As job disruption intensifies due to adoption of next-gen technology, Internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) have emerged as the most sought-after courses for upskilling among mid-level and even senior executives. Technology professionals from all experience levels are going in for reskilling driven by digitisation, the need to stay relevant and for job security.
AI and IoT are, therefore, the hottest skills to acquire for 2018, as well as the fastest growing, according to research shared exclusively with TOI by Edureka, an online learning company that offers over 100 courses in trending technologies. Even hiring data suggests new technology trends such as AI, blockchain and cyber-security will sweep the market off conventional skills. AI, which seems to be becoming a mainstay in almost every form of technology, is going to pop up in all new platforms, devices or apps more and more through 2018, with over 50% firms implementing AI in their products, says a survey by Nasscom.
In an analysis of responses from a learner base of 17,000 across geographies, Edureka witnessed an increase of over 100% (in learners) for AI course in the last six months, while IoT showed an astronomical spurt of 200%. Though introduced in April, Edureka had earlier perceived a strong demand for the course's videos on its YouTube channel.
HR experts have emphasised the need for reskilling in 2018-19, but few IT employers have invested in upskilling their existing talent. However, professionals from all industries and experience levels want to stay ahead of the curve and are opting for it. Though mid-management professionals form the biggest chunk across technology categories, senior executives and CXOs are also opting to embellish their skills.More than 50% of learners have over 10 years of experience, while the IT-software industry has the biggest chunk of professionals upskilling with AI (77%) at the top. Surprisingly, banking and financial services sector is at second place (8.6%), with all other industries trailing behind, the survey said.
"The way of doing everything is dramatically changing. India is right in the middle of this storm because it has the largest pool of an aspiring young force, which is trying to stay current with the change. Its mid-management is trying to reskill so that they are not left on the roadside when this change becomes a tsunami. It also has the largest consumer population, which people want to analyse, understand and target. Thus, organisations are seeking professionals who can help them get ahead of the curve," says Vineet Nayar, former CEO of HCL Technologies.
Learners look for courses that will prepare them for a career track and future-proof their career while giving them flexibility, plenty of hands-on experience and access to technology upgrades. Vineet Chaturvedi, co-founder of Edureka, which has trained over 6,00,000 learners in the last six years, says, "A combination of skills is recommended for tech professionals looking to fast-track their career growth. A core skill, which is in demand, also needs to be augmented with upgrades and upcoming skills and this is the learning trend we have observed too."
A similar trend has been witnessed across other learning platforms too. Kashyap Dalal, co-founder and chief business officer of Simplilearn, says, "Organisations are seeking employees armed with specialised tech skills in these domains (AI and machine learning) and it's great to see IT professionals building careers where the growth is. At Simplilearn, AI and machine learning have become one of the fastest growing categories and we've witnessed a 300% spike each in our learner base over the last year."
Bengaluru leads in the global demand for reskilling, followed by Hyderabad and Chennai, which is also reflective of location of industries the learners belong to.