In a country as diverse and culturally rich as India, any ‘nation-first’ approach requires each of us to channel our energy towards honing the right skills so that we can assume greater responsibilities. Economic growth and social development in any country are propelled by the driving forces of skills and knowledge.
India has an advantage when it comes to meeting the changing demand for global talent. It is poised to have its share of the working-age population to total population reach its highest level at 68.9% by 2030. An estimated 65% of workers in India are aged 15 to 59, with a median age of 28.4 years compared to China’s 38.4 years. While this will give India a huge competitive advantage in terms of its workforce and the consumption power of a young population to drive the economy, it also presents a unique opportunity to harness the global potential of a skilled workforce.
However, we must be prepared. The prospect of having 65% of the population in the working-age group is both an opportunity and a challenge. It demands strategic planning and investment in education to ensure that the youth are equipped to meet the dynamic needs of the industry. The transformation of Industry 4.0 is predicted to displace 85 million jobs by 2025 but simultaneously create 97 million new roles in areas such as data analysis, AI, and cybersecurity.
This shift necessitates an agile and adaptive approach to education, ensuring that the workforce is prepared for the evolving demands of the global economy. For example, today AI courses symbolize cutting-edge learning in the field of technology. These courses are tailored to meet the global demand for AI professionals, opening new horizons for Indian youth. Only businesses that reskill and upskill their employees will compete and succeed in a dynamic and rapidly evolving global economy.
The last few years have seen a rise in the acceptance of online education with students and educators embracing and adapting to the online model. Today, online education is not just confined to school and college students. The transformation of the educational landscape has enabled many working professionals across age groups to enrol for skill-based courses to reskill or upskill. Skilling acts as a catalyst for change, fostering a culture of continuous learning, exploration, and growth. This ensures that quality skilling opportunities are not confined to specific regions or institutions but are available to all who seek to learn and grow.
The one-size-fits-all approach to education has given way to personalized learning experiences. AI-driven algorithms analyze learners' preferences, strengths, and weaknesses to create tailored learning pathways. This ensures that learners receive the instruction they need at their convenience and at a pace that suits them best, enhancing engagement and retention.
The change in education isn't confined to students alone. Educators are adopting new methodologies and skill-based courses to keep pace with the evolving landscape. The concept of lifelong learning is also being ingrained in the education system, ensuring that learning never stops.
This Independence Day, as we look over the horizon towards India in 2047, it's clear that education and skill development are more than just personal growth tools; they are national assets. They foster unity, innovation, and prosperity, transforming the diverse fabric of India into a cohesive force.
Mayank Kumar is co-founder and MD of upGrad.