Harnessing education technology is therefore the key to enhancing India’s dipping employment rate and bridging the skill gap.
India has a literacy rate of 70 percent but the unemployment rate of the Indian youth is on a rise. According to World Economic Forum, the unemployment rate jumped from 10.4 percent to 23 percent in 2020. One of the primary reasons attributed to this kind of unemployment rate is the skill gap as most college education becomes obsolete by the time the students enter the industry.
According to a 2019-2020 Global Skills Gap Report by Udemy, 84 percent of the candidates feel that their knowledge has become obsolete, given the pace at which technology is changing.
Reskilling has become the need of the hour to increase the employment rate of graduates. According to McKinsey Global Survey in 2020, that 92 percent of Indians agree that there is a skill gap in the employment landscape. At least 82 percent of the Indians believe that artificial intelligence (AI) is seizing their jobs, the report said. However, the sunnier side is that more and more Indians are now willing to take up online courses for reskilling.
But how willing are students to take up reskilling through edtech platforms?
The trend is on a rise as more and more students and parents have begun to understand the urgency to keep up with industry readiness. Studies have also suggested that poor systematic skill gap holds an opportunity worth a whopping $1.97 trillion in the reskilling business. A report by the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Associaton (IVCA) suggests that Indian edtech startups witnessed an investment of over $2.2 billion in 2020 alone. It also goes to show that there is more willingness among the youth to subscribe to these platforms. With the shift in online learning, traditional learners have also come to realise the potential that online learning can have, especially in terms of reskilling and keeping pace with the knowledge pertinent to industries.
Harnessing education technology is therefore the key to enhancing India’s dipping employment rate and bridging the skill gap. We are in a time when education is not limited to classrooms and theoretical knowledge alone. People are now aware of the growing demands of skilled professionals in every industry, so they are taking the initiative to be skilled trailblazers. Digital skills, technical expertise, vocational training, and soft skills have thus become mandatory.
And here’s where edtech is helping. It turns out that 75 percent of the Indian workforce never participated in any skill development initiative. Edtech companies aim to bring down this disparity by bridging hands-on experience and classroom learning. The edtech companies keep students one step ahead when it comes to technologies, be it artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, and so on. These platforms enable students to deal with real-time industry-simulated challenges so that they are equipped to tackle them head-on.
Students also get a better hang of theoretical concepts with hands-on tasks, which also leads to long-term retention. The best part is that the learning becomes independent in terms of problem-solving and innovation rather than depending frequently on a mentor. Plus, the learner also gets an auto-generated report through real-time analytics on how he or she is progressing through the course work. Edtech firms basically help in filling the gap to make graduates career-ready.
The road ahead for edtech platforms looks rosy for the potential that they have. However, there are also challenges to embracing technology in education for a large chunk of the population owing to infrastructural problems, financial constraints, adapting to the ever-changing technologies in the smaller towns and tier-2 or tier-3 cities in India.
Schools and colleges must transform with partnerships with the edtech platforms and strategise the learning pedagogy that provides the learning opportunity to every student and kick off with a career with thorough industrial knowledge. With governmental support and an incentive-based approach, students and graduates are sure to ace the competition.
It is clear that the lowering employment rate in India despite the high literacy rates is because of archaic skills. Edtech platforms are rescuing graduates by empowering them with career readiness. As the awareness is also growing to tap into digital education, one can safely say reskilling is the only way to bridge the skills gap via edtechs.
The author Sricharan Tadepalli is COO and Co-Founder at byteXL. Views expressed are personal
(Edited by : Kanishka Sarkar)