Demand for upskilling is expected to further increase in 2022 as new technology concepts such as Web 3.0 and metaverse take center stage, creating new job opportunities for developers, engineers globally.
Web 3.0 is the third generation of the Internet and it is expected to be a decentralized version where people have control over their data, is more transparent, and accessible to all. Gartner defines a metaverse as a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality.
The intent to upskill has already touched a record high this year with 79% professionals, including freshers, planning to upskill themselves, as jobs in newer domains emerge, said a report titled ‘Upskilling Outlook in India 2022’ by Great Learning, an edtech company for higher education and professional upskilling.Facebook, for instance, said recently that it is hiring 10,000 skilled professionals in Europe to help build its metaverse vision. This demonstrates an innate need for education and development of practical skill sets for India to get upskilled in technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain – critical in the world of the metaverse.
The employment opportunities that will be generated because of metaverse is leading more people to upskill in associated technologies. “Metaverse is in its nascent stage; However, with intersection of AI, VR, blockchain, AR and 5G, it will be the next big thing in the digital world. Metaverse will create the most significant employment opportunities and redefine the future. Upskilling in domains such as Web 3.0, metaverse, NFTs will drive growth in the industry,” said Siva Prasad Nanduri, business head – IT Staffing – TeamLease Digital.
By 2026, a quarter of people will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, social activity or entertainment, according to Gartner.
To be sure, even top Indian IT services firms like Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), Infosys Ltd, Wipro Ltd, and HCL Technologies Ltd are piloting new initiatives for the metaverse, which is expected to create demand for niche talent. “While it’s an emerging area, large IT players have made initial investments on virtual laboratories and gearing up to get a large market share through the opportunity provided by the metaverse,” Nanduri said.
Sarita Digumarti, chief learning officer, UNext Learning concurs with the view. “We can certainly expect to see twice the increase in demand for upskilling among professionals and individuals in these new technologies than what we witness in 2021,” she said.
“Currently, there is lack of curriculum development around Web 3.0, so new graduates joining the workforce have little knowledge. Enterprises should anchor upskilling their workforce and the government must prioritize funding for upskilling initiatives in the emerging tech space to leapfrog ahead,” said Nirmal Singh, founder and CEO, Wheebox, a skill assessment company.
Among metro cities, Mumbai has invested the most in upskilling this year, followed by Delhi and Hyderabad. However, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad are still the topmost cities when it comes to demand for tech and data domains, according to Great Learning data. With the rise in remote working and online hiring, tier-2, -3 cities have also shown a huge intent for upskilling with Nagpur, Ernakulam, Mysore, Jaipur and Indore topping the list of the fastest-growing cities. “2021 was a year of setting new benchmarks, when it came to online learning and upskilling in India and globally and it looks like this ‘interest to learn’ is only going to sustain and grow in the coming year as well. The increasing traction and adoption of upskilling amongst smaller Indian cities is an indicator of how geographical barriers are being broken,” said Hari Krishnan Nair, co-founder, Great Learning.
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