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MOOCS – Bridging the Skills Gap Between Employers and Employees

To cope with the current workforce needs and culture, employers are seeking employees who are skilled in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Big Data. This is a skill set that most Indian colleges and universities do not include in their curriculum.

Amit Goyal |

Updated:July 11, 2018, 12:17 PM IST
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MOOCS – Bridging the Skills Gap Between Employers and Employees
Image for representational purposes.
The World Economic Forum has already predicted that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics will take away more than 5 million jobs by 2020. In addition to the rising threat of automation and machine learning, increasingly competitive job market is making the lives of employees no easier. The dynamics have changed considerably, and having a college degree no longer guarantees a job. This is because rapidly advancing technology has transformed many jobs and redefined the sought-after skills for professional success.

To cope with the current workforce needs and culture, employers are seeking employees who are skilled in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Big Data. This is a skill set that most Indian colleges and universities do not include in their curriculum.

But it’s not just AI and engineering skills that are in-demand these days. With business going global and dealing with international clients becoming a norm, communication and writing skills, known as soft skills, are more important than ever for potential employees. These days such sought after skills are not being taught widely across India.

According to findings of SEED Report 2016, (Student Enrichment and Employment Development), the employment scenario in India has changed for the better, but the curriculum continues to lag behind. Most college curriculums in India are still not equipped enough to teach in-demand, job-ready skills.

Aspiring Minds, India’s leading employability solutions company, recently conducted a test and the numbers reveal that India has almost 80 lakh engineering diploma holders entering the job market every year. Almost 20% of them are employable, but do not find jobs. Another report by ASSOCHAM presents that out of lakhs of business graduates produced every year from over 5,500 B-schools in India, only 7% are employable. There is a major gap between learners, potential employees and employers.

With all of these factors at play in India’s education and professional landscape, MOOCs offer a solution in for employees and employers.

MOOCs (Massive Online Open Course) help bridge the gap between what employers want and what the skills job seekers need. Job seekers in India now do not need to depend on their traditional education alone, but can take an unbundled approach to education and pick and chose the online courses and programmes they need to advance their skills and expertise

One example of this unbundled approach to education is with the MicroMasters credential on edX. MicroMasters programmes meet the needs of top corporations and provide learners with valuable knowledge and a career-applicable credential for highly competitive in-demand fields, while also providing a new path to a Master’s degree. Adding MicroMasters to a resume/CV or LinkedIn can help one advance his or her career.

In fact, edX recently launched a major initiative with Tech Mahindra, a multinational IT company headquartered in India, to help the company reskill 117,000 of its employees located in 90 countries.

Tech Mahindra employees have access to courses and programs on edX in high-demand areas such as cybersecurity, virtual reality, machine learning, and big data and analytics. Tech Mahindra also committed to selecting high performers in MicroMasters programmes who are interested in joining Tech Mahindra for interviews with the company.

Many are using online learning to upskill or reskill to get a new job or to do better in their current career. MOOCs make it easy to learn from any top university across the world from home and since courses are online, they are easily updatable to stay in sync with the latest job trends and workforce needs.

India has a large youth population and MOOCS can be a perfect answer to job woes considering online learning’s impact and cost effectiveness. MOOCs are one of the latest progressions in the education sector and have the potential to go a long way in India. By embracing flexible, online learning programmes that expand access to higher level and continuous education, India can pave the way for democratization of quality education for all.

Amit Goyal is the India head of edX, a MOOC provider. Views are personal

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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