In the days when university education was the purview of a privileged few, perhaps there was not the assumption that a degree had to be a springboard directly into a career. Those days are long gone. There was once a time when having any sort of degree would set you apart from the crowd by highlighting your intellectual prowess and opening a veritable source of potential employment opportunities. But with changing times and the graduate market becoming hugely saturated, the run for the appropriate job has no end if you solely rely on a degree. The future of work will not be degrees. It will be about desired professional skills you acquire to carve a niche in the market. Pre Covid-19, companies used to provide six months of professional training to the new employees, but eventually, this reduces the overall productivity. Thus, post-pandemic, the human resource requirement has drastically changed globally, and companies focus on hiring either experienced employees or graduates who are already professionally certified with the desired skill set to increase productivity and save on the resources to train a novice. This makes a degree all but a sole necessity for the job market and thereby increasing the value of professional upskilling courses.
Why the degree alone is no guarantee of a job? According to the survey, ‘Freelancing in America 2020’, 93% of freelancers with a four-year college degree say skills training was useful versus only 79 percent who say their college education was useful to the work they do now. Rapid technological change, combined with rising education costs, have made our traditional higher-education system an increasingly anachronistic and risky path. The cost of a college education is so high now that we have reached a tipping point at which the debt incurred often is not outweighed by the future earning potential of degrees. Degrees have not been still thought of as lifelong stamps of professional competency. Thus, we need to equip ourselves with the appropriate upskilling programs to meet the demand of the employer and opening new gates of earning by freelancing, professional training, and various new digital earning trends.
According to the CEO of Upwork, “The future of work will not be about degrees. More and more, it will be about skills”. He further added that “I have hired many programmers during my career. And what matters to me is not whether someone has a computer science degree but how well they can think and code.” In August 2020, jobs website Glassdoor listed “15 more companies that no longer require a degree,” including tech giants such as Apple, IBM, and Google highlighting the current online upskilling culture post-pandemic where the employers focus on practical knowledge and professional approach to problem-solving. Further, freelancers, the fastest-growing segment of the workforce, realize that education does not stop. It is a lifelong process, and they are nearly twice as likely to reskill. These are a few examples highlighting the importance of upskilling programs in this digital era where constant up-gradation with professional certification programs plays a vital role in catching up with the pace of current market trends.
WHAT IF NOT A DEGREE?
Obtaining a good degree is not enough, students must add value to it. You may be studying some esoteric subject at undergraduate degree level, but it is the underlying skills you develop rather than subject knowledge that will provide an edge in today’s international, competitive employment market. The fact is ‘degree might not be enough’. Employers demand skills and often work experience as well. Developing enterprise and interpersonal skills is crucial. Recruiters recognize the extra value that a graduate brings to an organization such as time management, independent thinking, intellectual acumen, unwinding complex tasks, and future potential. In addition to academic success, it is important graduates acquire professional and interpersonal skills by optimal usage of online professional programs to stand out from the competition and secure the perfect job.
How can online certification programs give a boost to your career?
A recent report by Infosys Ltd stated that even though as much as 70% of Indian youth are confident of possessing desired skills, however, on the face of it, 70% have a technical knowledge gap. How will the Indian Technology industry boom without skills? To acquire these skills, many Indians prefer studying from foreign universities, though it always has been a costly affair. Thus, reversing this trend and saving you traveling 10,000 miles, these skill-based courses are designed to bridge the gap between academia and industry and provide industrial exposure and professional skills.
A few weeks of dedicated learning through an online platform can land people the jobs they have always dreamed of. The graduation programs are indeed good but since the emphasis remains more on theory, the students lack the employability skills of practical implementation. The Indian education system makes Indians eligible and ready for a job, however, to match up to the role and responsibilities bestowed, one needs to showcase specialized skills being focused on in the professional online programs. Technology is one industry that is moving so fast that the skills you may have acquired last year might already have become stale and would need brushing up. Thus, another advantage is that these courses brush up your soft skills according to the current market trend keeping in mind that exhibiting technical knowledge without soft skills is of no use.
The need of the hour is therefore to improve the standard of technical and education by investing in the right online upskilling course. Even the government has realized the need to skill up its population and in the 2016 budget, laid out the objective of enhancing the skills of one crore youth over the next three years. The ministry has set aside a sum of Rs 1,700 crore for setting up 1,500 multi-skill training institutes in the country. Thereby, the prospect of higher education is only scary until you make the right decision of equipping yourselves with the right tools by online certification courses.
Remember, ‘The degree makes you academically eligible, but the certification programs allow you stand ahead of the pack by making you SKILLED.’