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88% of Indian workforce prioritise upskilling for career growth: Report

The report found that short courses, employer-sponsored training, and university degrees are considered the most important for moving up from current positions

skill development, education, workforce, jobs, employment, economy, growth, policy

Illustration: Binay Sinha

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Nearly 88 per cent of Indian workers believe they must continue to learn and educate throughout their careers to stay up-to-date, relevant, and desirable to employers, according to a report by Pearson Skills Outlook.

According to the second edition of the Pearson Skills Outlook report, ‘Employee View’, employers are catering to this need, with 75 per cent of workers reporting that their employers offer skilling as a benefit. Among the workers offered the benefit, 92 per cent take advantage, said the report.

It also highlighted the shift in the workforce's attitude towards upskilling, with 85 per cent of Indian respondents who participated in the survey, stating that learning a new language, particularly English, would help them succeed in their jobs.

Top skills for career growth

According to the report, the top skills that will be appealing to Indian companies in the next five to ten years are artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), data processing, and coding or programming.

Human abilities such as decision-making and problem-solving are the top talents needed for professional growth, and skills are currently being developed across all generations in India, the United States, and the United Kingdom, said the respondents.

In India, technical skills such as AI-ML, data processing, and coding are also prioritised across age groups, particularly when it comes to future capabilities. When looking at the top human skills of future interest, language skills rank high for Gen Z Indian workers.

Millennials vs Gen Z

While millennials and Gen X professionals are hopeful about their job advancement, 88 per cent of Gen Z workers have had to reassess their career prospects due to the uncertainties in the last three years.

In addition, compared to Millennials, Gen Z workers were less likely to be positive about the job market and more likely to be actively looking for a new job.

"Today, the success of any modern organisation depends on the success of its workforce. However, there is a persistent skills gap across industries and markets that has a direct impact on productivity, business growth, and innovation," Michael Howells, president of Workforce Skills, Pearson, was quoted as saying by the Economic Times.

"With the proliferation of the internet and the emergence of new technologies such as AI/ML and data science, the workforce has to not only learn new technical skills but also human skills, which will make their work more effective," he added.

The report, based on a survey of 4,000 people in India, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil, found that short courses, employer-sponsored training, and university degrees are considered the most important for moving up from present positions across markets.

This was seen to be true, particularly in India, with certifications from professional bodies (34 per cent) and platforms (34 per cent), being the top two types of education felt necessary by professionals to further their professions. This also demonstrates that employers offering certifications are also seen as more attractive to the working population.

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First Published: Apr 21 2023 | 5:28 PM IST

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