New Delhi, March 23, 2022: Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), has released findings from a new research report showing that the need for digital skills training became more acute during the pandemic, with 95% of workers in India reporting they need more digital skills – the ability and knowledge to apply digital technologies for tasks in the workplace – to cope with changes in their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report found that over the next year, the number of India workers requiring digital skills for their jobs is projected to increase by 27.3 million, representing 7% of India’s workforce. Despite this, only 45% of employers in India have a training plan in place, which could affect their competitiveness in such areas as productivity, innovation, and employee retention.
The “Building Digital Skills for the Changing Workforce” report, prepared by strategy and economics consulting firm AlphaBeta, and commissioned by AWS, surveyed 1,012 digitally skilled workers, in both technology and non-technology roles, and 303 employers in India, with representation from public, private, and non-profit sectors of different sizes and industries. The report also found that the ability to use cloud-based tools, such as cloud developer tools, as well as online collaboration, accounting, and customer relationship management (CRM) software, will be the most in-demand skill required by employers by 2025, followed by technical support skills, and cybersecurity skills. It also highlights the need for more advanced cloud computing skills, including machine learning and cloud architecture design, which emerged as the fifth and sixth most in demand digital skills by employers in India by 2025. These skills are expected to be in high demand in businesses from healthcare to agriculture, fintech to media and entertainment.
By 2025, 63% of workers in India feel they will require training in cloud-related skills to progress in their careers. Among these workers who feel that they require training in cloud-related skills, 45% feel that they need to learn how to make use of cloud-based tools in their work, 24% of workers also feel that they will require training in migrating on-premises facilities to the cloud, and 32% believe they will require cloud architecture design skills. Employers who support skills training programs see significant benefits, with 92% reporting improved employee productivity, 92% stating they were able to fast-track their digitization goals, 92% achieving cost efficiencies, 90% reporting higher employee retention, and 91% seeing increased revenue.
Genevieve Lim, Director for APAC, AlphaBeta (part of Access Partnership), said, “While the need for digital skills has been growing for years, the research shows that job changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated the need for more training for both tech and non-tech workers on digital capabilities in India. Organizations have accelerated their digitization process to cope with the pandemic and ensure their long-term competitiveness. Transitioning into a digital-first economy will help countries’ recovery from COVID-19 and secure a stronger economic future. There is an urgent need for governments to work together with employers, training providers, and workers to meet these diverse and growing digital learning needs.”
The lack of time to pursue training is the most commonly faced barrier to digital skilling, with 77% of workers in India citing this. To address this barrier, workers can take courses in modular, micro-skills that are available on-demand, such as the NASSCOM FutureSkills initiative, which curates learning content from global providers to train and certify IT professionals in emerging technologies, while governments can work with industry to develop short-term micro-skills training courses. Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM, added, “Natural evolution and a sense of urgency created by the pandemic have led to a rapid rise in the adoption of digital technologies across the board, leading to an accelerated increase in the demand for trained digital talent. Skilling at scale must be a national priority and become India’s competitive edge to enable the country grow as the global powerhouse for developing technological talent. To thrive in a digital future, new formats of skilling programs on emerging technologies must be built and delivered at a massive scale. NASSCOM FutureSkills Prime aims to enable the talent pool in India to develop competence in emerging technologies that will shape India’s techade across domains. Technologies such as cloud computing have seen rapid adoption, and courses such as the AWS Cloud Master Class on FutureSkills Prime provide a gateway for aspirational learners to build new skills and align to the fast-changing industry demands.”
Download the research report: “Building Digital Skills for the Changing Workforce”.