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79% professionals plan to upskill in 2022: Upskilling Outlook in India rpt

As jobs in newer domains soared high in 2021, more than 70% of people chose to upskill to grab new opportunities

Developing skills | skills gaps | Indian professional

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

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From an already steep number in 2021, the intent to upskill in 2022 is touching a record high with 79% professionals (including freshers) planning to upskill, said the latest Upskilling Outlook in India 2022 report by Great Learning, part of Byju group.

As jobs in newer domains soared high in 2021, more than 70 per cent of people chose to upskill to grab new opportunities. An even higher intent towards upskilling is being seen in 2022 with the emergence of newer domains like web 3.0, metaverse, NFTs etc. Nearly 79 per cent people still plan to upskill in 2022 with another 11% people on the fence.

Hari Krishnan Nair, co-founder, Great Learning, said, “2021 was a year of setting new benchmarks, when it came to online learning and upskilling, in India and globally and it looks like this 'interest to learn' is only going to sustain and grow in the coming year as well. The increasing traction and adoption of upskilling amongst smaller Indian cities is an indicator of how geographical barriers are being broken.”

He further added that from an employment perspective, there are still lakhs of unfilled vacancies due to the scarcity of skilled talent and with most adopting digital transformation. “The paths to grow for 'skilled employees' are unparalleled. Through this report, our objective is to help students, professionals and leaders realize the key trends in upskilling and how there are tangible benefits to be had by investing in one's own learning journey,” he added.

Professionals from Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad showed the highest intent towards upskilling in 2021 and 2022.

Amongst the bigger cities, people in Mumbai were the most invested in upskilling in 2022 followed by Delhi and Hyderabad. However, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad are still the topmost cities when it comes to demand for tech and data domains as observed by Great Learning.

Professionals from smaller towns are also jumping on the bandwagon as Nagpur, Ernakulam, Mysore, Jaipur and Indore shine as the fastest-growing cities. With the rise of remote working and online hiring, tier 2/3 cities have also shown a huge intent for upskilling with Nagpur, Ernakulam, Mysore, Jaipur and Indore topping the list of fastest-growing cities.

IT, banking, education & training, healthcare and consulting are the top 5 choices amongst professionals who want to upskill in 2022.

Freshers and early stage professionals are looking for new jobs whereas experienced professionals are looking to brush up their skills. Almost 65 per cent of freshers are keen to enter the world and are upskilling to bag a new career opportunity. In both 2021 and 2022, 5 per cent of professionals with work experience of 6-8 years upskilled to grow their career within their organisation. Moreover, brushing up on new skills and personal interest was the top reason to upskill for 62 per cent of professionals with work experience of 9+ years.

The report said that the future of jobs will be dominated by data science and advanced tech. A staggering 43% people expressed intent in data focused domains - data science, AI, machine learning and analytics. This aligns with the trends seen in Great Learning’s courses wherein Data Science and Software Development are the top domains preferred by learners.

Even though several factors come into play while making a choice to upskill, there were some dominant ones that came out in Great Learning’s consumer research. While 48 per cent of freshers and professionals with less than 3 years of work experience consider job assistance as the top parameter while upskilling, 23 per centprofessionals with 3-8 years of experience look for personalized mentorship and 30 per cent with over 9 years of experience state certifications from renowned universities as their key consideration.

Even though the intent to upskill is equal among men and women, 81% of the women cited being busy with family and household work as a barrier in upskilling.

Both men and women showed an equal interest towards upskilling in 2022. However, being busy with household chores and family responsibilities is still a major hurdle towards learning for women as compared to men. These hurdles should now be reduced since technology-driven upskilling platforms are increasingly making education more accessible for all. People can now learn anytime from the comfort of their homes.

Many big and small organisations are in the process of building a re-skilling and upskilling culture within their existing workforce. But only 35 per cent of people reported access to customized training programs from their employers. A fresh hire requires upto eight months to become fully productive at their new job. Employers need to realize that it is much more effective and efficient to re-skill rather than rehire.

With the third wave of Covid-19 underway, offices have again been locked down and people are saving on commute times. Having said that, more than 62% of people do not feel going back to the office will act as a hurdle in their plan to upskill. The flexibility given by online learning platforms is a big factor for this where professionals could utilise commute times and breaks to upskill anywhere as opposed to taking out time specifically from their schedule.

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First Published: Fri, February 04 2022. 12:50 IST