5 Reasons Skills Training Is The Most Important Training Of Right Now (And The Future)



The rules have changed: technological advances are reshaping the modern workplace, starting with hiring requirements. The bad news? Not all employees are ready for the future of work. This is where employee skills training comes in.


Why Employee Skills Training Is A Top Priority

Traditionally, candidates were hired based on their educational background and work experience. Today, the rapid development of technology has significantly decreased the shelf life of formal education and changed hiring requirements. Even tech giants like IBM, Google, and Apple no longer require a college degree to recruit.

Employers are now looking for candidates with solid technical skills, which will nonetheless need to be fine-tuned frequently to keep up with technological advances. Soft skills like creativity, adaptability, problem-solving, and critical thinking are also becoming increasingly desirable, if not imperative.

New technologies keep invading most industries, transforming work processes and consumer expectations. The window of opportunity is closing. Companies need to start upskilling their staff now, so they’re still relevant tomorrow.

Want to find out more? Let’s look in detail why employee skills training is the most important training of both now and the future.

1. The Current Workforce Doesn’t Have The Right Skills

According to a 2019 SHRM research, 83% of respondents in the US have had trouble finding the right talent in the past 12 months [1]. And why is that? Among other reasons, 35% of the candidates didn’t have the right technical skills.

Manufacturing is one of the industries that has been hit the hardest by skill shortage. It’s facing a deficit that’s expected to reach 7.9 million by 2030 [2].

But manufacturing is just one example. The skills shortage is present across most industries and poses a serious financial threat. Unless companies take immediate action to close the skill gap, it’s going to get worse.

A viable solution is teaching your existing employees the technical skills they’re missing. Staff skills training is not a temporary patch for the shortage issue. As you introduce employees to new ideas and strategies, you feed their appetite for knowledge and boost their confidence. They become more agile, open to challenges, and adaptable to change. In other words, you’re shaping the workforce of tomorrow—today.

2. Hard Skills Change Fast

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has brought advances in Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing, and VR, among other technologies. New roles have emerged, and technical skills like data analysis, robotics, and software development are rising in demand.

But while technology keeps evolving, skill requirements will continue to change. The essential hard skills of today might become insufficient or obsolete tomorrow. Which is why skills training should not remain static. Continuous employee training and development are key to safeguarding business growth and employee stability.

So, how do you develop employee skills training that’s always up to date? An online employee training software can help you set up your courses easily, and update them as needed. Plus, you can use the extensive reporting and assessment options available to measure training effectiveness. This way, you’ll ensure that your employees are ready to embrace the future of the workplace.

3. Soft Skills Are Always Essential In The Workplace

No surprise there. Teams with strong soft skills perform better both in and out of the company. Also, unlike hard skills, soft skills have no expiration date and are a privilege strictly reserved for humans. Automation technology might replace repetitive tasks and processes (thank you!). However, nothing can replace human emotional intelligence and complex thinking.

Soft skills are complicated and often closely intertwined with one another [3]. In fact, even seemingly simple tasks require a synergy of soft skills. Take a sales rep dealing with an indecisive customer, for example. How can they get in the customer’s shoes, offer them the right solution, and close the sale? They need a mix of active listening, empathy, emotional intelligence, and negotiation skills.

The list of soft skills is endless. So, when it comes to which soft skills your employees need to develop, it depends on your business goals and industry. Then again, one thing is certain: employee soft skills training will help your team perform better now and in the future.

4. Training Increases Job Satisfaction

Millennials say that opportunities for training in the workplace drive their decision to stay or leave a company. Apparently, workplace skills training increases job satisfaction and prevents top talent from walking out the door.

So, what are you waiting for? Provide regular employee skills training to enhance productivity and performance, and satisfy their ambition. Allow your top performers to take on different roles and responsibilities. The ability to play a more active role in the company will reignite their enthusiasm and give them a reason to stay.

Meanwhile, employees need to willingly join your training initiatives and engage in the experience. It’s the only way to reap the full benefits of skills training. Make this happen by investing in online employee training tools that are effective, fun, and easy to access. For example, use an LMS like TalentLMS that allows you to choose among numerous training activities for employees and create personalized learning experiences.

5. A Skilled Workforce Enhances Customer Loyalty

Technological advances are reshaping both the workplace and the market. Innovative services and products are constantly introduced—and welcomed—to our lives.

You don’t need to look further than your mobile phone. Remember how mobile phones used to have basic functions only? Nowadays, with the integration of AI, they have turned into virtual assistants, competent photographers, and reliable navigation companions.

New technologies have elevated customer expectations, too. Consumers anticipate sophisticated products, premium services, and remarkable Customer Experience. The game of customer loyalty is played at a whole new level among competitors who are more agile and creative than ever.

Behind every aspect of Customer Experience, from product ideation to marketing and after-sales services, are your employees. Do you need them to come up with innovative ideas, apply the latest technologies, or offer memorable buying experiences? Then, you need to keep their skills sharp and their minds curious.


New technologies are revolutionizing the modern workplace, the market, and just about every aspect of our lives. A comprehensive skills training strategy can help you stay at the forefront of innovation and creativity. Are you ready to start upskilling your workforce now? Or will you let technology pass right past you and competitors take you out of the picture?



Skill Development: Opportunities and Challenges in India

India has witnessed rapid economic growth in recent years, driven by the development of new-age industries. The rise in purchasing power has resulted in the demand for a new level of service quality. According to the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), skills can be classified into four levels based on the degree and duration of the training required.

  • Skill Level 1 (semi-skilled) refers to skills that can be acquired through short-term courses, focused interventions and on-the-job training.
  • Skill Level 2 (skilled) refers to skills that are specific to the occupation and can be acquired through technical or vocational training.
  • Skill Level 3 (highly skilled) refers to skills involved in highly technical or commercial level operations and can be acquired though degrees, diplomas and post graduate education.
  • Skill Level 4 (highly skilled with specialisation) refers to the skills with high specialisation involving research and design that can be acquired through doctorate or many years of work experience in a specific sector or area.

