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Upskilling: A Key factor for a successful career

"When it comes to skills, your mantra should be 'Skilling,' 'Reskilling' and 'Upskilling.'"

- Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

Upskilling is advancing one's career by adding to the existing skills required for a particular profile and upgrading to the new changes that might have been in place for a while. As per the Harvard Business Review, "Upskilling is a longer-term investment in augmenting the knowledge, skills, and competencies..." Instead of getting stuck to the constancy of work, it is necessary that one also focuses on improving their overall efficiency by understanding and learning new topics significant for growth. Upskilling also allows higher satisfaction among individuals, improving their future prospects.

Significance of upskilling in current scenario:

  1. Upgradation: Adding to the existing skill set gives a lot of space for upgrading. Just like the operating system in a mobile phone has to be upgraded with the latest version. Similarly, our system of functioning and understanding different skills needs upskilling with time.

  2. Ensures customer satisfaction: As an entrepreneur or Intrapreneur, it is necessary to take care of the fact that the product or solution developed by you solves the pain point of a customer. Upskilling is an excellent help in this regard as it ensures that one has a better understanding of the customer demand and develops a solution around it.

  3. Enhances productivity: Upskilling helps people come up with fresh ideas every time, and they can do the task efficiently and quickly, improving overall productivity in the work environment. This is also beneficial for the performance of the person, as they can keep up with emerging trends and suggest ideas accordingly.

  4. Keep one at par: Upskilling helps you attain recognition more than anyone else as you develop an understanding of the same thing with a fresh and innovative perspective compared to the people around you. It ensures that "you are the best" in whatever model you adopt to solve a problem.

  5. Instill positivity: Many people try to upskill with their passions, hobbies, and much more and find themselves more satisfied and capable of doing things around them differently. They develop a more positive approach towards people and problems in their surroundings instead of witnessing them with a "laid-back" attitude.

Learning new resources to upgrade oneself helps to develop a multipronged strategy with regard to any business or start-up venture and emerge as a successful entrepreneur. To be on terms with the latest market demands and trends, upskilling is a must to get oneself at par with evolving technology.

Government initiatives and recommendations from international organisations:

- Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 3.0: The program launched by the Government of India to promote skill development has explicitly focussed on upskilling based on future needs (Industry 4.0). The digital training mode has helped the cause by covering a wider group population for upskilling and reskilling under the program.

- States like Andhra Pradesh have been conducting upskilling program courses for the students to excel further in their careers.

- As per the "Upskilling for shared prosperity" Report by World Economic Forum, upskilling is needed to create inclusive economies and societies worldwide. In this process, no one is left behind, and the process remains more sustainable.

- PwC's (PricewaterhouseCoopers) model for net economic impact suggests that if India upskills its workforce with OECD best industry practices, it can witness a GDP boost of Rs 629.97 billion by 2030 alone.

How can upskilling be achieved?

The upskilling process has to be an interconnected web formed by the government, private and public organisations, business leaders, individuals, and education providers. The main focus here should be to commit to a "comprehensive upskilling agenda." The current programs and initiatives in India by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship under the aegis of the Government of India are applaudable as it undertakes a substantial demographic dividend at its disposal for upskilling and reskilling them too from time to time.

Educational institutions should embrace the concept of "lifelong learning" instead of focusing on traditional rot learning. Everyone, including teachers, students, parents, and institution staff, should be exposed to upskilling to make them better in what they do and prepare for a better tomorrow. Skilling, upskilling, and reskilling will be the critical necessity for growth and the need to sustain as the best in whatever one does.