Thursday, March 07, 2019

Taking Fresh Guard!

The other day, as the Swiggy delivery boy exchanged the packet, I noticed he was a smart youngster. On probing, Ravi was a 2nd Engineering student, and confessed he was committed to it as as full time job -as he was getting paid, about Rs 35000 -monthly-including incentives. “What’s the point of going daily to college?” He wasn’t sure if he would even get half of that- after attending classes for 2 more years, and so would just do the enough to get the necessary attendance and pass his exams!
Earlier last month, I was invited as a panelist at the 9th Higher Education & Human Resource Conclave, Hyderabad 2019.
The topic : "Human Resource’s Role in the changing scenario of Employment, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the New India".
The speakers were across some of the leading hiring community from the corporate world, and Government, and the event was well represented by the Educational institutions, pan India. It was inspiring to see 'those who matter' in the ecosystem, sharing their concerns, and setting expectations for improving employment, and their best practices .
As a ringside observer of the changing dynamics -amidst the perhaps the most disruptive of decades in the history of world, my observations, were, kind of tangential/ contrary to those being deliberated & I could sense some discomfort!!
My pointers?
-It is time to stop looking thru the 'rear view mirror' and achieve marginal increments. One needs to focus on the road ahead, 'windshield' and navigate the possible obstacles/ challenges.
-Focus on placements/employment is passe'. Instead 'employability'? The tenures of engagement have significantly reduced, and so the onus of career is now on the individual.
-Need to stop spoon feeding students. Teach one to fish-you give an occupation that will feed one for a lifetime
-Businesses are becoming hybrid. And we as consumers are so used to changing our lifestyles - but when it comes to our profession, are we in a time warp? Google has got into cars. Is Amazon a logistics company? General Motors has probably hired more IT professionals in the last 3 years than automobile engineers.
So are the skills needed in the new age employee . Given the technological advances, AI, ML, data science aren't new jargon anymore. Employers want people who have hybrid skills. App developers no longer content with coding skills, but with knowledge of design, marketing, and more. Marketing professionals strong with SQL queries to analyze customer needs better. The list goes on.
Perpetual learning is the key. So are the educational institutes able to impart the need for learning to learn, unlearn, and relearn?
Somehow I sense an increasing 'entitlement', across the stakeholders.Time to change the way we have been looking?
And yes, I see the millennial are a smarter lot. Perhaps with lesser attention spans. But lot more savvy to the changing habits.
Whose life is it anyway?

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