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Graphically Speaking

An Upskill Task
A technological revolution is here, but Indians lack the skills to reap its rewards

As we segue into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we are confronted with rapid changes and countless challenges. But, the biggest risk that we, as humans, face today (besides climate change) is that of becoming obsolete, of being unable to adapt. A recent Coursera report is here to give us a reality check of how we stack up against technological developments — a study of our employability in the coming years. And for a country that is grappling with high unemployment, it’s not-so-good news.

The Coursera Global Skills Index (GSI) has benchmarked 60 countries and 10 industries for business, technology, and data science skills. According to the report, two-thirds of the world’s population is falling behind in critical skills, including 90% of developing economies. While Europe continues to be the global skills leader, India ranks 50 in business, 44 in technology, and 51 in data science. The world’s second most populated nation is classified ‘lagging’ (See: Ranking) in two out of three skills needed for the coming jobs revolution, while it is ‘emerging’ in one — technological skills. It fares badly when compared to its peers, namely China, which is ranked slightly higher on all three scales. However, the report points to a silver lining — the opportunity to ‘upskill’ talent. It notes that India’s jump to the eighth position in the Asia Pacific region in computer-related skills is driven by its large IT industry, that is heavily investing in moving up the value chain. That can only be achieved by skilling employees in cutting-edge technologies, and supporting the workforce. The impact of automation is yet to be felt deeply in a developing region, but in the end, it will come down to survival of the fittest.

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