Skill Gap Analysis

According to the India Skills Report 2015, it was established that India lacks in the development of skills. Of all the students applying for roles in the labour market, a mere 1/3rd of the number had the appropriate skills to match the requirement of the employers. Though we have sufficient manpower but they are not skilled enough to get a job. A skill gap is a considerable gap between the skills required by the workforce and their current attributes and capabilities. In India, there exists an enormous skill gap between the demand from industries based on rapid economic growth and the kind of skill sets the young people acquire through various education and trainings.

According to 12th Plan Document of the Planning Commission, 85 percent of the labour force in India have educational qualification up to secondary level within which 55 per cent have an educational qualification only up to the primary level and merely 2 per cent of the workforce has any vocational training.

This gap between the demand and supply not only affects economic growth, but it also prevents the inclusive growth of the economy as a whole. Hence, it becomes the responsibility of the government to be aware of such skill gaps and take newer initiatives for bridging those gaps in order to ensure inclusive growth.

Fresh employment opportunities are getting created in the field of core engineering, retail, hospitality, e-commerce and banking but there is shortfall of trained people in the country to fill the positions.

As per the Skills Gap report, the expected shortage of skilled manpower in various industries by 2022 are as follows;

Infrastuture : 103 mn

Auto & Auto Components :35 mn

Building & Construction :33 mn

Textile & Clothing :26.2 mn

Transport & Logistics : 17.7 mn

Organised Retail : 17.3 mn

Real Estate Services : 14 mn

Healthcare: 12.7  mn

Food Processing : 9.3 mn

Education & Skill Development Services :5.8 mn




India is facing a lot of challenges keeping in view the current infrastructure and the policy framework. The challenges faced in skill development have been discussed below:

  • Insufficient capacity: Current infrastructure facilities available in the educational institutions throughout the country are inadequate considering the huge demand for skilled labour. There are not many trained and highly skilled trainers available. The faculty needs to be motivated and skilled to take up higher responsibilities.
  • Mobilisation: The outlook of people associated with skill development is still very traditional. The enrolment of the students for vocational education and training has become an extremely challenging task.
  • Scalability: Any model to be successful needs a lot of support from different stakeholders. Since there is limited buy-in from the corporate sector, the progress of such initiatives is slow.
  • Skills Mismatch: There are lot of issues related to the skills needed by the industry and the skills imparted by the educational and training institutes. There is lack of industry-faculty interaction because of which the skill sets provided by the educational and training institutes do not end up suiting the employers’ requirements. As a result, though the people may be skilled but they do not get employment. It becomes extremely important that the industry professionals are also included in the design of the skill development curriculum.


Job markets all across the world including India are undergoing a tectonic shift. The future of work in India: Inclusion, Growth and Transformation Report by the Observer Research Foundation and the World Economic Forum sheds light on the future of transformative technology and its impacts on work in India. Some key insights from this report are that companies expect technological change to lead to job creation, not job loss. They recognise the potential of new technologies in the coming years. The whole focus is expected to be on automation of repetitive tasks, time optimisation, maximising productivity, creation of digital platforms for online access to job opportunities and formalising informal operations. It is critical for people to keep picking up new tricks of their trade and keep themselves updated with new technological changes in their sphere of work.


Skill development is the most important aspect for the development of our country. India has a huge ‘demographic dividend’ which means that it has very high scope of providing skilled manpower to the labour market. This needs a coordinated effort from all stakeholders including:

  • Government agencies such as Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, National Skill Development Corporation etc.
  • Industries,
  • Educational and training institutes and
  • Students, trainees and job seekers. 


Skill Development: Key To Inclusive Growth

The journey to skill development should start from the elementary education level onwards.

Being the second-most populous country in the world after China, India faces the massive challenge of providing food, housing and employment to its citizens. According to the World Bank’s South Asia Economic Focus Spring 2018 report, India’s working-age population (those above the age of 15) is expanding by approximately 1.3 million a month during 2015-2025. Hence, it needs to create millions of jobs every year to reap the advantage of this demographic dividend. Skill Development will also prepare the workforce for Industry 4.0 fuelled by increasing urbanization, ubiquitous Internet connectivity and the proliferation of emerging technologies.

Fortunately, the Indian government has undertaken numerous initiatives for skill development. Under the flagship Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Yojana, the government has imparted skills training to 6.9 million people since 2016.  The Union Budget 2020-21 also takes cognizance of this aspect and stresses that the National Skill Development Agency, the nodal agency in India, will give special thrust to infrastructure-focused skill development opportunities. The two proposed initiatives namely  Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood (SANKALP) and The Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) will go a long way in bolstering the prospects of skills development in the country.  SANKALP is an outcome-oriented programme of the skills development ministry with a special focus on decentralised planning and quality improvement. On the other hand, the STRIVE project aims to improve the relevance and efficiency of skills training provided through industrial training institutes (ITIs) and apprenticeships.

However, the road ahead may not be as smooth as envisioned. Information asymmetry is among the foremost challenges of Skill development – a skilled person may be aware of his skills unlike his potential employer, this automatically scales down his wages and results in underemployment. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is necessary to tackle this issue.

The journey to skill development should start from the elementary education level onwards. There is an urgent need to revamp the school curriculum and include skill education unlike keeping it focussed towards rote learning. Introduction of vocational subjects, academic-industry collaboration and emphasis on practical training are the way forward. Furthermore, lifelong learning will be of immense significance in building resilience and remaining relevant in the fast-paced era. One cannot underestimate the role of humanistic skills, including creative and critical problem solving, interpersonal skills and leadership abilities to navigate through this complex transition.

Creating avenues for private sector engagement is a crucial strategic pillar if India is to nurture the dream of becoming the skill capital of the world. Exploring academia-industry partnerships is necessary for achieving tangible outcomes such as capacity building and the relevance and quality of skills training. In India, Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) have been incubated by the NSDC for fostering a connection with the industry and devising a curriculum aligned with demands of the industry.

Another aspect that cannot be overlooked is international benchmarking. Technical collaboration with developed countries such as the UK, Australia and the UAE can be useful for benchmarking and mutual recognition of standards besides increasing the mobility of blue and white-collar Indian workers.

