Upskilling and GenAI-buzzwords for future-ready businesses

By: Myleeta Aga Williams, CEO-International, upGrad | Tuesday, 31 October 2023

With Generative AI (Gen AI) led technological disruptions, the workplace is evolving at an unprecedented pace.

More than eight in ten business leaders expect humans and machines will work as integrated teams within their organization in the near future. This in turn necessitates a significant shift in the skills required for progress in the modern ever-evolving business ecosystem. A re-evaluation of existing skills and the development of new competencies is therefore critical to staying relevant in this fluid job landscape. Continuous upskilling and lifelong learning have become imperative to foster a workforce that is resilient, adaptable, and prepared to navigate complexities.

Continuous Upskilling- A Lifelong Commitment

In a future where 85% of jobs are expected to be transformed due to the disruptive influence of Gen AI, the importance of continuous skilling cannot be overstated.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023, there is a significant emphasis on the role of automation and human-machine collaboration in shaping the future of work. This report suggests that 50% of all employees will need reskilling in the next five years, highlighting the dynamic nature of in-demand skills across various industries.

One of the main barriers to becoming a successful business by the end of this decade is a lack of workforce readiness. With continuous upskilling and lifelong learning becoming the new paradigm, fostering an enabling culture at work is critical for success. The emergence of Education companies has been pivotal in driving this change, particularly in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

Education Companies – A Catalyst for Change

Education companies that adapted to technological innovations have led an educational revolution from the front. These companies backed by stronger technological advancements have emerged as powerful catalysts for change, particularly in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, thus promoting inclusive and equitable education with new-age pedagogies.

The APAC region has become a significant hub for EdTech innovation, accounting for more than 40% of the global EdTech market. Companies in this region are making remarkable strides in promoting inclusive education, creating a plethora of opportunities for the youth, and bridging the digital divide. They are leveraging technology to democratize education, ensuring that learning resources are accessible to all, irrespective of geographical or socio-economic barriers.

More than eight in ten business leaders expect humans and machines will work as integrated teams within their organization in the near future. This in turn necessitates a significant shift in the skills required for progress in the modern ever-evolving business ecosystem. Studies show that schools will need to teach how to learn rather than what to learn to prepare students for jobs that don’t exist yet.

Soft Skills – Human Touch in a World Dominated by Tech

Soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, communication, and collaboration, are increasingly recognized as essential components of professional success. In a world dominated by technology and data, these human-centric skills facilitate effective interaction, problem-solving, and decision-making. Soft skills facilitate effective interactions and empathy in professional settings. The human touch, facilitated by soft skills, is the cornerstone of meaningful and beneficial relationships in the workplace.

Developing skills such as critical thinking and adaptability is essential in navigating the complexities of business both at the tactical and strategic levels. They are instrumental in moulding the next generation of leaders equipped with the right values and competencies to thrive in an evolving environment.

Global Perspective in Higher Education

The internationalization of higher education, exemplified by education companies like upGrad, is playing a significant role in taking India to the world stage. EdTech platforms are expanding the horizons of higher education and facilitating global access to India’s robust higher education sector, promoting international collaboration and cross-cultural learning.

Education companies help to broaden the horizons of learners ensuring that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to thrive in a globalized world. It also exposes them to global perspectives, which prepares them for international opportunities and enhances their global competitiveness.

A Vision for a ‘Superforce’

The possibilities are immense and EdTech has the responsibility to lay the foundation for nurturing the leaders of tomorrow through the confluence of a culture of continuous upskilling and lifetime learning with EdTech.  Nurturing this ‘Superforce’ requires a strategic vision, embracing the transformative potentials of emerging technologies partnered with innovative ways of teaching.  Crafting a talent force that will be equipped with all the skills necessary to navigate the challenges of the future workplace with resilience and adaptability will allow businesses to grasp the mantle and transform to play a defining role in the dynamic landscape of the future.

About the Author: Myleeta Aga Williams is an accomplished, inclusive, and culturally aware leader with experience across digital and media businesses in multiple countries and functions and a proven track record of delivering strategic objectives through inclusive, cross-functional leadership in the areas of digital engagement, sales and negotiation, distribution partnerships, and content creation, with experience in building high-performing, value-driven teams from the ground up.