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How corporate learning is undergoing a major transformation in #India #edtech #betterU $

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:53 AM on Friday, March 9th, 2018
  • Organizations are overhauling how learning is delivered, turning to online learning platforms, to give their employees never-before access to relevant, in-demand skills and technologies
  • A global insurer anticipated that the skillsets for 50% of its jobs would see a sweeping change by 2020

ETtech  |  March 06, 2018, 12:30 IST

By Raghav Gupta, Coursera

A global insurer anticipated that the skillsets for 50% of its jobs would see a sweeping change by 2020. A few months ago, it took the leap to future-proof the company by reimagining how its workforce could stay agile.

Now, picture the same scenario playing out in different industries, at scale. What we are seeing right now is a revolution in corporate learning! Not just globally, but here in India too.

Organizations are overhauling how learning is delivered, turning to online learning platforms, to give their employees never-before access to relevant, in-demand skills and technologies.

In India, companies across banking, financial services, IT, technology, telecom, consumer goods and professional services, amongst many other sectors, are leading this revolution in corporate learning.

Our conversations with industry leaders produced several insights into why companies are reinventing their approach to learning and development. The answer, I believe, lies in three key factors that are powering this massive transformation.

Blink and you miss it! New technologies are evolving at a rapid pace

The first disruptive factor is rapid changes in technology. “The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent,” said Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum and author of The Fourth Industrial Revolution.

His idea that a range of new technologies are impacting everything in our world at exponential speed is something we are already experiencing. Think of the many applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning in our everyday lives – from spam filters in our mailbox, to voice assistants and personalized recommendations when we shop online.

We now know that these emerging technologies are no longer limited to tech or data teams, but have extended to other functions as well – like applications of AI and Data Analytics in HR or Marketing, for example.

This accelerated technology landscape is reshaping the way an organization needs to upskill its workforce and scale. Phenomenal changes in technology have brought on a widening skill gap.

The gap between the rate at which technology is accelerating and the pace at which individuals are upskilling, is increasing. This affects the ability of businesses to catch up, and it is imperative that they quickly start adopting newer technologies to stay competitive.

We have seen this lead to several Indian companies facing a skills crisis today. If you think about it, some of the most sought-after skills in the current job market did not exist 10 or even 5 years ago. It is estimated that anywhere between 30-60% of skills of the future do not exist within the workforce today. Staying agile and responsive will need constant reinvention, retooling and reskilling.

Engaging our young workforce: Meeting aspirations of the millennials

The second factor propelling this shift in corporate learning is millennials and their aspirations. This is a big factor in India where 65% of the population is below 35 years of age.

We know millennials to be tech-savvy, always connected and on the go. The average millennial is expected to change jobs 13-14 times in the course of his / her career.

What we have also seen is that for a majority of them professional development is important, sometimes weighing more than compensation.

Several companies are already taking steps to address the learning aspirations of this demographic. The other day, we were talking to leaders at a relatively new bank in Mumbai. They anticipate that 40% of their young, graduate workforce will consider leaving to pursue higher education (post graduation / MBA) in a year or so.

Their challenge is how to retain this group, while still meeting their learning aspirations and boosting business agility.

Democratizing high-quality education: Enabling workforce development at scale

Which brings me to the third significant factor empowering companies to revolutionize learning.

Till a few years ago, traditional classrooms allowed only a small number of elite students to graduate from the world’s best universities. The problem spilled over to the workplace – for organizations, providing high-quality, personalized learning opportunities to a global workforce was compounded by tremendous content, cost, and scale challenges.

Today, high-quality education has been democratized. Edtech platforms have knocked down barriers like high cost and location constraints, while providing unmatched quality and on-demand, mobile learning. This is enabling millions – including entire organizations – to access top content from leading universities and industry leaders globally.

For enterprises, online learning can be game-changing, equipping the organization to scale and compete in a fast-changing technology landscape. As important is the talent engagement – building a community of lifelong learners within the company.

Employees, meanwhile, get the opportunity to upskill without taking a career break and can access new career paths. To give you a sense of the shift underway, we are already seeing India take the lead – after the US – in the adoption of Coursera for Business, our enterprise learning platform, with our second largest number of enterprise learners being in India.

NASSCOM predicts that the push to reskill and upskill tech workers will translate to 1.5 to 2 million people working on next-gen technologies in India in the next 5 years. With the revolution in corporate learning well underway, organizations have a clear pathway available to get there.

(Raghav Gupta is India Country Director for Coursera. Views expressed above are his own)


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