The third focus area should be addressing the issue of low female participation in the labour force. Women currently own a mere 20 per cent of enterprises in India. A Bain & Co research had predicted that encouraging women entrepreneurship can increase direct employment by 50 million to 60 million people, and increase indirect and induced employment of another 100 million to 110 million people by 2030. Besides contributing to the economy, women entrepreneurship will also have tangible social outcomes in terms of improved education and health. There is a need to mainstream women employment and entrepreneurship in key government initiatives.

Multi-stakeholder collaboration is critical if we are to build greater synergy on initiatives, deepen the knowledge pool on skills and facilitate the creation of institutional knowledge and capability. One can draw inspiration from European countries such as Germany wherein the workforce has been able to reap outsized operational benefits of digitized manufacturing offering unparalleled example globally.



10 Best Job Opportunities for 10+2 Failures and College Drop-Outs

NOT all of you will become doctors, engineers or lawyers. There are some students who are not able to perform well in their academics. This blog post is dedicated to those students who have failed in 10+2 or they are college drop-outs.

There are number of job opportunities for such students. They do not need to get disheartened because of their poor academic performance. Today even a 10+2 failure or a college dropout could a find a job which can pay handsomely.

So, if you are such students then I have jot down a list of 10 best job opportunities. You can choose anyone of them and start working if you do NOT want to continue your studies.

Here are they.


1. Starting Your Own Business

Although this is not a job but still if you do not want to study further, then the best job to start is your own business. You could start a small size business with the help of your parents.

I have seen many students who are 10+2 failures or college dropouts starting their own business. It will obviously need some money that you can ask or borrow from your parents.

You can find out the list of 131 excellent business ideas that you can start with low investment.

  • Job Description: Your Own Business
  • Eligibility: 10+2 Fail or College Dropouts
  • Age: 18 years to 27 years, any age
  • Skills: Good Communication Skills
  • Salary: Rs 10,000/- to Rs 50,000/

2. Sales Representative

Next job that a 10+2 or intermediate failure could try is a sales representative. It is very easy to do and normally companies who recruit sales representative, don’t ask for any educational qualification.

In this job, you have to sell products to customers. Now selling could be door to door where you have to go to the door step of customers and sell the given product.

Companies like Reliance, Airtel, McDonalds etc always requires sales representative.

This job opportunity is always available and you can get it in any season. So boy or a girl you can give a try for sales representative job.

  • Job Description: Sales Representative
  • Eligibility: 10+2 Fail or College Dropouts
  • Age: 17 years to 27 years
  • Skills: Selling Products
  • Salary: Rs 7,000/- to Rs 20,000/-

3. Data Entry Operator

Among many job opportunities, data entry operator is also one. This job suits for college dropouts the most. Even 10+2 failures could also give a try but college dropouts would be appropriate candidates for this job.

You can easily find a data entry jobs if there is a demand or recruitment going on. Many small and medium-size companies need data entry operator.

The only skill you need here is good typing speed. You must be able to type 40 to 50 words per minute. If you do not have good speed, then you can practice on your PC and you will learn in few weeks.

  • Job Description: Data Entry Operator
  • Eligibility: 10+2 Fail or College Dropouts
  • Age: 18 years to 28 years
  • Skills: Writing Speed of 40 – 50 Words Per Minute
  • Salary: Rs 7,000/- to Rs 120,00/-

Check: 25 Data Entry Jobs from Home

4. Call Centre

Now call center job is also good for both 10+2 as well as college dropouts. If you want to apply for local call centers then 10+2 failures could apply. Here you need to talk in the local language of the state.

But for international call centers, you must have 10+2 so it suits college dropouts. Here they would not ask your educational qualification but they would look to your good English speaking skills.

Because of outsourcing call center jobs are also available in abundance. You can walk give an interview.

  • Job Description: Customer Support
  • Eligibility: 10+2 Fail or College Dropouts
  • Age: 18 years to 29 years
  • Skills: Talking and Communication Skills
  • Salary: Rs 7,000/- to Rs 35,000/-

5. Network Marketer

Network marketing is another best career for 10+2 failure. There are many network marketers who are not educated but makes millions.

Basically, it is like marketing but here you have to build a team under you. You might have heard about the companies like Amway.

Here, first, you have to become a member of big network marketing company & then you have to get in more members under you. As your members grow you make more money.

So 10+2 failures or college dropouts could also start this job. You need to pay some amount to become a member. With some experience, you can more money.

  • Job Description: Network Marketer
  • Eligibility: 10+2 Fail or College Dropouts
  • Age: 17 years to 28 years
  • Skills: Building Network and Leadership Quality
  • Salary: Rs 10,000/- to Rs 50,000/-

6. Mail Posting Jobs

Mail posting jobs are another great job opportunities for 10+2 failures and college dropouts. In fact, this job is not just for them but women and housewives could also start it.

This is because it is a home based job. Here you have to post letters that could be pamphlet or brochures that is going to promote someone else business.

This job needs some basic investment in stationery like envelope, creating letters and posting expenditure. Here also you have to register for a company.

This type of job is for 10+2 failures, college dropouts and housewives.

  • Job Description: Mail Posting
  • Eligibility: 10+2 Fail or College Dropouts
  • Age: No Age
  • Skills: Posting and Creating Good Letters
  • Salary: Rs 7,000/- to Rs 40,000/-

7. Indian Army and BSF Jawan

Although these job opportunities like India Army or BSF Jawan comes under defense sector but if you like then you can also apply. It is very tough job and requires physical fitness.

You must prepare for transfers in remote areas of the country. This job is best for 10+2 failures; college dropouts could avoid this job. You can check our defense job category for latest openings in Indian army.

  • Job Description: Indian Army or BSF Jawan
  • Eligibility: 10+2 Fail or College Dropouts
  • Age: 17 years to 24 years
  • Skills: Strong Physical Body
  • Salary: Rs 7,000/- to Rs 120, 00/- Plus DA/TA

8. Blogging

Job opportunities are blogging and in coming paragraph Online jobs are bit different than the rest of the jobs. Blogging is an online job.

