scorecardThe AI upskilling imperative to build a future-ready workforce
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The AI upskilling imperative to build a future-ready workforce

The AI upskilling imperative to build a future-ready workforce
Tech3 min read
Skill development has always been crucial, but recent technological advancements have raised the stakes. We are currently in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution, where automation and breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) are revolutionising the workplace. In this era of quick change and short half-life of skills, upskilling shouldn't be an afterthought. Instead, reskilling and upskilling have to evolve into requirements for effective professional development.

To understand the significance of upskilling for your career trajectory, it is important to recognise the ever-evolving nature of technology and the rapid pace of digital transformation. Business Insider India has been exploring how businesses and thought leaders are driving innovation by educating their staff on the technologies and skills that will shape the future.

In a panel discussion, Merlyn Mathew, Head of Delivery Excellence and Talent Supply Chain at Persistent Systems highlighted the changing dynamics of the industry when it came to leveraging upskilling to support their operations. She said, "The industry has changed in the last two and a half decades. When I first started working, it was all about technology, programming languages, and getting the job done offshore with little exposure to the client's end users. Employee roles were thus constrained, but digital transformation brought about the necessity for employees to improve themselves on a regular basis and adapt to different duties under the canopy of one position. A product development role today includes end-to-end product ownership, which involves client management and defining the end customer outcomes, which is now part of the complete product development lifecycle. And the training must be conducted accordingly."
The disruptive impact of technology
The job economy is being radically disrupted by evolving technologies. Keeping up with the pace of digital change poses a big employee training challenge for every organisation, as technology not only generates great business opportunities, but also obstacles and skill gaps for today's workforce. "The pace of change in technology has accelerated like never before," says Manoj Shikharkhane, Chief HRO, LTIMindtree, "so much so that the hype-cycle time of certain technologies has become shorter as opposed to the linear progression of technology two decades ago." He added that skilling, cross-skilling, upskilling, and reskilling have become imperative for staying relevant in today’s workforce.
The role of AI in upskilling
Rapid advances in artificial intelligence raises important questions on whether and how new technology impacts the need for employees to gain additional skills or retrain to succeed in an economy of the future. An increasing number of companies are pursuing such upskilling and reskilling initiatives, highlighting the importance of advancing knowledge in this area. "AI has a way of suggesting more hands-on ways to acquire knowledge based on a learner's specific needs. If the student is more visual, AI can recommend video lessons and infographics," says Rajiv Naithani, Chief People Officer, Infogain.

Rajesh Rai, VP, People Team and Head HR, GlobalLogic chimed in that AI’s ability to provide data-backed suggestions for learning paths is a significant advantage that was not accessible earlier. He added, "AI can greatly assist employees in determining what type of learning they require now and in the future. Given the importance of technology in today's workforce, this becomes crucial. The world has progressed from being static and manual to automatic and tech-driven to the point where AI can recommend what type of learning is best for a learner."
The challenges and returns
During the panel discussion, two key questions were raised. First, whether AI can predict individual retention of an upskilling course. And second, whether it is feasible to calculate a return on investments (RoI) for upskilling initiatives. Merlyn Mathew explains that, "If AI can keep the learner involved and provide a course that helps grow his/her knowledge and curiosity, that is what will entice them to stay and complete a course. The ROI can be calculated based on the quality of deliverables provided to your customers.”

"A learner does not start from zero in an organisation," says Arushee Aggarwal, Head of Coursera for Business in India. She further explains, "Coursera uses AI to administer a pre-examination so that a learner does not have to start training from the beginning but may pick up where they left off in terms of knowledge. As a result, if they fall into the intermediate level, Coursera will suggest training at that level."

By addressing the challenges and measuring RoI, organisations can ensure that upskilling programmes provide tangible benefits for both the employees and customers.

Disclaimer: This article is generated and published by the Insider Studios team. You can get in touch with them on