As the UN observesWorld Youth Skills Day 2022, let’s take a look at the emerging skills of tomorrow and some futuristic courses designed around them
The theme for World Youth Skills Day 2022 is “Transforming youth skills for the future”.This year, the United Nations (UN) is focussing on how multiple worldwide crises have accelerated several transitions in the traditional workplace, and how this rapid transformation is generating an atmosphere of uncertainty regarding skills and competencies that will be in demand once the world normalizes.
An hour of crisis
A growing youth population, rising unemployment, and unpredictable shifts in the labor market and in the world economy due to technological developments are just some of the reasons why we must provide future generations with the right technical and entrepreneurial skills, as well as the correct mindset needed to cope with a changing world. The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development clearly stress that equipping the youth with future-ready skills is the need of the hour.
Education and training systems need to respond to this challenge. Quality technical and vocational education and training must be made accessible and affordable. Such technical and vocational training can equip youth with skills that are in demand at the workplace, as well as prepare them for self-employment.
Skills for tomorrow
Technical and vocational education and training (abbreviated as TVET by the UN) appear to be the cornerstone for upskilling tomorrow’s youth. TVET is well placed to help address the challenges faced by today’s youth through multiple channels. These comprise reducing access barriers to careers and workplaces, ensuring that skills gained are recognized and certified, and offering skills development opportunities for out-of-school youth and those not in employment, education, or training.
World Youth Skills Day provides an excellent opportunity for global dialogue between young people and technical TVET institutions. Across the world, TVET providers are looking for solutions to meet the rapidly changing conditions in the world of work. Knowing what new qualifications and competencies are demanded at an ever-increasing pace, and how to integrate these into curricula and effectively teach them will help TVET providers to remain relevant to learners, businesses, and social bodies in their skills and innovation ecosystem.
Let’s take a look at the emerging skill sets for tomorrow that are currently in demand, and some futuristic courses designed around them.
The exciting world of Data Science
No business can now deny the ever-growing importance of data. Careers based on Data Science and its various facets are, therefore, consistently witnessing an upward demand curve. But the skillset is in dire short supply – primarily because even a few years ago no one thought of Data Science as a standalone domain. Back then, data analysis requirements were generally handled by professionals from the fields of computer science, mathematics, and statistics.
But that approach is now history. As industry demands for data skills skyrocket, forward-looking institutes are designing an array of courses to meet the skill shortage – all under the overarching domain of Data Science. Coupled with the two cutting-edge expertise of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), visionary universities are offering various postgraduate programs in Data Science. In fact, such a comprehensive course is currently the only sure entry point to the endless possibilities of Data Science – a deep dive that ensures extensive coverage of all its aspects, both theoretical and hands-on.
So, what are the skillsets that can be developed? As Business Analytics and Data Science lie at the intersection of multiple disciplines, a Data Science student picks up diverse skillset including Statistics, Machine Learning, Programming, Business Management, and Communication.
- Technology skills lie at the forefront and involve learning a wide range of tools used to extract, analyze and visualize data. The in-demand tools right now include Python, R, Spark, Excel, SQL, SAS, Hadoop, MongoDB (NoSQL), Amazon AWS (EMR / EC2), QlikView, and Tableau.
- Statistical modeling and analytical skills combine Statistics, Data Mining, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning techniques, as well as the ability to create predictive models.
- Business management skills are an important aspect because the end objective is the application of data science to business situations. Naturally, the curricula cover business functions like marketing, finance, human resources, operations, and the application of analytics in verticals like BFSI, retail, telecom, healthcare, etc.
- And finally, communication and visualization skills allow a Data Scientist to tell an effective story through data and infographics – because it is the interpretation of data that counts.
The critical role of Data Engineering
Data engineering is the process of transforming raw data into valuable information. It has emerged as a top career choice in today’s data-driven world. It is a critical process for businesses that want to make data-driven decisions and is becoming more important with the advent and availability of data in our daily lives. Data engineers are skilled in the collection of data, storing it, parsing it for patterns and insights, and leveraging machine learning to analyze the data. Their job requires a critical understanding of both software development tools as well as business skills required to convert that data into valuable information.
It is a booming career opportunity because while the supply-demand gap in this rapidly growing sector is galloping, a postgraduate program in Data Engineering can groom professionals to become immediately productive for the organization. Data engineers are equipped with the know-how of existing tools and technologies for Data Management and Data Modelling as well as the paradigms of Distributed Systems and Cloud Computing. Such programs focus on: (i)working with traditional data, (ii) engineering platforms for Big Data, and (iii) running enterprise business on Cloud.
A successful student would acquire the following skillsets:
- Re-engineering Enterprise Data Architecture
- Working with relational and NoSQL data models
- Creating scalable and efficient data warehouses
- Working efficiently with massive datasets
- Building and interacting with a Cloud-based Data Warehouse
- Automating and monitoring data pipelines
- Developing proficiency in Stream Processing using Cloud Data Lake
- Solving use cases through Big Data technologies
Even working executives can attend Data Engineering courses
The ever-relevant Management courses
Management remains the cornerstone of a successful and rewarding career. With new-age industries rapidly emerging, new specialties and sub-domains in Management courses are much sought after. Top business schools aim to empower students with the knowledge, skills, analytical ability, and management perspectives needed to provide leadership to business enterprises in a world that is becoming increasingly digital and fiercely competitive. Students engage in learning the fundamentals of business and their application in the real world, and how to think and apply analytical tools for intelligent decision-making.
Any respectable postgraduate Management course always lays the foundation with classic skillsets that cover Business Functions (Economics, Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Operations), Soft Skills (Communications, Business Ethics), and Digital Skills (Data Science, Data Visualization, Digital Business Management, Fintech)
Based on the foundation, a comprehensive course should proceed to new-age requirements. Digital transformation now occupies the core of almost every industry, and the students must learn to facilitate responsiveness and adaptiveness of activities and structures related to the digital age. Digital Ready Super Specialisations are being offered by visionary institutes. To keep such courses relevant, top business schools collaborate extensively with the industry and strike a balance while designing the curriculum with the right mix of theoretical knowledge, practical understanding, and skill development. Praxis fine-tune course content.
Some of the in-demand specializations in Management are:
- Digital HR Management
- Business Analytics
- Digital Business Management
- Financial Risk Management
- Commercial Banking and Project Financing
- Consumer Insights and Market Intelligence
Skills are key to employment – and skills development is the primary means of enabling young people to achieve a rewarding career. Both the industry and the educational institutes must collaborate to reinforce the idea at all levels, and celebrating theWorld Youth Skills Day in the right spirit is a major step in that process.
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