There are ample employment opportunities for youngsters but the need of the hour is to acquire multi-disciplinary skills apart from in-depth knowledge of one’s core subject, said Pundi Sriram, Chief Product Officer of The Hindu, and Kalyan Mangalapalli, Director & Centre Head, NASSCOM CoE-IoT and AI.
They participated in a panel discussion on ‘Future Ready Skills for Employability and Entrepreneurship’, organised as part of the CII Visakhapatnam Industry Academia Innovation Conclave on ‘Academic Excellence through Industry Institute Collaboration,’ here on Friday.
A large number of students from various colleges attended the conclave. The session was moderated by Tarun Jami, founder, GreenJams, a startup involved in designing of green buildings.
Mr. Sriram urged the young students to think globally and move up to the next level by acquiring a wide range of skills. The three options available to job seekers were government jobs, acquiring multiple skills and looking for global opportunities. He said that entrepreneurship was not everybody’s cup of tea and one should go for it only if he/she has the right mindset and the willingness to take risks.
Mr. Kalyan echoed similar views on acquiring new skills and knowledge to keep pace with the rapid changes in technology. He elaborated that everything was available online and it was the responsibility of the individual to benefit from it.
On the challenges of acquiring skills, Mr. Sriram said that skills could be acquired both offline and online. Universities play many roles but would offer more of digital classes, which had become the norm in the post-COVID scenario.
Mr. Kalyan said that while vocational and communication skills could be acquired in universities, the rest could be learnt online. On reinventing the past, Mr. Kalyan said that the past keeps repeating like the ancient Gurukul system of learning. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations was there in different forms in the past in ancient India. He, however, said that technology could be used to reinvent the past.
Mr. Sriram, however, differed with him saying, “You have to solve the problems of the present and future like societal challenges and global warming. Dwelling too much on the past is not really helpful. On innovation, he said that it should be acquired from the school-level itself by trying out different options for any problem. He gave the example of ‘nano urea’ as an incredible innovation to reduce the cost of importing urea.
Mr. Kalyan said that innovation rises from necessity. Acknowledging a problem was the first step. Innovation should start from home and one should know the limitations. On the role of ‘happiness quotient’, Mr. Sriram said, “Happiness is also a skill and one should learn to be happy. Exercise releases stress, and makes one happy.