Many people have serious academic degrees but cannot find a job, and sadly their degrees are so limited that they cannot even think about how to create a job for themselves. —Haki R. Madhubuti

Looking at the current job market, one can’t help but solemnly appreciate just how fitting this saying has become.

The demands of the job industry are changing more rapidly than ever before due to technological developments. The industry has now become so volatile that some skill sets that seemed important until last year have become irrelevant this year. Similarly, the skills that are of utmost importance now may not be relevant in the coming five years.

As per a joint report published by industry lobbies Ficci and Nasscom, 37% of the Indian workforce will be in jobs demanding drastically different skill sets by 2022.

This unfavourable situation is understandably a source of concern for the current generation, i.e., millennials, because by the time they start looking for work, they might find themselves to be woefully underprepared to satisfy the requirements of companies that are looking for skilled individuals who can accomplish a wide variety of tasks.

Today, India is one of the youngest nations in the world, with more than 62% of the population in the working age group. Around 250 million young people will be joining the workforce over the next decade. The requirement of new skills and the level of competition in the future will be so high that millennials will have no choice but to skill themselves multiple times over to survive in their field.

At the pace at which industry is changing, millennials need to accept the fact that they’ll need to educate themselves both on and off the job to efficiently accomplish a wide variety of tasks spanning multiple job descriptions.

Unlike the previous generation—where education used to stop once employed—with the life cycle of a skill becoming shorter, it is likely millennials will need to upskill 15-20 times to make sure that they have the opportunity to grow and have a successful and satisfying career; one degree is not enough anymore.

As the job industry will become more and more volatile with every passing year, millennials will have to equip themselves appropriately to deal with these impending changes. But that’s not enough; they’ll need to equip themselves with skills synced with ever-changing trends beforehand to clinch the opportunity on time.

We at Shine.com recently conducted an internal study and found out that skills related to Big Data, GST and digital marketing are going to continue to be in huge demand in the coming six months. Currently, there are few candidates skilled in these fields.

Our study also revealed that there will be a shortage of skilled candidates in these fields. The study also showed that a majority of candidates who possess professional certifications are paid more than the regular candidates.

Similarly, a majority of recruiters consider skills and professional certifications as a key parameter to shortlist candidates. This demonstrates how upskilling will become an important tool for working professionals to survive in this ever-changing job industry.

A few of the trends that will dominate the job industry in the coming years:

• Big Data

• Artificial intelligence

• Robotics

• Analytics

Significant developments in these areas will shake up the hiring sector and will revamp the day-to-day functioning of companies across industries.

How can a millennial keep up with this rapid pace of change and upskill without losing time? The answer can be found in the substantial number of e-learning portals that have been set up for the sole purpose of providing individuals with a highly accessible and convenient way to attain knowledge.

Websites like Shine Learning take this one step further by not just providing self-learning options but also predicting emerging trends. Shine Learning uses the recruitment industry insights of Shine.com to predict emerging skill sets based on recruiter searches and maps it to the right selection of courses.

Since the portal follows a marketplace model instead of the exclusive content model of most other players in the industry, it allows Shine Learning to source the latest courses available in the market, both from established and upcoming cutting-edge course providers.

So while the job market might be changing at an alarming rate, it’s not all doom and gloom. The workforce needs to align itself with the fact that learning will be a more continuous process in the future and not a one-time thing. And there are enough avenues for them to learn the skills they need in the comfort of their own home while still working in their current job.

Zairus Master is chief executive officer of Shine.com.

HT Media Ltd, Mint’s publisher, owns Shine.com.

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