The Future of Digital Reskilling in a Fast-Changing World

Introduction

We are in a technology-driven world where there is new advancement every day. And through this continuous change, we can see that the future of work is moving towards digital. So to be at that pace, we have to be ready for the required new skills. Also, the coronavirus pandemic has pushed this issue even further to the forefront and has made it necessary for everyone to accept the change and learn the required skills. For instance-. Workers across industries need to figure out how they can adapt to ever-changing conditions, and businesses need to learn how to match those staff members to new roles and activities. That said, digital reskilling is not a new idea-— though it is without question that the pandemic has significantly accelerated the adoption of technology. 

As far back as 2017, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that as many as 375 million workers — or 14% of the global workforce — would have to change occupations or acquire new skills by the end of the 2030 because of automation and artificial intelligence. In a recent McKinsey Global Survey, 87 percent of executives said they were experiencing skill gaps in the workforce or expected them within a few years. But less than half of respondents had a clear sense of how to address the problem. 

What is Reskilling? 

“Reskilling is training employees in new capabilities to equip them for a different position within the organization.” 

  • With new technologies emerging, industries need their employees to have specialized skills. This creates an issue for some companies as their employees' current expertise doesn’t match their skills for future work. This issue can be solved by reskilling their employees, and, consecutively will help employers retain their employees, who seek learning opportunities and even save hiring costs and time. In 2019, E-commerce giant Amazon invested $700 million for developing their technical skills to take on new positions in IT support and software engineering. 
  • Ernst & Young, the London-based multinational professional services network, has committed $450 million to employee learning. 

Why is it important? 

The fourth Industrial Revolution: Technological advancement is changing, growing, and adapting rapidly and, this has created a blurring of boundaries between the physical and digital worlds.AI and automation are revolutionizing and disrupting well-established jobs and professions at an unprecedented pace. 

AI’s potential contribution to the global economy could reach $15.7 trillion by 2030 –PWC 

 Also, another report predicts that 133 million new roles are expected to be created by these very same technological advances. It's good news. But for taking up these roles, employees need the training to have specialized skills. And this can be obtained by reskilling. 

 Impact of Reskilling 

· 25% of jobs in the US are “highly exposed” to automation - Brookings Institute 

· 54% reskilling in the next three years – World Economic Forum 

· 90% of organizations are redesigning job - Deloitte 

· By 2022, 75 million jobs across 20 major economies will be displaced by emerging technologies - The World Economic Forum’s 2018 Future of Jobs Report 

Digital Literacy 

Literacy is the ability to read and write. But in today’s technological advancement world, digital knowledge is pivotal for everyone. 

 “Digital literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.”- The American Library Association. 

Dependency on technology is increasing in our lives every day. So it becomes necessary that digital literacy becomes the most valuable tool for lifelong learning. 

Knowledge of computers, navigating the internet, and having access to broadband internet are essential for success. Organizations like DigitalLiteracy.gov emphasize the importance of harnessing technology to find work and advance in your career. 

Cognitive Testing 

Cognitive skills are the core skills your brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention. 

“A cognitive ability test is a pre-employment test used to measure a candidate’s cognitive skills.” 

Cognitive skill is a part of digital literacy. The tasks required in this context include, for example, 

  • Reading instructions from graphical displays in user interfaces 
  • Using digital reproduction to create new, meaningful materials from existing ones 
  • Constructing knowledge from nonlinear 
  • Hyper textual navigation 
  • Evaluating the quality and validity of information 
  • Have a mature and realistic understanding of the rules that prevail in cyberspace. 

 Some of the Common Cognitive Tests are 

  • Numerical Reasoning: These tests focused on the candidate’s ability to work with numbers. 
  • Verbal Reasoning: This cognitive assessment will enable an employer or recruiter to learn how well an applicant can analyze details from a piece of text and extract the most important information. 
  • Spatial Ability: Spatial ability tests focus on an individual’s ability to visualize and manipulate shapes, forms, or objects. 
  • Logical Reasoning: This cognitive test analyses how well they can understand abstract concepts, theories, and ideas. 
  • Learning Agility: This test gives an employer the ability to indicate whether a candidate can adapt to changing circumstances and environments. 
  • Perceptual Speed and Accuracy: This test assesses a candidate’s ability to comprehend, process, analyze, and rearticulate information. 

