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BW Businessworld

Acquire Skills To Earn Better

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Top five IT majors will add nearly 250,000 employees, 60 per cent of them fresh from educational institutions in the coming year, according Avinash Vashistha, Chairman and Managing Director, Accenture India.

A candidate can expect better packages with a sector specific certification. Acquiring digital skills will be crucial as businesses are going digital. Even the graduates joining the major IT companies could improve their salary by up to 50 per cent by doing a skill course in any IT specialisation, said Vashistha. He was speaking at a skill development summit organised by All India Management Association, the national apex body of the management professionals, in India.

Given the abysmal placement figures across most technical and management institutions, Vashishtha’s remark brings a ray of hope. For instance, a student who completes a specific course on infrastructure management or analytics in his final semester during MBA would be entitled to get a better package, than his counterpart doing a general MBA.

One needs to make an informed choice on his modules. There is no defined means or counseling body to assist students to decide on the modules that suits a particular industry. A student needs to do a lot of networking, beyond just indulging in the regular curriculum to be able to gather the skills in the industry he wishes to apply, said Pramod Bhasin, Chairman, The Skill Academy and former CEO, Genpact, speaking at the summit.

Echoing the need to upskill students, Bhasin said, “Skills had to be made aspirational to raise participation in skill learning programmes.” He pointed out that in India only about 5 per cent of the workforce had certified skills compared to the majority in China.

Focus of the country’s skill development efforts should be towards its unorganised sector. “We must address the unorganised sector which employs 95 per cent of the country’s workforce. We need to apply the NOS and certification there,” said Bhasin.

India had to develop national occupational standards (NOS) for each type of skill for aligning education and training with the needs of the employers. “Every student who passes higher education should be empowered to get a job,” said Dilip Chenoy, CEO and Managing Director, NSDC.

NSDC is already working with the employers to develop occupational standards for different jobs and integrate those with training and education. Defining the skills for specific jobs posed a significant challenge, remarked Chenoy. Defining skills narrowly allowed easy standardisation, testing and certification whereas narrow definitions could become obsolete quickly.

Accenture, the firm that validates all numbers related to NSDC’s accomplishments, revealed that by 2030 India will add 249 million youth to its workforce, whereas China will deplete workforce by that time. The next largest addition will be only 19 million, in Pakistan. “India has an opportunity to provide workforce to the world, but without education and training that opportunity can also become an issue,” said Vashistha.