A staggering 83% professionals and freshers in India are planning to upskill in 2023: Great Learning Upskilling Trends Report 2023

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Bangalore February 14, 2023: Great Learning, one of the leading global edtech companies for higher education and professional training, has released the Indian chapter for the second edition of the ‘Upskilling Trends Report 2023’. This report helps understand the trends that shaped the professional upskilling landscape in India last year and can guide individuals and enterprises to chalk out the path forward to stay competitive in 2023 and beyond. The report is based on a profiling and survey of learners across India who pursued Great Learning’s programs last year. For the 2023 Upskilling Outlook, Great Learning surveyed a sample of 1000 working professionals and recent college graduates in India from different backgrounds. The enterprise trends in this report are from Great Learning’s business clients based in India. The enterprise training outlook is also furnished based on conversations with the same clients.

2023 Upskilling Outlook

The intent to upskill goes up vs 2022 with 83% Indians planning to upskill in 2023

The intent to upskill among Indians has increased by 4 percentage points from the previous year. In 2022, 79% of professionals were planning to upskill, while in 2023, that number has risen to 83%. The desire to upskill is slightly higher among men compared to women, with 83% male and 80% female professionals planning to upskill in 2023. The highest proportion of workforce who plan to upskill in 2023, are from IT/Tech and BFSI sectors, followed by Education/Training, Manufacturing, and Automobile industry. Indians are primarily looking to upskill in Software Development, Data Science and Analytics, Digital Marketing, Management, and AIML domains. Professionals with less than 3 years of experience are primarily looking to acquire software development skills, while professionals with 9+ years of experience are focused on acquiring management and leadership skills. In 2023, the primary motivation for Indians to upskill is career growth within their current organisation. This is followed by personal interest and the expectation of new job opportunities as a result of upgraded skills.

Upskilling has benefitted the careers of 85% professionals by either enabling a new job or by career growth within the same organisation or by switching job domain

Upskilling today has become a necessity for working professionals looking to advance their careers, and the ROI of these efforts is a key consideration. It’s not just about gaining new skills for the sake of learning, as these upskilling efforts need to have a clear career outcome. Professionals are increasingly able to transition into new domains with the help of upskilling. Upskilling helped 43% of professionals gain career growth in their own organisation, while 23% were able to switch to a different domain and 18% were able to secure a new job.

In 2022, more women with less than 8 years of experience invested time in upskilling

In general, more male professionals enrolled in upskilling programs in 2022, but the gap in representation becomes more pronounced at higher levels of work experience. This is even lower than the general industry trend for female representation at senior positions.

Upskilling at senior levels requires a significant time and effort commitment, and senior women professionals often lack the confidence to take on such a commitment, in addition to their other responsibilities.

Data Science was the top domain learners upskilled in 2022

Data literacy has become such an integral part of business so it’s no surprise that the most in-demand domain for upskilling among professionals was Data Science last year. It was followed by Software Engineering and Management. AI & Machine Learning as well as Cloud Computing programs were popular among professionals with 8+ years of work experience. Data Science, Software Engineering and Management programs were pursued mostly by entry-level professionals with 0-5 years of work experience. Cybersecurity was pursued by professionals across all work experience levels. With automation set to displace 85 million jobs globally by 2025, many Indian professionals are choosing to learn new digital technologies in order to stay relevant. The prospect of an increased salary, higher career growth and acquiring additional technical expertise has pushed professionals towards upskilling in new-age domains.

71% professionals in India are confident about keeping their jobs in 2023 despite overall economic slowdown

71% professionals in India are confident about keeping their jobs in 2023 despite the dire macroeconomic conditions. Another interesting thing to note is the stark difference in the confidence levels of freshers and entry-level professionals and the ones with more than 6 years of experience. While 63% of professionals with 0-3 years of experience are confident about retaining their job, this number jumps up to 83% for professionals with 6+ years of experience.

Upskilling Trends – Enterprise Perspective

82% of the L&D budgets by enterprises is being spent on training freshers

Employee training has today evolved to become an essential growth engine that drives businesses forward. Organisations are encouraging employees of all experience levels, from freshers to CXOs, to upskill and reskill, specifically to improve efficiency in business. The objective behind this is to obtain business efficiency through the existing workforce, rather than incurring more costs on hiring more resources.

A significant proportion of the investment is directed towards training of fresh graduates to equip them with additional skills not covered by college curricula. Initiatives for mid and senior-level executives focus on data-driven decision-making and technical training to help them keep pace with market trends.

ROI on the L&D initiatives are the key yardstick of success for enterprises

The success of a skill development program is no longer measured by only the number of hours the employee spends getting trained. Employers are now more attentive to other factors that contribute to the ROI.

Reduction in time to make freshers billable
Increase in skill capability based on certified employees
Greater internal mobility and improved retention
Decrease in employees’ time spent on the bench.

Talking about the report Hari Krishnan Nair Co-Founder, Great Learning, said “With a tighter job market in 2023, skill development will be as critical as ever. The increase in intent to upskill in 2023 among professionals is expected given how rapidly technology and business practices are evolving. The Global Upskilling Outlook 2023 offers an overview of the skills gap and market trends at a high level to students and professionals looking to learn relevant new-age skills and grow in their careers. It also intends to help L&D and Business Unit Heads become acquainted with how other enterprises are upskilling their employees, understand what motivates people to upskill, and devise a strategic approach to future-proof the organisation based on the trends and their impacts across geographies and industries.”

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