Although blogging also do not require any educational qualification and even a child could start blogging.

But here you need to have passion for writing and creating things. So a 10+2 failure or college dropouts can apply for blogging but you must have some intellectual level.

  • Job Description: Blogging
  • Eligibility: 10+2 Fail or College Dropouts
  • Age: No Age
  • Skills: Writing
  • Salary: Rs 7,000/- to Rs 20,0000/-

9. Online Jobs

Like blogging there are many jobs available online. These jobs do not require any educational background and 10+2 failures or college dropouts could easily apply for it.

However, you need to spend some time on Internet and need to know more about this.

  • Job Description: Online Jobs
  • Eligibility: 10+2 Fail or College Dropouts
  • Age: No Age
  • Skills: Computers and Internet
  • Salary: Rs 7,000/- to Rs 100,000/-

10. Many Sarkari Naukri from Employment News

Finally, if 10+2 failures and college dropouts are looking for jobs then they could subscribe for weekly employment news.

You could find many such job opportunities coming out for them in this news paper. These jobs range from railways to police, banks to defense etc. It covers all such jobs.




Digital Education/Skill Development Barriers in Rural India


According to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, “True education must correspond to the surrounding circumstances, or it is not a healthy growth.” These words reflect the ceaseless need for Educational/Skill Development institutions to keep evolving and comprehending the imperative demand of students by providing them with necessary means. The transition from chalkboard teaching to prompt, flexible online teaching requires appropriate technology-enabled learning. Digital education has often been considered a viable solution for Rural India to address the existing gaps in imparting Education/Skill Development. It is believed that digital Education/Skill Development can curb the issues related to quality education delivery, the inadequacy of teachers in rural schools, high rate of drop-outs, insufficiency of innovative teaching-learning methods and lack of standard learning material.

Even the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 focuses on digital learning as a substitute to the traditional classroom model for interaction between teachers and students. While there are numerous benefits of digital education, the barriers are still manifold to make Education/Skill Development a complete online phenomenon in rural areas. The present Covid-19 crisis has had a major impact on the digital divide in the country, particularly from the perspective of education/skill development with digital access. It has also brought into sharp focus the challenges that exist for digital representation of education in the Tier III and rural areas of the country.

Following are some of the challenges:

  • Digital Illiteracy and No Infrastructural Support: A significant proportion of the rural population continues to fall short of the required internet bandwidth and knowledge to recognize devices and digital terminologies. Another major issue involves the absence of supporting infrastructural facilities such as a stable flow of electricity and unavailability of high-speed internet.
  • Access to proper devices and cost of data for rising use of content consumption: While talking about digital learning, it important to observe the accessibility of accurate devices for each student to avail digital content. In rural areas, only a nominal section of people have the privilege of accessing laptops and computers. Even students with access to desktops and laptops cannot avail the internet and the costs incurred in the procedure. Apart from that, the phone screens available to them are not favourable enough for long learning hours. The data packages and their prices also tend to restrain both teachers and students from going ahead with live classes. Though, subsidizing learning data plans by telecom companies can be an attempt to bridge this existing gap.
  • Inadequate Skills: The inadequacy of skills among the teachers of the rural areas to operate digital platforms is another key factor affecting the advancement of digital education. As the teachers lack the necessary training to use digital platforms, they are averse to adopt these educational methods.
  • Language Barrier: Almost 85% of the population living in India does not speak English. The lack of access to standardized content in Hindi and other regional languages causes a slow rate of further online course adoption. Standardized digital content covering every major curriculum from K-12 to higher education level seems far-fetched. Curation of any quality content from open sources will amplify the expenses and will require the Government’s synchronized effort. The syllabus also needs to be re-contextualized from a blended learning approach.
  • Gender Inequalities: The penetration of online learning amongst the female population in the rural parts of India is even more taxing. Just like most domains, the availability of internet and literacy in rural India is primarily available to men.

While the above challenges manifest the existing gaps for dispersal of digital Education/Skill Development in rural India, there are several initiatives taken by the Government to encourage online learning under the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT). Other than that, eBasta is presenting a framework to make school books available in digital form as e-books to read and use on tablets and laptops. Further initiatives include SWAYAM Prabha, SWAYAM Spoken Tutorial, Free and Open-Source Software for Education (FOSSEE), National Digital Library (NDL), Virtual Lab, E-Yantra, and MOOCs. Additionally, the Government’s Digital India initiative also covers a massive plan to link the rural parts with high-speed internet networks.

Though these schemes are supposed to be quite beneficial, there is a huge amount of work that remains to be done considering the size of the country’s population and the targeted areas. These tasks can only be accomplished when all stakeholders direct their efforts in conjunction. Here are a few ways in which stakeholders can contribute to overcoming the barriers of digital education in rural India:

  • Ed-Tech companies should provide cheap multi-lingual platforms that could work on low bandwidth and provide access to quality content. To promote this, the Government can offer tax benefits to these companies.
  • The present situation will precede an analysis on topics such as penetration of digital learning in rural areas, economical learning platforms, redefining learning science from a blended mode of approach thus being more favourable for learners at large.
  • State Governments can arrange online content delivery training for teachers.
  • Innovative solutions can be initiated to create the process of online education/skill development more interactive and vigorous.
  • The rural areas of the country can be better equipped with the essential infrastructure provided by the public-private initiatives.
  • The successful gambits under the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) of corporate bodies fostering digital education/skill development in schools and training centres of rural areas need to be further promoted.
  • Schools in rural areas should be provided with digital learning kits, and substitute sources of energy such as solar power should be installed in these schools.

The digital Education/Skill Development barriers in Rural India can be eliminated through the provision of affordable and accessible e-learning modes. Content Standardization, facilitating all the vital amenities and services in government schools/training centres through PPP (public-private partnership) model, up-skilling the teachers by providing them with customized teacher-training programmes on online education, blended learning in schools as well as the advancement of initiatives in digital learning space by NGOs & CSR wings of organizations need to be considered to propel digital Education/Skill Development in rural India. Other than that, all stakeholders should come together and provide an ingenious pedagogy, accessible educational devices, proper infrastructure and a quality ecosystem for the expansion of digital learning in rural India.







Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills



In job descriptions, employers often ask for a combination of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are related to specific technical knowledge and training while soft skills are personality traits such as leadership, communication or time management. Both types of skills are necessary to successfully perform and advance in most jobs.

Below, we’ll explain the difference between hard and soft skills, examples of each, and how to highlight your skills on your resume and in interviews.


What’s the difference between hard skills and soft skills?

The key differences between hard skills and soft skills are how they are gained and use in the workplace. Hard skills are often gained through education or specific training. They include competencies like how to use a certain machine, software or another tool. Soft skills are more often seen as personality traits you may have spent your whole life developing. They are called upon when you manage your time, communicate with other people or confront a difficult situation for the first time. Put another way, hard skills could be defined as your technical knowledge whereas soft skills are your overall habits in the workplace.


What are hard skills?

Hard skills are technical knowledge or training that you have gained through any life experience, including in your career or education. For example:

  • If you’ve worked in food service or retail, you may know how to use a point-of-sale system.
  • If you’ve taken an accounting class, you may know how to use Microsoft Excel.
  • If you’ve studied a foreign language, you may be able to speak it fluently.

Every job will require certain technical skills specific to that industry. If you want to work as an architect, for example, you will need to know how to use drafting software. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards also requires architects to be licensed. The NCARB maintains the Architectural Registration Examination, a series of tests required of architects that test different technical skills necessary for the work.

Many other industries have such tests in place, requiring prior knowledge and skills essential for career success. Other employers may have the availability to teach certain technical skills on the job.

You can learn more about the requirements of different jobs and the skills employers are looking for on Career Paths.

Hard skills list

Some of the most in-demand hard skills & Sectors include:

  • Bilingual or multilingual
  • Database management
  • Adobe software suite
  • Network security
  • SEO/SEM marketing
  • Statistical analysis
  • Data mining
  • Mobile development
  • User interface design
  • Marketing campaign management
  • Storage systems and management
  • Programming languages (such as Perl, Python, Java, and Ruby)
  • Healthcare Services
  • Agriculture
  • Food Processing
  • Beauty & Wellness

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are personal habits and traits that shape how you work, on your own and with others. Effective communication, for example, is a key soft skill many employers seek. Some others include dependability, effective teamwork and active listening.

Soft skills are essential to your career and as you search for jobs. While hard skills necessary to successfully perform technical tasks in a job, soft skills are necessary to create a positive and functional work environment. For this reason, employers often seek individuals who possess proven soft and hard skills. Some employers may prefer to select candidates who have a stronger set of soft skills over hard skills, as soft skills are at times more difficult to develop.

For example, you may be seeking a job in Human Resources but lack prior knowledge of data analysis tools. If you have references that can attest to the effectiveness of your soft skills, such as empathy, open-mindedness and communication, an employer may choose you over another candidate whose hard skills are stronger but who lacks the same level of soft skills.

Soft skills list

Some of the most in-demand soft skills include:

  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Effective communication
  • Open-mindedness
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Adaptability
  • Organization
  • Willingness to learn
  • Empathy

How to include hard and soft skills on a resume

When updating or creating your resume, you might consider including a “Skills” section that highlights your abilities most relevant to the position. This is especially important for positions with specific technical skills requirements. For clues on what to include and prioritize in your skills section, carefully review the job posting you’re applying for. Hard and soft skills the employers want to see might be found in the “requirements,” “education” or “desired skills” sections of the post.

Hard skills and soft skills are both necessary to find career success. Although people gain and develop these skills in different ways, you can learn and develop both hard and soft skills prior to applying for jobs.

How to highlight your skills throughout the interview process

Once you make it to the interview phase, you will have an opportunity to display your soft skills and elaborate more on your hard skills. You may be asked to display your hard skills with a test or portfolio.

You can highlight key soft skills by:

  • Showing up on time or early to the interview (punctuality or dependability)
  • Maintaining eye contact (active listening)
  • Speaking clearly when prompted (effective communication)
  • Answering questions about your resume and experience honestly (integrity)
  • Asking follow-up questions (active listening)

You can highlight your hard skills by:

  • Elaborating on your experience and training
  • Providing a portfolio (digital or physical)
  • Effectively answering technical questions related to the work
  • Asking follow-up questions related to the work
  • Effectively working through skills tests (if required at the interview)

The most effective way to showcase your hard and soft skills is to share specific stories from your experience that directly relates to the requirements of the job you’re interviewing for. When you’re telling a story, begin by presenting the situation, describe the task at hand, explain the actions you took and end with the result you achieved. This is called the STAR technique and it is a recommended method for providing examples with structure your interviewers can easily understand.




Skill India – What is the impact and what needs to be done?

The Skill India Mission sought to unify the earlier disjointed attempts to build skills and provide vocational training to a working population that often finds itself with either in evolving world. How far have we really come?

The benefits of a growing economy are often reflected in the growing number of well-paid jobs in a country. Consequently, any policy that stimulates the economy to grow, has an impact on job creation and the overall employability of the country’s workforce. India finds itself in a context today where young people are entering the workforce every year. To make the most of the demographic dividend, it is critical to improve the employability of the youth. For this, the newly set up Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship had taken up the task of coordinating all skill development efforts across the country. This includes the removal of the disconnect between demand and supply of skilled manpower, building a vocational and technical training framework, building new skills and innovative thinking, not only for existing jobs but also jobs that are to be created.

Recent reports on the much-touted skilling scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), indicates that policy is still far from achieving its intended result. According to the report in the Indian Express, data revealed that of the 30.67 lakh candidates who had been trained or were undergoing training across the country in June 2017, only 2.9 lakh had received placement offers.

With increasing political and economic pressure, the Indian government has reportedly decided to create a hefty stimulus package to revive the growth rate of the country’s economy. Amidst the slowdown, how has the Skill India mission fared?

