Employability skills are a must in the current job market
Nagendran S, Executive VP, MeritTrac Services
Industry has been trying to address the new generation, and disruption is the new normal. The generation in educational institutions today are not the same as what they used to be 15 years ago. The expectations from key stakeholders – industry and students — have changed drastically. The traditional model of teaching and learning will not be able to address the gap. With its ‘fast-food’ approach, finishing schools have not been able to address this problem either. Moreover, much of the training is focused on ensuring that candidates perform well in job interviews. But, it does not imbibe skills that will help them succeed at the job in particular, and life in general.
India’s demographic dividend will be a turn into burden if we continue to have only 20% of our graduates being employable. The evident gap in the industry requirements and academic curriculum has been pointed by experts as the most common reason for this figure. There is an opinion among stakeholders that most of the teaching – learning is academic and not related to the real world jobs.
With the rise in discussions on the fall in employability skills among graduates, everyone must take up the responsibility of upskilling workforce. While schools, colleges and employers play a major role in skilling their employees, the onus is on the candidates themselves to take up the mantle and equip themselves with the necessary skills.
Keeping in mind the current job market, there are several skills that one must have regardless of what field they are working in. Some of these skills that are mandatory in today’s workplace are listed below.
Communication – This is one skill that is touted as the must-have skill to do well on a job in an environment where interactions are unavoidable, which is the case with most jobs today. All jobs will involve you communicating in some form or the other, either face-to-face or through emails, messages, calls, video conferences etc. This could be with your internal stakeholders or even with external ones. Effective communication skills also include the ability to listen and take in whatever the other person is saying and to accept feedback and criticism.
Analytical ability – Gone are the days when knowledge helped people find handsome paying jobs. The Internet and technology has ‘democratized knowledge’ which has ceased to be a differentiator. Organizations are looking at people who have the ability to analyze situations and apply knowledge to create new opportunities or prevent challenges.
Teamwork – This skill goes hand-in-hand with communication. The ability to work collaboratively with others to achieve the best results is a necessary skill for any individual. One must also be equipped to handle conflicts while participating and leading a team.
Technology –The evolution of technology has changed the dynamics of job in nearly every facet. Soon, we will encounter situation where technology will take decisions and perform tasks. Being up to date with technology tools and the ability to work efficiently with them is a necessary skill to ensure that time and resources are not spent on training.
Learnability– The only way one can really stay ahead of industry and keep with the changing times is by constantly skilling themselves in new areas and avenues. Organizations have realized that a large number of candidates they have hired for specific skills do not work on the same for more than a few years. It is important for these skilled employees to show the eagerness to learn new skills to be able to consistently contribute to the organization in these changing times.
About the Author –
Executive Vice President
Mr. Nagendran heads Solutions & Business Development at MeritTrac. An engineering graduate from Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai and an MBA from Bellevue University, NE, USA, Nagendran has rich experience of working with engineering and technology based companies in his career spanning over two decades. During this tenure, Nagendran contributed extensively in developing applications and solutions to various customers for solving their business problems. In his career, Nagendran has been in the forefront of imparting skills on products and business functions and carries the experience of moving across products, services and markets.
Nagendran has in the past held leadership positions in companies like Larsen & Toubro and Sify Technologies where he put his executive leadership, people management, team building and strategizing skills to best effect. Through his work experience, he has garnered deep knowledge in ICT, Enterprise Telecom, Networks, IT Infrastructure and Data Center & Remote Infrastructure Management.
Nagendran has a flair for learning for real life and carries a bigger ambition of making a difference to a large section of people in their life.