several PoCs within their organisation

5) With the demand for data scientist-geared courses going up, Jigsaw Academy has successfully pioneered a holistic approach to serve the needs of learners who come with varying educational goals. For example, the Academy provides training in 2 modes – online and offline. In the offline or inperson mode, learners can take up the long-term University of Chicago Graham School certified PGPDM or the more intensive 3 month Data Science Bootcamp. In the online mode, students can choose the IIM Indore certified IPBA with live online classes featuring faculty from IIM Indore and Jigsaw Academy or Full Stack Data Science program which has been ranked as #1 by AIM.


The emerging domain of data science is no longer a single free-standing field, it has evolved into an interdisciplinary effort that requires a broader understanding of the ecosystem. It requires a fundamental understanding of the core methods which include statistical, mathematical and computational understanding for working with data. In this space, training institutes that can address the profound breadth of data science and also provide a solid training in the emerging applications and business problems will come out as leaders in this field.

As per a report, the online education market in India is expected to grow by $1.96 billion over the next 5 years. Also, the paid user base is expected to increase to $9.6 million by 2021. This implies there is a huge play for byte-sized Instructor-Led online courses – an area that analytics training institutes can capitalise on. While we know there is no magic bullet to this challenge, working in conjunction with educational stakeholders, industry players and policymakers are likely the best solution for reskilling the workforce.

Download the report here:

[slideshare id=149138617&doc=addressingreskillingchallengesinindia-190610061413&type=d]

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Richa Bhatia
Richa Bhatia is a seasoned journalist with six-years experience in reportage and news coverage and has had stints at Times of India and The Indian Express. She is an avid reader, mum to a feisty two-year-old and loves writing about the next-gen technology that is shaping our world.

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