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Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:58 AM on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019
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Addressing India’s Reskilling Challenge – A Report By AIM

  • Even with the third-largest developer base and a substantial tech-savvy talent pool, India lags behind its peers on major AI indicators.
  • This is despite a thriving startup ecosystem, high-growth companies which have made a substantial investment in setting up CoEs and the Government investing in building a robust tech infrastructure.

Richa Bhatia

Behind the AI and data analytics boom, lies the story of a massive talent gap as workforce struggles to remain employable. The skills’ shelf life has shortened, with technology changing exponentially over the last decade, skills that were relevant at the beginning of the career have become obsolete. In order to remain employable, the workforce needs to reskill to take advantage of new opportunities. The rise of edtech companies in India is not surprising, given the huge clamour for continuous learning that has taken root in the professional sphere. This is backed by the rise of emerging technologies — artificial intelligence, its subset machine learning and data science which has spawned a booming job market revolving around new technologies that has substantially transformed India’s IT labour market.

The changing job economy has resulted in new opportunities for the Indian workforce. As estimated by a consulting major, AI has the potential to add US$957 billion, or 15 percent of India’s current gross value in 2035. The booming economy, fuelled by AI and advanced analytics requires more Indians to enter the workforce with a different skill-set. As per our estimate, close to 97,000 AI positions lie vacant in India. But, the challenges are also increasing multifold — on the one hand India Inc is struggling with disruptions like automation that are redefining jobs and secondly, it is grappling with finding the right talent with the right skillset for AI/ML and data science teams. Meanwhile, the upcoming generation that will enter the workforce soon is fed on an outdated curriculum that hasn’t kept up with the industry’s demands.In our report, we dig into the educational stakeholder landscape to see how they are transforming the skills market by developing training courses and certification programmes that correspond to in-demand skills required today. We look at the type of educational institutions offering data and analytics programs; how the educational landscape is changing in response to the heightened demand for analytics skills and what needs to be done to fill the skill gap. 

The second half of the report looks at our last three years ranking data to find out the winning attributes that have helped analytics institutes rank on top consistently and how other training institutes have fared over the last three years.Key Highlights

  • The online reskilling market is estimated to be $93 million and is expected to grow at a rate of 38%.
  • As compared to other educational categories (secondary supplemental education providers and GMAT/ GRE/GATE test preparation providers) the reskilling market is more mature
  • Current market is largely B2C driven but educational stakeholders are also actively catering to the B2B segment
  • Reskilling market in India is driven by the needs of a large working population looking for industry-relevant skills
  • Online key players are also moving towards blended educational solutions by creating offline touchpoints to provide peer interaction
  • Emphasis on personalised learning has led to mentorship and offline touchpoints that helps students gain handson experience for particular concepts
  • Business Analytics course was the starting point, besides this, other courses that are gaining traction are Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science & Analytics & Data Engineering
  • Partnerships between analytics education providers and universities in offering niche courses
  • Higher demand for short-term diploma courses in in-demand areas such as Blockchain, Data Science and Machine Learning
  • Virtual classroom concept that began in 2014 has brought high quality analytics education more accessible
  • Key tools learnt are R, SAS, Python, on big data end Hive, Pig, Hadoop and in AI/ML end Tensorflow and Keras

Key Players In The Reskilling Market

In order to capitalise on these opportunities, IT companies, educators and policymakers need to develop a deeper understanding of the existing workforce, the skill-set required in the future, and the gaps that will need to be addressed. This implies that these three key players need to align the broader economic developer agenda with the shifting job market and work towards building a strong talent that has the baseline and digital skills required for current landscape. At the Government level, policy makers will have to assess secondary and postsecondary education and align it with the skills that are required for tomorrow. Many leading Indian IT majors have undertaken employer-training initiatives, pre-employment training and have also provided their own courseware. Collectively, the key stakeholders can foster a workforce development ecosystem and provide domain specific training with a job-first approach. Given this scenario — educational stakeholders have made a very strong business case for reskilling the workforce and have actively partnered with renowned educational institutions to launch technical certifications and degree programmes tailored to fill the skill gap. Analytics Education Landscape

The nature of analytics education has evolved over the last few years and a mix of models have emerged in the online and offline space to accommodate the changing requirements of students. Learners seek a career-focused analytics education augmented by classroom setting that prepare them for job functions in data analytics space.

• In cases where learning is delivered purely online, participants look for realtime learning in a format that allows learners to pursue it at their own pace

• Candidates look for course content created by top instructors, with industry and university collaboration to provide a well-rounded analytics education

• Executive programs are also in high demand as these are intended for senior professionals who want to renew their skillset and understand how data can be helpful in managerial decision making

• In case of executive analytics courses, technical skills such as data management are augmented by soft skills such as business understanding and communication

• Analytics education providers in India mostly offer Business Analytics (BA) and Business Intelligence (BI) programs that combine analytical number crunching, reporting and visualization techniques

Learning Formats

The learning formats can be broadly put under 4 categories:

  • Self-paced learning delivered via recorded video content
  • Instructor-Led live classroom sessions delivered online
  • Blended learning format with classroom and online delivery
  • Bootcamps for intensive, in-person learning that provides a hands-on experience
  • Around 87 percent of analytics courses from private training institutes are delivered in the self-paced learning models
  • 6 percent are delivered in the hybrid (Self-paced and Instructor-Led online) format and 4 percent in Instructor Led weekend and self-paced format
  • There’s only a 3 percent uptake for weekend classroom format
  • On average, analytics courses by private institutes offer 105 hours of instructor contact hours
  • The hybrid model of self-paced + online Instructor-Led courses has the highest number of contact hours at 157.
  • The blended learning opportunity allows learners to get continuous feedback and participate in real-time assessment
  • Weekend-only model has the least contact hours at 75
  • For those looking for face-to-face learning environment, weekend model is the best fit


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