Renewed Education Models that Support Digital Reskilling 

With the outbreak of the pandemic, many challenges were faced by industries that have spurred a global economic crisis. Many people lost their job due to a lack of digital literacy. So to find a way out, companies started programs to provide easier access to digital skills for people hardest hit by job losses, including those with lower incomes, women, and underrepresented minorities 

Some great educational programs were initiated by Companies like: 

  • Microsoft - LinkedIn operationalized the world’s first Economic Graph to track workforce trends and provide a window into emerging skills gaps. As part of this new initiative, LinkedIn is sharing free, real-time labor market data and skills insights to help governments, policymakers and, business leaders understand what’s happening in their local labor markets: what companies are hiring, the top jobs companies are hiring for and the trending skills for those jobs. This data can be accessed using a new interactive tool at linkedin.com/workforce. This Economic Graph is used for skill initiative, by identifying the key jobs and horizontal skills that are most widely in demand and creating learning paths for these via LinkedIn Learning. These 10 jobs were identified as having the greatest number of job openings, have had steady growth over the past four years, pay a livable wage, and require skills that can be learned online. 
  • IBM - IBM’s digital learning platform, Your Learning, uses Watson AI technology to generate personalized recommendations for IBMers. It is available 24/7 on cellphones & desktop devices. It enables IBMers to set learning and skilling goals, challenge others, and receive digital nudges and notifications. 
  • Accenture - Central to the initiative is the company’s Connected Learning Platform which is a blend of classroom and digital learning opportunities with content from internal and external subject matter experts. 

And YouTube, the most used app has also risen to become a better teacher – and imparter of skills – than school ever could. 

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Building exceptional teams - What Laszlo Bock's 'Work Rules' found and How Psycat Pro can help

“Building an exceptional team or institution starts with a founder. But being a founder doesn’t mean starting a new company. It is within anyone’s grasp to be the founder and culture-creator of their own team, whether you are the first employee or joining a company that has existed for decades.” ―says Laszlo Bock in the book Work Rules explaining why hiring is the single most important people activity at Google, and the book delves into unconventional and effective approaches that the company has developed and applied to make work meaningful, and people happy. 
For example, At Google, there is a strong effort to prevent toxic internal politics. Laszlo recalls a memory from his early days at Google when he had complained about someone to his manager, and the manager promptly CCed that person so they could deal with their conflict directly. It was an unusual lesson in the importance of having a direct conversation with his colleagues. Work Rules is seen as one of the best books on company culture and hiring practices with a lot of practical and actionable advice included. The main synopsis from this book is that the more you apply scientific models to study human performance, the more you understand the fact that it is the Human part of management that makes the difference. 

Some of the valuable insights in this book that truly are a treasure are: 

  • Hire the best- There are two ways to hire an exceptional employee, hire the best or train the average. Google tends to do the former. The average company spends around $600 for training and $450 for hiring, according to the Corporate Executive Board. Instead of using the money for training resources, utilize that money and invest it in recruiting the best employees.
  • Hierarchy - Keep minimum hierarchy to have more transparency in the organization. There are only four levels of hierarchy across all of the Google employees: individual contributor, manager, director, and vice president. Employees at Google are encouraged to lead and influence through inspiration. .Don’t politick. Use data.” This motto helps things stay transparent and also helps address potentially sensitive topics when damaging rumors may be involved.

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Gig Economy and Its Impact on Job Seekers

Introduction

In this tech era, it is very common that we have heard about freelancers and their independence of work and time. Work from home was only a dream a few years back which only a few, like individuals in the creative field could experience. But from the last 4 to 5 years it seems very much possible with Gig Economy giving tough competition to traditional employment. Gig Economy has taken an upward turn and made work from home possible. Also, the hectic lifestyle of employees in the private sector has brought a positive picture in front of millennials. 

Gig Economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations hire independent workers for short-term commitments. The term 'gig' is a slang word for a job that lasts a specified period. The best examples are contract workers, consultants, etc. which show that Gig economy is not a new phenomenon, and it has been around for a while. It was previously unobserved, but with technological development, the barriers to entry have decreased so much that 'gigs' have become easily accessible to an unprecedented number of people. Once which was only seen as an offshoot, converted into a trillion-dollar industry with millions of participants.


Reasons for growing of Gig Economy

  1. Mobility - The workforce has become more mobile, and work can increasingly be done remotely via digital platforms. That means that freelancers can select among temporary jobs and projects around the world, while employers can pick the best individuals for specific projects from a larger pool than what's available in any given area. 
  2. Hectic Lifestyle - Hectic lifestyles of employees in private sectors have created a negative perception of full-time employment among millennials. Factors such as growth opportunities, flexibility, better work-life balance, and the option to not acquire a college degree are encouraging millennials to opt for freelancing opportunities as opposed to corporate work culture. 
  3. The start-up ecosystem - The start-up ecosystem in India has been developing rapidly. So, hiring professionals on a short-term basis helps cut down the fixed cost. 
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