Education vs Employability – How Emerging Technology is Changing the Job Market

Education and employability tend to be at odds with each other. While the vast majority of the population sees education as a means of secure income and social advancement, the system aims to enable as many people as possible to receive a common education. This discrepancy leaves most of the students frustrated as they invest a significant portion of their lives and significant resources in acquiring advanced degrees.

With the exception of education for licensed professions, such as medicine, law, accounting and engineering, there is a gap between what is taught in academic institutions and what can be applied commercially. in the economy. Much of education produces graduates who are at best semi-prepared for the real world. It is up to graduates to become employable through continuing education or internships.

Today, this progression from education to employment becomes even trickier as the economy becomes technology-intensive while the content of education remains conventional, even when delivered digitally. The mismatch between education and employability has created an employment challenge for the entire population.

This explains why even for a few low-paying government jobs, there are tens of thousands of graduate applicants. Moreover, obtaining a diploma has become the minimum qualification for jobs in the private sector which require at most a high school diploma. There are even MBAs who deliver pizza and MAs who drive taxis, as these jobs are relatively readily available and pay almost as much as entry-level jobs.

The most advertised jobs these days require skills in areas that are not directly or fully covered by general education, on which most of the population depends. Even in domain-specific institutions, there is a gap between what is taught and what is required by the industry.

Proliferation and advances in technology are changing the direction of the labor market. While many mainstream companies still advertise old job tags, they require at least essential technology skills. The highest-paying jobs are now in emerging areas of expertise, such as data engineering and analytics, platforms, robotics, internet of things, machine learning, extended reality, and technology. ‘artificial intelligence.

Businesses of all types and sizes are becoming dependent on new technologies and are looking for the talent that can give them an edge in the new world. Technology is embedded in every product and process and all work now involves a fairly significant level of technological understanding and expertise.

Now, medical students must learn to consult and operate remotely using digital communication, extended reality and robotics. Educators themselves must have the competence to teach in physical, hybrid and digital modes and produce digital educational content. The teaching and training job market is moving towards remote teaching, testing and assessment skills. In banking and finance, conventional brokers, accountants, investment bankers, and underwriters are falling short as processes become data-centric and automated systems initiate, price, and execute most transactions. Jobs now require people who can work with and alongside cognitive machines.

The education sector is responding to the rise of a new type of economy and work. There is a proliferation of online and hybrid courses in a wide variety of technology skills. However, much of this new education boom is opportunistic, and the formal education system continues to advance along with it. As a result, the labor market is moving further and further away from the general education system.

Policy makers and education providers must realize that formal education will lose its relevance if it fails to keep up with the impact of emerging technology on employability. The covid crisis has highlighted the vulnerability of traditional work and jobs and in the post covid world education must offer adequate understanding of new technologies and provide a high level of competence in working with tools and systems digital.

Technological change in work and business has become a major source of employability challenge for students whose educational institutions have failed to expose them to the disruptive changes introduced by emerging technologies.

Even before the world basically went online during covid, the first signs of disruptive changes in employability were already there. Data, cloud, mobile, machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics, 3D manufacturing, internet of things, etc. were already mentioned as new subjects to be studied.

Millions of traditional white-collar cognitive jobs had already disappeared before covid, especially jobs involving the recording and transfer of information and the execution of transactions.

Registering customers, taking orders, connecting buyer and seller, ticketing, answering basic customer questions, accepting payments, transferring money, managing stocks, financial securities trading and even creation were increasingly digitally automated long before the digital transformation during covid.

The covid crisis has meant that technological knowledge and skills have become essential for employability and pressure has increased on the education system to respond to technology-related employability.

The scarcity of relevant education is reflected in the scarcity of talent required to serve the new technocentric world. Workers with new skills are leaving and changing jobs with increasing frequency. As tens of millions of young people struggle to find suitable jobs, those with tech skills are enjoying a gold rush. Nearly 50% of all hires these days involve people with emerging technology skills.

Technology is also changing the way employers and job seekers discover each other and get things done. With remote work becoming easy and reliable, digital intermediaries are becoming popular with expertise seekers and cognitive workers.

The labor market is becoming more complex as employees moonlight and employer preference shifts from permanent employees to outsourcing work and hiring for specific projects.

In the new environment, only the fastest learners will survive, and the education system must learn quickly so that India’s half billion young people can find suitable employment in the emerging tech-driven job market.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


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