Why Upskilling Is Must For Employees In Today's era

Workers will have to learn new skills if they expect to remain employable.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered our world. The virus and its effects will linger until a vaccine is developed, which may take as long as five years. The fact that there won’t be a vaccine for some time means people have to change their behaviour to prevent becoming infected by COVID-19.  

Society has undergone a substantial behavioural change since the COVID-19 pandemic started. These behavioural changes won't come to an end even when the lockdown is lifted. Because people's behaviours have changed, the world's economy has changed as well. 

Mass unemployment in developed countries 

There is mass unemployment in developed economies like the US, EU, Canada, and Japan. Unemployment will have an enormous impact on these economies. It will also affect the global economy.   

Companies in advanced countries and emerging economies are cutting costs because demand has fallen. One of the easiest ways to lower costs is by shedding workers. Hence jobs are in greater peril than ever before. Only those with the most vital skills should feel secure in their careers. Those who don't have skills employer's prize will for years live with the fear of being sacked.  

Learn new skills to remain employable 

Workers will have to learn new skills if they expect to remain employable. In an increasingly uncertain world, the only certitude is that only workers who have skills employers want will have job security. Yet such workers are relatively few. Most tech employees never learned new skills after they graduated from college. Technology changes rapidly, so the skills many learned in college are already obsolete. 

Technologies employers prize 

A few technologies that will always be in demand are data science, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, big data, analytics etc. Professionals who know how to use technology to extract a story from raw data will always be in demand. Similarly, those who can automate and simplify processes using AI will never find it hard to find a job. 

Workers who know how to use these technologies will not only enjoy job security; they will have a more significant opportunity to advance their careers as well. Those familiar with these technologies are more likely to be promoted and enjoy regular pay hikes. Conversely, those who don’t know these technologies are less likely to be considered for more senior positions or get pay increments.        

Employers like TCS, Wipro, Infosys, Accenture etc. value those with knowledge of the technologies mentioned above. The reason is that relatively few workers are familiar with the newest technologies. Hence leading companies can attract more prestigious projects by letting businesses know the capabilities of their team. A tech company can share with customers that its workforce can help them develop AI solutions or extract actionable insights from data.  In short, companies value workers who know the newest technologies because using such employers, they can pitch for higher-value projects. 

Massive digitisation is underway 

The lockdown has introduced a significant element of uncertainty in the world. Businesses fear that lockdowns will become a way of life. For this reason, they are digitising as many jobs as possible. Such digitisation is expected to keep businesses running with a minimal workforce. Technologies like AI and machine learning have advanced sufficiently to allow companies to automate processes that earlier only humans could do.    

Soon all customer support will be provided by chatbots. People in the customer support industry will find their skills are useless to employers. Likewise, automation will make other jobs obsolete as well. AIs potential to disrupt the job market is higher than that of COVID-19s. Many people have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. Yet the number of jobs lost due to COVID-19 may be dwarfed by the amount lost to automation. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitisation trend. Technologies that were expected to be deployed a decade later will be introduced in a matter of months or years. As early as 2025, autonomous vehicles will be seen on roads. The backbone of autonomous cars is a technology like data science, machine learning, and AI. There will be a huge demand for professionals who know these technologies. Those who learn these skills will be rewarded with a quick pay hike. 

The scope of AI, big data, data science, cloud computing, analytics etc does not end with autonomous cars. Their applications are nearly limitless. Those who know these technologies will enjoy considerable prestige and job security in the years ahead.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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