Technology skills such as Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML), digital marketing and design thinking will be important to drive the future growth, finds a survey by ed-tech firm Great Learning.
The analysis of 307 corporates (ranging from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to large corporate) focussed on finding out top skills that organisations will need to drive future performance and how they may plan to bridge the impending skill deficit among their ranks.
As per the survey, 25 per cent of all companies believe AI/ML are the most crucial skills needed to ensure an organisation's future growth. Digital marketing emerged second with 19 per cent finding it most crucial. It was followed by design thinking, which 10 per cent of companies indicated as most important. Besides, skills related to Internet of Things (IoT), robotic process automation (RPA) and natural language processing/generation (NLP/NLG) each garnered around 5 per cent votes.
Organisations have been lamenting about the technology skill gap in the country for long. No wonder a whopping 78 per cent companies accepted that further learning and skilling opportunities for employees are instrumental in boosting organisational performance.
Over 40 per cent companies said that they were looking to bridge the tech talent gap by upskilling their current workforce, while 37 per cent are using hiring to make up for the demand and supply gap. Interestingly, 22 per cent companies are hoping to beat the talent gap by outsourcing these roles.
Hari Krishnan Nair, Co-founder, Great Learning said, "Skilled employees will continue to be the biggest asset for any organisation going ahead and while options like lateral hiring and outsourcing may help in the short-term, from a cost and effectiveness point of view, upskilling is the best way to stay competitive in the long run."
In spite of the increased awareness around upskilling, the survey found out that 47 per cent companies do not have assigned budgets for upskilling their workforce. The rest of 53 per cent said that they have done it for tech upskilling.
When it comes to the size of upskilling budgets, close to 30 per cent organisations spend more than Rs 1 lakh per employee per annum on upskilling. In fact, around 14 per cent (43 companies) spend more than Rs 3 lakh per employee per annum for tech upskilling.
Around 50 per cent companies said that their tech upskilling programmes are either entirely or partially driven and funded by the company. Another 22 per cent said that these were driven by employees but either partially or fully reimbursed by the company. However, in 27 per cent of the cases, upskilling programmes were entirely up to the employee to drive and fund.