The structure of Skill India mission

The Skill India program was introduced on the 15th of July 2015 along with the creation of the new National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. The “demand-driven, reward-based” Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) flagship scheme was set up with a promise to train over two million people in one year – the NSDC had in 2014-15 trained 1.3 million people. Under the mission, the previous target of training 150 million people by 2022 was raised to a much loftier goal of 400 million people by 2022.

The Skill India initiative was to ensure that the millions who enter the job market untrained, receive formal skill-building opportunities. Many hoped to be an improvement over previous skilling and vocational training programs. A much-welcomed move, the policy still seems to be a nascent stage of implementation and as a result, has had a limited impact.

With a roster of schemes under its belt, the Skill India mission has been similar to skill and vocational training programs of the past; big investments but little impact. A government-appointed panel, headed by Sharda Prasad, former head of the Directorate General of Education & Training,raised questions about the efficacy of programs like PMKVY and the short-sighted manner in which National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and India’s Sector Skill Councils (SSC) operated in a report published this May.

The Role of SSCs

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) was set up by the Ministry of Finance back in 2009 in an effort to centralize India’s attempt to skill its growing workforce. Working in Public-Private Partnership model, the NSDC looks at imparting skill and vocational development training through the various Sector Skill Councils (SSCs). These SSCs subsequently are meant to run such training, specific to their respective industries. The SSCs occupy a unique position within India’s skilling ecosystem: they are autonomous industry-led bodies that conduct skill-gap studies, develop the curriculum for the vocational training institutes (through the creation of ‘National Occupational Standards’), and then crucially assess and certify trainees who have been skilled. It is here that the Sharda Panel observes that the gaps within the Skill India mission arise.

“Their [SSC] entire focus seems to have been on the implementation of the PMKVY without regard to whether it will really meet the exact skill needs of the sectoral industry or turn out skilled manpower of global standards or persons that would get placed after the training,” says the report. The Sharda Panel also pointed out how such bodies had not specified the exact role of the industry, government agencies and other stakeholders to ensure accountability. As a conclusion, the Panel report stated that “Most of the SSCs in their quest to achieve the targets, compromised in quality of training, assessment and certification leading to the current situation of mess”.

What can be done?

Though skill training in the country has improved in recent years, the absence of job linkages is only aggravating the problem of unemployment. The newly appointed Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship,  Mahendra Nath Pandey has echoed a similar concern. “We have to think big way, a lot of technologies are coming, conventional jobs are squeezed, new verticals are emerging, what are they, they have to be informed to employable youths which all big jobs are there.”

Skill development starts with identifying future job prospects and segmenting it according to the need and feasibility of training candidates. The PPP model of operation of SSCs presents a great chance of bringing industry best practices in learning and development into such training modules. Private players can use technology to automate, improve and scale training and certification approach of skill-based training. By creating better linkages between the many stakeholders in the process and establishing key deliverables and a clear chain of accountability would help make such training programs more effective. Working towards increasing the accessibility of such training programs, in parallel, should also be looked at.  A recently proposed move of making such training more district centric is a step towards that direction.

As India aims to have one of the strongest economic growth stories in the 21st century, it becomes vital for it ensure it growing workforce is capable to handle the incoming disruptions and find suitable jobs. And a core part of this is to tackle the problem of unskilled labor in India and fix its skilling initiatives, today rather than tomorrow.




FinTech revolutionizes the new normal in the Banking and Finance industry


When was the last time you visited your bank for money transfer or to apply for a loan? It is hard to recall. isn’t it? The pandemic has changed our lives drastically. It has incredibly accelerated the need for technologies in our lives as maintaining social distance and staying indoors have become a necessity. We all are forced to manage our affairs remotely and online. The Banking and Finance industry is witnessing a huge paradigm shift as FinTech is disrupting and redefining and will continue to do so in the future as well. 

FinTech has evolved significantly. Before the pandemic, our use of FinTech was limited to online and mobile banking platforms to check account balance and transfer money. Now, it has become essential for everyone who is carrying out online transactions like buying financial products, opening new accounts, or receiving financial advice

FinTech revolution: How FinTech rose to the occasion

There was a time when the Finance industry was skeptical regarding the use of advanced technologies due to the perceived safety concerns attached to it. Online banking and digital money transfer were considered as the secondary options and physical banking used to be the primary and most reliable channel of banking.

However, with digitalization, people started using the internet on the mobile phone, adoption of technology in baking increased extensively. Today, 60 % of India’s software revenue comes from the banking sector and the financial services industry. This is a sign that banking institutions and the financial service industry are digitizing extensively. 

FinTech is the umbrella term for technologies that are massively disrupting the traditional financial services including mobile payments, money transfers, loans, fundraising and asset management. 

Use of Google Pay, PhonePe, BharatPe is not new anymore. The UPIs is one of the greatest contributions of India to global technologies in the last 10 years and have taken the entire FinTech world by storm. India has nearly 1.4 billion people, and more than 3 billion transactions happen on UPI per month. UPIs has made E-commerce possible and enabled us to do micro-payments. Not only limited to fund transfer, FinTech made it easier for us to take loans as well. 

FinTech has huge potential, and it is going to disrupt the banking and finance industry to a greater extent. The Indian FinTech market is expected to reach INR 6,207 Billion by 2025. Also, the global FinTech investments are rising and there is a surge of 40% when it comes to the funding in the Indian FinTech start-ups. 

 As making the customer journey smoother is going to be crucial, major banks are adopting advanced customer engagement platforms and investing in these. In the UAE, the Central Bank is launching a FinTech office to support financial innovation. The ongoing pandemic has limited physical banking and forced customers to demand a more convenient and secure way of banking. Major banks are now partnering with FinTech companies to become customer-centric and agile.

Skills and career in the FinTech powered Banking and Finance industry

The FinTech industry in India is growing rapidly and technology innovation is powering this growth. As per a survey by the Economics Times, the need for FinTech professionals will increase by 42% by the end of 2020. The industry is in need of high skilled professionals who can manage and navigate the FinTech business world which is filled with phenomenal opportunities.

