Why Reskilling is the Need of the Hour…And so is Responsible Growth

Given the rapid rate of change that we are witnessing, there is a good chance that the job you’re doing today may not even exist 20 years later. A report by CBRE has predicted that nearly 50 per cent of occupations that exist today will be redundant by 2025. Given this, now may be a good time to think about re-skilling ourselves to be prepared for the new world. It gives us all the chance to do things and venture into spaces we probably have never thought of.

Automation is the single biggest factor bringing this change

Over the last few months, there has been some interesting news on trends and forecast of changes happening due to automation in our workplaces. The World Economic Forum 2016 at Davos stated that the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ is underway which will eliminate millions of jobs over the next 10 years. This covers farmers, factory workers, news reports, teachers, accountants, lawyers etc.

Closer home, the Indian IT industry is finally breaking the linearity between revenue and headcount, with efficiency doubling over the last five years. As per NASSCOM, the industry is estimated to have required 16,055 engineers to generate every additional $1 billion of export revenue in 2015-16, compared with 31,846 engineers in 2009-10.

Demand versus supply

Recent news reports suggest that there will be no increase in entry level compensation for college graduates (freshers). Every year, only one in five engineering graduate from colleges across the country will get a job. As per NASSCOM again, India produces over one million engineering graduates every year. As of now, the number of jobs available in the IT industry is around 200,000-300,000. So, we’re already facing a situation where the number of people is greater is than the number of jobs.

Growth that puts people first

The good part of this is while automation will make several jobs redundant, it is likely to create several new opportunities as well. Organizations also maintain that automation is not about replacing people but enabling them to do better, creating more ideas and driving higher value. Though true in philosophy, managing this change will need organizations and leaders to adapt and drive things responsibly.

Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, in his book – The Fourth Industrial Revolution, says, “together shape a future that works for all by putting people first, empowering them and constantly reminding ourselves that all of these new technologies are first and foremost tools made by people for people.”

We definitely need to keep the technology advancements for improving efficiency, productivity and cost factors going. However, as individuals, leaders and organizations, let us try and not forget the ‘human’ side of things as we move into a new way of working.

So, massive reskilling, both that the individual and organisational levels, is the need of the day.

The change is inevitable and probably needed too, but let us try to make it happen responsibly…