Millenials are upskilling for a secured financial future

Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020. They represent the future of economic growth in India, and like millennials all over the world, their experiences and behaviors are very different from their parents. Having come into the world during a time of technological advancement, globalization, and economic disruption, they are very proactive about their careers and lifestyles.

Compared to older generations, this segment of population is the most focused on its financial future. Millennials want to save for life-changing events like a first home, having a child, or starting an entrepreneurial venture. They want global products that can function effectively in their local environment and appreciate experiences that cater to their individual tastes. They also want to have disposable income to spend on foreign holidays, fancy vehicles, and more.

So it’s no surprise that today’s working professionals are actively looking at different and more sophisticated investment options to provide them with a quicker and more satisfying ROI.

In addition to bonds, stock-trading, and recurring deposits, most individuals in the age group of 23-35 are now investing a set amount of money, every 6-8 months, in acquiring new skills.

Why are they doing this?
Millennials know that a career is no longer about working your way up a narrowly defined ladder. Industries are dynamic and ever-evolving. Graduating from tier I engineering or management institutes is not enough to secure a rewarding career path. The world is on the cusp of technological breakthroughs in fields like artificial intelligence and large-scale automation that have the potential to transform the nature of most workplaces overnight. Skills, tools, and practices that are in-demand today can easily be obsolete tomorrow.

So millennials are proactively taking steps to build long-lasting careers.

One way they are doing that is by taking training courses that will prepare them for valuable, industry-recognized certifications. Certification are a popular option as they don’t just benefit a career over the long term, but also ensure a solid ROI within 12 months through a better job or salary increase. With sky-high demand for professionals skilled in technologies like Big Data, Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing and more, one is easily bound to get paid 30 – 40 % more after getting a professional certification in a new-age technology.

Organizations across a range of industries are also making the shift. The most important part of a new employee’s induction into the company is training and development. Fresh college graduates are the most likely to receive training, with the likelihood decreasing as professionals get closer to the mid-career level. However, even employees who have many years of experience under their belt can only learn so much if they haven’t received formal training in a while.

The fastest growing domains today are all relatively new – according to the McKinsey Global Report, the emerging field of Big Data will need 1.5 million managers by 2018. According to Forrester Research, the global Cloud Computing market will grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to $241 billion in 2020.
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While many businesses still rely only on an employee’s prior experience when hiring, increasingly, they realize that the way to get the best out of their employees and earn the most for their businesses is by investing resources in upskilling their entire workforce.

ManpowerGroup India MD A G Rao has said that Manpower Group surveys clearly show that millennials understand the need for lifelong skill development – 93% of young working professionals surveyed were willing to spend both time and money to acquire new skills. Four out of five respondents said that the opportunity to learn new skills was a key factor when considering a new job offer, and that over 20% of respondents intended to take an extended break from work to upskill via certification training.

According to data from Simplilearn Career Data Labs, individuals, on average, spend Rs 15,000-20,000 per year on upskilling, and this can go up to Rs 40,000-50,000 if they are looking for skills training that can provide them with a more immediate ROI in the form of a salary increase.
A more recent report from the Manpower Group also found that 83% of millennials believe that on-going skill development is crucial for their future and career. So up-skilling has definitely become the new saving and investment choice for millennials for a secure financial future.

(The article is authored by Krishna Kumar, Founder & CEO, Simplilearn)

(Image: Thinkstock)
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