Skills that would be in-demand to build a career in FinTech:

Technical skills:

  • Blockchain expertise
  • Programming skills- Java, JavaScript, C++, C#, Python and SQL
  • Advanced mathematical/quantitative skills
  • Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning
  • Cybersecurity Expertise

Soft skills:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Creativity
  • Problem solving
  • Adaptability
  • Flexibility

 The FinTech revolution has accelerated technology adoption. To keep up with technology advancement you must acquire the right skills and the much-needed expertise. There are courses available which would help you acquire the right skill set along with getting a certification. The courses are specially designed to build your FinTech expertise. You just need to choose the right course that meets your requirements and get started.

FinTech has changed the way we handle our finances and will continue to disrupt and change the Banking and Financial industry. We must prepare ourselves to witness a powerful transformation in the next decade.





Digital labour platforms and skill development

This write-up is intended to create awareness among various stakeholders in skill development on some important reports from the International Labour Organisation on topics of digital labour platforms and the future of work.

From getting things delivered at our doorstep, to be able to choose from plenty of options to work from home, the world has changed incredibly post-Covid-19.  Now, trying a side hustle and getting to work for additional income, has got accelerated thanks to the widespread adoption of digital technologies. The world of work is in for a radical transformation. Let’s see how digital labour platforms have become most indispensable.

Digital Labour Platforms

Digital labour platforms help people find and choose their work. The platforms like Uber, Swiggy, Ola have become a major part of our contemporary lives. From allowing us to access a number of services online to providing a plethora of opportunities to workers, digital labour platforms have made online work the future of work.

But, are digital labour platforms giving a fair opportunity and decent work to everyone? How are they impacting the future of work? These are some of the important questions that we need to explore in the larger context of how the gig economy/platform economy is transforming jobs and careers.  Let us begin by understanding what are digital labour platforms.

The information provided in this presentation is based on our learnings from the reports from the ILO on “Digital labour platforms and the future of work – Towards decent work in the online world” and “World Employment and social outlook – The role of digital labour platforms in transforming the world of work”.

Web-based platforms
In web-based platforms, the work is outsourced through an open call to a geographically dispersed crowd. For example,, Upwork, and similar platforms provide access to freelance and contractual work.

Location-based platforms
In location-based applications, the work is allocated to individuals in a specific geographical area. For example, Swiggy and Uber, which we can access with the help of apps.

Globally, we have also seen a rise in gigs and gig workers or platform workers. The advancements in information and communication technology and deeper penetration of the internet across the world, have contributed majorly to the growth of online work and digital labour platforms.

Digital labour platform and importance of skill development
Nevertheless, do all the workers face fair competition? Before we go into that, let us all understand and accept that all the industries are undergoing changes. The demands of the customers and the marketplace are increasing and diversifying. Therefore, to stay relevant and to stay in the competition, the solution lies in skilling, reskilling and upskilling.

Continuous learning is the only way to be competent for the new on-demand job roles. Upskilling in the latest technologies like blockchain, robotics, artificial intelligence, etc., can help one thrive on the changing demands.
Though most of the workers on digital Labour platforms are motivated and happy to be able to choose their tasks, fix their own schedule, and work from home (in some instances), but a majority of them also face many challenges.
Right from the issue of pay rates, where some of them are paid below minimum wage rates and they often lack the power of bargaining; work intensity, work availability, unreasonable rejections, non-payments, long-working hours, lack of social security are a major point of concern.
The platform workers also face the issue of skill mismatch and career development.
The skills that a gig worker has and the work he/she performs do not match in most cases. The opportunity to reskill, upskill, and continuously learn are also limited to such employees.
Despite the issues and challenges, the fact that digital labour platforms have transformed the world of work across businesses cannot be denied.
Related article: How the gig economy is unfolding a secure future for the informal workforce – Read more:
As many more economies are widely accepting the digital labour platforms and putting in place various regulatory frameworks, there need to be consistent efforts to protect the platform workers against exploitation. All the workers must be given the power of bargaining, social protection, and ensure fair competition and access to decent to work for all.

Digital Labour platforms and the future of work – Towards decent work in the online world”and “World Employment and social outlook – The role of digital Labour platforms in transforming the world of work”.

Digital Labour platforms are digital platforms that provide workers the opportunity to work from any place, at any time, and take up whatever job suits them. They include both web-based platforms and location-based platforms.

Web-based platforms

In web-based platforms, the work is outsourced through an open call to a geographically dispersed crowd. For example,, Upwork, and similar platforms provide access to freelance and contractual work.

Location-based platforms

In location-based applications, the work is allocated to individuals in a specific geographical area. For example, Swiggy and Uber, which we can access with the help of apps.

Globally, we have also seen a rise in gigs and gig workers or platform workers. The advancements in information and communication technology and deeper penetration of the internet across the world, have contributed majorly to the growth of online work and digital labour platforms.

Digital Labour platform and importance of skill development

Nevertheless, do all the workers face fair competition? Before we go into that, let us all understand and accept that all the industries are undergoing changes. The demands of the customers and the marketplace are increasing and diversifying. Therefore, to stay relevant and to stay in the competition, the solution lies in skilling, reskilling and upskilling.

  • Continuous learning is the only way to be competent for the new on-demand job roles. Upskilling in the latest technologies like blockchain, robotics, artificial intelligence, etc., can help one thrive on the changing demands.
  • Though most of the workers on digital labour platforms are motivated and happy to be able to choose their tasks, fix their own schedule, and work from home (in some instances), but a majority of them also face many challenges.
  • Right from the issue of pay rates, where some of them are paid below minimum wage rates and they often lack the power of bargaining; work intensity, work availability, unreasonable rejections, non-payments, long-working hours, lack of social security are a major point of concern.
  • The platform workers also face the issue of skill mismatch and career development.
  • The skills that a gig worker has and the work he/she performs do not match in most cases. The opportunity to reskill, upskill, and continuously learn are also limited to such employees.
  • Despite the issues and challenges, the fact that digital labour platforms have transformed the world of work across businesses cannot be denied.

As many more economies are widely accepting the digital labour platforms and putting in place various regulatory frameworks, there need to be consistent efforts to protect the platform workers against exploitation. All the workers must be given the power of bargaining, social protection, and ensure fair competition and access to decent to work for all.




