Vocational education equips learners with hands-on and skilled-based competencies. Hence, it is gaining mainstream attention. The pandemic has put the spotlight on the need for upskilling and reskilling across industries. The McKinsey Global Survey (2021) report on reskilling highlights the urgency to address the skill gap across industries and also emphasises on how skill-building is the best way to eradicate the skills gap. Hence, vocational education, upskilling and reskilling courses are undoubtedly some of the most valuable assets today.
The government has also recognised this need and the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 aims to introduce at least 50% of learners to vocational education by 2025. Vocational Education and Training (VET) offers a higher return on investment as it holds the potential to fast-track the career of competent individuals. Besides, these courses are not limited to a particular sector as vocational education extends to all learners of every industry.
In current times, every individual aims to gain fast results, whether it is transitioning from academics to a career or climbing the career ladder. To achieve this, one must be well-equipped with practical knowledge, technological know-how and hands-on experience. Vocational education and other skilling programs are designed to develop industry-specific skills such as AI, Automation, and ML and also impart other soft skills such as leadership, critical thinking, decision-making and emotional intelligence. According to the World Economic Forum, we are at a crucial juncture of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where around one billion individuals need to reskill globally by 2030. In the rapidly transforming ecosystem, businesses are reassessing their work models and workforce capabilities. Organisations are looking for candidates with new-age skills to sail through and sustain in the VUCA world. Employees are required to constantly learn, unlearn, relearn, and reinvent themselves to remain competitive in the demanding times.
With the demanding careers across sectors, new-age skills are imperative to build a promising career. Employers across sectors prefer candidates who have additional skills apart from academic knowledge. There have been instances where organisations are ready to offer better remuneration to candidates with a holistic knowledge comprising both academic and vocational training.
It is no secret that the network is net worth. This adage is true, especially for those pursuing VET, upskilling and reskilling programmes. Aspirants who pursue these courses become part of a large pool of talents. By establishing networks, one can leverage it to find relevant jobs, gain meaningful insights, share inter-disciplinary knowledge, and build a lucrative career. Vocational education and other skilling programmes are excellent platforms for exchanging ideas, thereby getting noticed by like-minded talent.
Emergence of new jobs
Digitisation is causing rapid changes in the job market, leading to the emergence of new jobs that did not exist ten years ago, such as driverless car engineers, app developers, Big Data scientists, and drone operators. The workforce needs to be ready with the required skill set to gain from these. Vocational and other skilling programs will empower young learners and provide them with the necessary interdisciplinary knowledge to switch careers.
To meet the demand of the global job market, one needs to regularly upskill. Academic learning alone will not be enough to help one succeed. Therefore vocational training is becoming an integral component of the learning process. It allows people to stay relevant in the industry and collaborate with teams with the same skills, which leads to a successful career and higher profitability.
The writer is the Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Business Officer - Digital Business, Avanse Financial Services