Why vocational education is the need of the hour

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Vocational education helps students constantly learn, unlearn, relearn and reinvent themselves to stay competitive in these challenging times

Vocational education helps students constantly learn, unlearn, relearn and reinvent themselves to stay competitive in these challenging times

Vocational education equips learners with practical and competency-based skills. Therefore, it attracts the attention of the general public. The pandemic has highlighted the need for upskilling and retraining in all sectors. The McKinsey Global Survey (2021) report on reskilling underscores the urgency of closing the skills gap across all sectors and also highlights that upskilling is the best way to eradicate the skills gap. Therefore, vocational education, refresher and retraining courses are undoubtedly among the most valuable assets today.

The government has also recognized this need and the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 aims to introduce at least 50% of learners into vocational education by 2025. Vocational education and training (VET) provides a return on higher investment because they have the potential to accelerate the careers of competent people. Also, these courses are not limited to any particular industry as vocational education extends to all learners in all industries.

Career acceleration

Right now, every individual is aiming for quick results, whether it’s moving from academics to a career or moving up the career ladder. To achieve this, one must be well equipped with practical knowledge, technological know-how and practical experience. Vocational education and other skills programs are designed to develop industry-specific skills such as AI, automation, and ML, as well as impart other soft skills such as leadership, critical thinking, decision making and emotional intelligence. According to the World Economic Forum, we are at a pivotal moment in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where an estimated one billion people need to retrain globally by 2030. In a rapidly changing ecosystem, companies are reassessing their work models and the capabilities of their workforce. Organizations seek candidates with new-age skills to navigate and sustain themselves in the VUCA world. Employees must constantly learn, unlearn, relearn and reinvent themselves to stay competitive in these challenging times.

Money-making opportunities

With demanding careers in every industry, new era skills are imperative to building a promising career. Employers in all sectors prefer candidates who have additional skills in addition to academic knowledge. There have been instances where organizations are willing to offer better compensation to applicants with a holistic knowledge that includes both academic and professional training.

It’s no secret that the network has a net worth. This adage is true, especially for those in VET, upskilling and retraining programmes. Aspirants who take these courses are part of a vast talent pool. By building networks, one can leverage them to find relevant jobs, gain meaningful knowledge, share cross-disciplinary knowledge, and build a lucrative career. Vocational education and other skills programs are great platforms for exchanging ideas, thereby getting noticed by like-minded talent.

Appearance of new professions

Digitization is causing rapid changes in the labor market, leading to the emergence of new jobs that did not exist a decade ago, such as driverless car engineers, app developers, big data scientists and drone operators. The workforce must be ready with the skill set required to take advantage of it. Vocational and other training programs will empower young learners and provide them with the interdisciplinary knowledge needed to change careers.

To meet the demands of the global labor market, you must regularly improve your skills. Academic learning alone will not be enough to achieve success. Therefore, vocational training becomes an integral part of the learning process. This allows people to stay relevant in the industry and collaborate with teams with the same skills, which leads to a successful career and higher profitability.

The editor is the Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Business Officer – Digital Business, Avanse Financial Services

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