Bridging the Digital Divide: Building New Age Skills


It’s a MAD, MAD, MAD world! That is, it is a Make All Digital world! While what is digital is still open to debate, to go or not to go digital is no more a question. Digital has permeated every aspect of our life and of business and at a pace that has caught many by surprise. Further, the impact of these technologies is no more restricted to the IT department. Its far reaching implications means that technology firms today need to “be digital” (as opposed to “do digital”) even as they help their clients go digital. And this calls for an immediate action plan to impart a new set of skills to academic talent pool so that they are future-ready, re-skill existing workforce to create a just-in-time deployable talent pipeline and up-skill technical workforce to shift from traditional, legacy systems to new-age digital technologies.

The pace at which these and newer technologies are emerging also means that one can no longer rest on one’s past laurels – we are now ushering in an age of continuous learning and evolution – key to maintaining our relevance and competitive edge.

India’s USD 154 billion strong technology industry has recognised these needs and has, over the last few years, focused on developing digital technology skills among its workforce:

  • It is not just the large & medium sized firms that have institutionalized learning programs, even small firms (100-1,000 employees) are also investing in developing these skills
  • The SMAC stack is the most sought after skillset across a cross-section of verticals; however, highly specialised technologies like AI/ML/NLP, complex robotics (think Elon Musk linking the brain with computers), IoT, etc. are taking centre-stage
  • Firms are using a mix of traditional classroom, instruction-led training with virtual classrooms, app-based learning, MOOC courses, etc.
  • For experienced employees, firms use platforms like hackathons, gamification, tech talks, etc. to impart more advanced training
  • Learning is further augmented with on-the-job, immersive learnings
  • RoI is seen in the form of new revenue streams, IP development, filling open positions with internal workforce, greater productivity, higher revenue per employee, etc.
  • To showcase programs that firms have institutionalised that would build the required digital skills within their workforce, NASSCOM initiated the Digital Skills Awards 2017.

The winners are to be felicitated today at 6 pm – look forward to this space for more details on who won and why.

@nasscomR @nasscomEvents

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