The Fourth Industrial Revolution—Industry 4.0—is transforming the skill sector like never before. Skills considered relevant today will likely be redundant in the next few years when most of the global workforce will not have the competency for modern tech or digital jobs. This is why upskilling has become the need of the hour. The edtech sector plays a crucial role in skill development because modern edtech enterprises are focusing on skill-oriented learning. This blog explains how education and skill development sectors have transformed and how edtech is breaking barriers to education. Let’s also see why upskilling is both essential and how edtech can accelerate it.
What is Upscaling Upskilling?
The World Economic Forum, in its Upskilling Insights Report 2021, highlighted the importance of upskilling for overall economic growth. The report explained that upskilling would gain momentum by 2024, which will improve labor activity and, therefore, boost economic growth. The report has predicted an accelerated upskilling model, according to which the skill gaps will diminish by 2028. It would thus result in the development of the world GDP by $6.5 trillion by 2030. This is what we can call upscaling upskilling. Simply, it refers to boosting the upskilling trend so that most people can benefit.
Moreover, such massive growth of the upskilling trend is also anticipated to create 5.3 million new jobs worldwide by 2030. Therefore, professionals need to focus on skilling. But why is upskilling relevant for the education/edtech sector?
Why is it Important in the Education and Edtech Sector
A recent newsletter by the World Bank states that over 65% of today’s children will be expected to work for jobs that are not yet in existence. Therefore, even though technology plays a crucial role, providing life-long training and skills is more critical. As Ashwin Damera, the CEO and Co-founder of Emeritus, mentioned at the GSV Emeritus India Summit 2023, “In edtech, the focus should be on ‘ed’s and not tech.” Moreover, Jawahir Morarji, Managing Director of Enterprise Emeritus, explained the relevance of continuous learning and skill development at the summit, which was held in Gurgaon. He said, “Over time, people learn to adapt, learn new skills, and transform their careers. If people stop learning, they fall behind.”
Nevertheless, upskilling the global population on such a massive scale can be arduous. The edtech sector, therefore, plays a significant role in upscaling upskilling because it provides a low-cost scalable solution to train millions of people worldwide. Moreover, edtech provides innovative digital platforms for learning that can upscale upskilling. These platforms offer holistic vocational skills that foster long-term growth.
In addition to this, edtech helps reduce economic barriers as millions of working professionals can learn skill development anytime, anywhere. Thus, edtech is disrupting the skill sector by facilitating a competent workforce for the future.
What are the Latest Trends and Skill Development Sector?
According to the American Upskilling Study, upskilling programs significantly benefit U.S. workers and their employers. The most important use is an additional 8.6% average salary increase (about $8,000 on average) for workers. In addition, skill development promotes better job opportunities, higher job satisfaction, greater retention, and an increased standard of living. However, employers are unable to cater to the upskilling demand. Consequently, it is up to individuals themselves to invest in skill development programs and grow their careers. Let’s see the latest trends in the skilling sector, according to the World Economic Forum.
Focus on Cognitive Skill Development
Cognitive skills such as analytical thinking, creative thinking, systems thinking, reading and writing, and multilingualism are the most preferred skills today and will likely be in high demand over the next few years. The top industries focusing on cognitive skill development are electronics, chemical and advanced materials, government and public sector, media and entertainment, and more.
Top Industries Focusing on Skill Development
Nearly all industries take skill development initiatives to engage a competitive workforce and grow. However, the top industries relying on skill development include care, personal services, and well-being; financial services and capital markets; agriculture; forestry and fishing; education and training; automotive, etc. These industries highly demand cognitive, engagement, management, and technology skills.
Focus on Skill Assessment During Interviews
A large number of companies consider skill development as the top criterion for the assessment of candidates during interviews. Many companies also consider completing short courses and online certificates among their top three skills assessment criteria. Hence, pursuing online courses can be highly beneficial for skill development.
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What are Some Strategies for Upscaling Upskilling in the Education and Edtech Industry?
One of the major reasons for inequality in the job market is the lack of equal opportunities for upskilling. Hence, the edtech and education industries are using various strategies and frameworks to accelerate skill development by making skill development programs accessible and affordable. Let’s look at some of the skill development strategies in the edtech sector:
Collaboration With Various Stakeholders
Edtech leaders are bringing together all skill development stakeholders, such as learners, educational institutions, government institutions, and employers, to upscale upskilling and reduce the skill gap. They support learning by providing micro-credentials instead of traditional course-based learning models. This promotes skill recognition and transferability of skills across various industries and roles.
The edtech industry has personalized learning and skill development. They use technologies like AI data analytics, robotics, and gamification, to build a customized learning curriculum. It helps promote flexibility and accessibility to quality training and education.
Scalable Learning Solutions
One of the most significant advantages of edtech models is easy scalability. Edtech leaders are upskilling people on a national and even global level. This is helping reduce the skill gap and providing required training to professionals.
Dislocation of Learning and Work
There are two ways in which edtech and the education sector are breaking barriers to accessibility:
- Making the physical location of the learner and the training unimportant
- Offering access to quality education irrespective of the physical location of the learner
Global edtech leaders like Emeritus offer quality online courses and education in collaboration with leading institutions worldwide. Such dislocation models provide better accessibility and affordability and create a significant impact by training professionals for global jobs.
Benefits of Upscaling the Upskilling Industry for Skill Development
Upscaling the upskilling industry, or skill development on a large scale, offers several benefits—especially a better future—as upskilling supports and empowers workers. Thus, there will be an increase in job satisfaction across the globe and an improved work culture. The following are the key benefits of upscaling the upskilling industry on a macro level:
- Reduced skill gap and better work opportunities
- Reduction in career inequality
- Growth of industries and economies as a whole
Assured Skill Development With Emeritus
At the GSV Emeritus India Summit 2023, the speakers discussed deep skilling over learning new skills. Edtech leaders deliberated on how rapid digital transformation is widening the skill gap and making prior skills redundant within the next four to five years. The summit also focused on how a key aspect of upscaling the upskilling industry should be better employability.
To conclude, aim for online courses on skill development and training of professionals who want to excel in their field, grow in their career, or take up leadership positions. Check out Emeritus’ wide range of online courses for skill development and upskilling.
By Sneha Chugh
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