What might have taken 3 to 5 years to be trusted, accepted, and adopted came hurtling upon us in an instant, impacting life and business equally and flattening the entire world, sparing none? Yes. A not-so-simple bug changed everything for everybody. Digital transformation and moving life online have descended on every one of us, at a meteoric pace, giving none the privilege of choice. But what’s that got to do with the rising outcry over talent shortage, especially in emerging technologies like Cloud, Edge, and the Internet of Things? writes TS Mohan – Chief Human Resources Officer – 3i Infotech.
Everything, say, analysts and the affected.
Every sector, every industry, every business, and every household is reeling under the shock of enforced acceptance of what to many was once a bogie man of sorts, ‘digital dependencies’. Which teacher had imagined teaching from their home, learning to cope with the natural pranks of a digitally native generation of students, while upskilling their inadequacies? Which doctor ever thought telemedicine would become the norm? Or did the small-time grocer think he would be taking orders online?
With this necessary advancement comes the need for technology and transformation. Smartphones and connected devices are now in the hands of students and service providers of all nature and stature; from the fleet of autos and logistics traversing the world, the food supply chain, retail, manufacturing, critical healthcare, and the necessities of life, to entertainment and even precious luxuries have all gone digital and device driven. The IoT is here to stay and is evolving as more and more technologies emerge. So, who creates and manages all of these alien helpers? The platforms, the apps, the bots, the tools, the technology…and the human-machine convergence.
Skilled resources are the need of the hour. Skills not in just ‘computer science, but data science and more. AI, ML, and the list grow by the day. Because, with all the connected devices and moving information to safe remote storage and operation in the ‘Cloud’, Data has become the new oil. And transporting, safeguarding, and understanding data is the new mission of most. And this brings us to the talent shortage that enterprises and the industry at large are crying out for.
Here’s an indicative list of the skillsets that are now in demand and short supply:
- Cloud computing
- Data analytics and data science
- 5G, Networking and wireless
- Full-stack Software development and programming
- AI and Machine Learning
- Multi-environment Project management
And, most importantly, the soft skills to add value and intangibles such as a growth mindset and abilities to unlearn, skill, reskill and upskill.
So, how does the industry bridge this gap?
Survival and career longevity depend on always being future-fit and reinventing oneself by skilling and life-long learning.
According to a study by IBM, the working population in India is set to rise from 750 million in 2010 to almost 1 billion by 2030. But there is a need for the Education sector to update and upgrade its content and methodologies to address skilling even before fresh talent is sent out to seek ‘jobs’.
Training and Development
Education or may we dare say, the gaps in higher education place the onus of getting resources job-ready on the employers. Training and development are no longer an option for personal and professional growth; it is a mandate for the survival, of both the business and the employee.
Campus to Corporate Connect
Business-academic collaboration is key to the creation of job-ready resources. From the side of Academia, there is a need to evaluate current syllabi and content to align it with the emerging needs of the industry and the world at large. From the side of the industry, there is a compelling need to climb out of the ‘whine’ cellar and play an active role in skilling freshers even as they emerge from their cocooned education system.
This opens the opportunity for a better campus to corporate connect, incubation programs, and better-quality resources that are job-ready and skilled in relevant technologies and requirements of a rapidly shifting digital world.
We can experience shortage or bridge the gap. We do have a choice.
The article was first published on the Economic Times - ET Edge website
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Machinist, its management, or its members.