While the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic saw a partial – or even complete – lockdown at several places across the globe, people have been reorienting their lives indoors. Just as Covid-19 has been reshaping education with a grand global experiment in remote learning, so have businesses adapted by shifting operations online.
However, some companies are creaking under pressure with these sudden changes. While this has meant job cuts in some enterprises, others are either delaying key operations or deferring hiring plans. With no end – or certainty – in sight, it necessitates that professionals turn these circumstances into opportunities to upskill.
This can be made possible with the effective use of technology, and signals a massive chance for edtech providers and online career marketplaces to reinvent learning to meet the needs of a new economy.
Upskilling For The Future Of Work
According to MD of Udemy India Irwin Anand, in addition to Covid-induced uncertainty around the future of jobs, advanced technology and the impact of globalization also demands that professionals prioritize learning.
“Learning is the new currency that can help us succeed as a workforce,” says Anand. “At a time of unprecedented change and heightened concern around recent events, the most important job skill would be the ability to learn,” he adds.
With an oncoming recession and economic downturn strongly anticipated, it is critical to pay heed to warning signs that your job may be at risk. Bolstered by an automation boom and ever-changing technological landscape, the shelf life of skills have shortened. To remain employable in such competitive times, people need to upskill themselves.
Given this huge clamour for upskilling – especially since the Covid-19 pandemic took root – edtech companies have been offering more industry-ready courses. Additionally, they have launched both short-term and long-term courses on emerging technologies like AI, ML and data science for professionals looking to take advantage of a job market anchored around these new technologies.
“We are seeing increased demand across every segment of users – from individual learners, to repeat instructors, to employees learning for their jobs since the pandemic began,” says Anand.
Nudged by current circumstances and buoyed by trends including freelancing and technology disruption, the labour market is poised to be transformed and usher in a talent economy.
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Accelerant To Digital Transformation
Whether you are a digital novice or fairly comfortable with technology, there cannot be a better time for you to dive deep into technologies, and upskilling can help in this digital transformation with the use of new applications. This will also help you ease into working remotely – another direction the changing landscape of work is moving towards.
With the Covid-19 pandemic heralding increasing pay cuts and furloughs, most companies also do not have the budget for additional training. And with work processes changing, so have capabilities and expectations of employees to adjust to this scenario as fast as possible by taking ownership of their own learning.
This means that a lot of upskilling needs to happen to digitally transform oneself, especially in these times.
Online Learning Trends Amid Covid-19
As mentioned earlier, a clutch of edtech players and e-career companies have witnessed a jump in new registrations since the outbreak of the virus. Online career marketplace Shine Learning has seen a massive surge for online course takers over the last few weeks.
According to the firm, there has been a sharp rise in the number of users choosing to upskill themselves in courses like data science, blockchain, and machine learning. “With remote working increasingly becoming the norm, we may see more demand for specific talent in this field,” says CEO of Shine Learning, Zairus Master. “Moreover, with more time and fewer entertainment options at their disposal, this is an opportune time for people to upskill themselves,” he adds.
Edtech players like Upgrad, Udemy and Simplilearn are also capitalizing on increased demand. Udemy recently released the Udemy Free Resource Center – a curated collection of more than 150 free Udemy courses – to help learners upskill themselves. What is more, it also has courses and resources especially targeted at professionals for them to learn how to adapt to remote work and how to search for a job. And while there has been demand for all kinds of skills, one subset in the realm of new technologies has been piquing the interest of learners.
“Data science has emerged as one of the top five topics users on Udemy choose to learn,” says Anand. “We have seen double-digit growth in learning globally as well as in India as people spend the majority of their time working remotely,” he adds.
Accepting that everything is not under our control, we need to learn how to adapt to situations. And the fastest way to adapt is to be prepared through upskilling by making learning a lifelong commitment.
Covid-19 could be a tipping point for learning – and working – as we know it. With virtual learning emerging as a one of the best practices in our quest to self-learn, we need to constantly keep ourselves updated on new applications and smart devices to smoothly transition into a post-Covid digital world.
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Anu is a writer who stews in existential angst and actively seeks what’s broken. Lover of avant-garde films and BoJack Horseman fan theories, she has previously worked for Economic Times. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org