10 Best Online Learning PORTALS in India For Students & Teachers.


Over the last one year, millions of students and teachers are adopting online education and skills in India. With students being outside the classroom, teachers are using online tools for delivering lectures. We are at an exciting phase when it comes to adopting online education and skills in India. In this article, we provide you a list of 10 best online learning portals in India for students and teachers.

Adopting online education in India

For the Indian education system, moving towards online teaching/learning is a paradigm shift in the domain. However, the country has taken several steps towards it. One such step is that the University Grants Commission has recently decided upon allowing the top 100 Indian universities, as rated by the National Institutional Ranking Framework, to offer their degrees fully online under the automatic route.

We as a country are transitioning to a new phase in the domain of skills and education, where online learning and digital tools are enabling us to have continuity in learning without a break. Vocational education and technical training institutes, which have their curriculum majorly based on practical and hands-on training have also moved online to deliver classes and use innovative methods to train the current batch of students.

The Government, higher educational institutions, and some of the corporates like IBM and TCS have taken initiatives to provide courses through online portals. The 10 online learning portals available for school, college students, including it is higher education and research institutes.


10 best online learning portals:

1. Bharat Skills –

Bharat skills and eSkillIndia portals are a repository of skill-based courses, where most of them follow the NSQF curriculum. Currently, the Bharat skills portal has e-learning videos available for 79 trades like carpenter, electrician, plumber, etc.

2. eSkillIndia –

eSkillIndia, a multilingual portal offers more than 400 courses in about 10 regional languages. Content on these portals is aggregated by various knowledge and content partners.


3. NASSCOM – Future skills –

NASSCOM Future skills portal is a portal where students can learn the skills of the future. It is an industry-driven learning ecosystem that aims to reskill two million professionals and potential employees and students in the industry over a period of five years.

4. Skillsbuild –

With ever-evolving technology, new job roles emerge which require newer skills to perform a task and make a difference in the world of work. Portal like Skillsbuild build provides courses in the latest technology like Artificial intelligence, Cybersecurity, Client engagement, etc. along with training in soft skills.

5. TCS ion Digital Learning Hub –

TCS ion is a digital portal that offers a number of courses spread across various fields. It collaborates with several organisations to offer these courses. A couple of recent collaborations were with NSDC and NCS, to enable virtual training and job information for those in the skilling ecosystem.


All the following four portals provide higher education courses like graduate, post-graduate, and research courses.

6. Swayam –

Swayam portal runs on the principle of access, equity, and quality. It has courses from class nine to post-graduation. Courses delivered through SWAYAM are available free of cost to the learners, however, learners wanting a SWAYAM certificate will have to attend an exam at a fee. Eligibility for the certificate will be announced on the course page and learners will get certificates only if this criterion is matched.

7. NPTEL –

NPTEL portal is coordinated majorly by IIT Madras along with other IITs. The portal has recorded lectures from IITs, which are then uploaded online for others to access. NPTEL has web and video courses across 23 disciplines, where learners get a tangible end result in the form of a certificate from the IITs/IISc for their effort.

8. Swayam Prabha –

Swayam Prabha is a group of 32 DTH channels, which run high-quality educational programs. The contents are provided by NPTEL, IITs, UGC, CEC, IGNOU, NCERT, and NIOS. The courses are available for students from class 9 to post-graduation level in the subjects of arts, science, commerce, performing arts, social sciences, agriculture among others.

9. E-patashala –

E-patashala is an initiative by NCERT, which is a storehouse of audios, videos, flipbooks, etc. available in Hindi, English, and Urdu. The portal and the mobile in total have 3886 resources and 504 e-textbooks.

10. Diksha –

National Teacher Platform (NTP) branded as “Diksha” is built to host Open Educational Resources (OER) and tools for Teachers in Schools, Teacher Educators in Teacher Education Institutes. The platform provides resources such as lesson plans, concept videos, worksheets, mapped to the curriculum.

Most of these portals have a combination of free and paid courses. Information about certification is provided on the individual course page and it differs based on the course. Also, most of the portals are mobile-enabled, which means they have an app that students or teachers can use on their mobile phones.



An overview of Agriculture industry in India: Need for Skill Development


About 43% of India’s population is dependent on agriculture as the primary source of their livelihood. India is the largest producer of spices, pulses, milk, tea, cashew and jute; and the second largest producer of wheat, rice, fruits, vegetables, sugarcane, cotton and oilseeds. Further, India is second in global production of fruits and vegetables, and is the largest producer of mango and banana.


India is among the 15 leading exporters of agricultural products in the world and it was the ninth largest exporter of agricultural products in 2017. The Indian government, in December 2018, has approved The Agriculture Export Policy. This policy aims to increase India’s agricultural exports to US$ 60 billion by 2022. (Source: IBEF)


Indian Government and its efforts towards the sector

Being a primary and crucial sector, the improvement of agriculture sector has always been prioritised by the government. The Indian government, through various schemes and programmes has always been making continuous efforts to assist the agriculture sector.


The Electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) – The eNAM Scheme was launched in April 2016 to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities by networking existing Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs). Upto May 2018, 9.87 million farmers, 109,725 traders were registered on the e- NAM platform. 585 mandis in India have been linked, while 415 additional mandis were linked in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Cumulative trade on the platform reached ₹41,855 crore (US$ 6.49 billion) by March 2018.

The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sinchai Yojana: This scheme aims to irrigate the field of every farmer and improving water use efficiency to achieve the motto `Per Drop More Crop’. Overall the scheme ensures improved access to irrigation. Around 285 new irrigation projects have been undertaken in 2018 to provide irrigation for 18.8 million hectares of land. As per Union Budget 2019-20 the scheme has been allocated US$ 565.16 million.

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) – An increasing shift of trend to an organic style of living has created thorough demand for organic farming. The government, realising the futuristic potential that this area holds, has introduced the PKVY scheme. This scheme aims to motivate groups of farmers to take up organic farming. It also gives them incentives to promote this type of farming.



Skill Development in the Agriculture Sector

Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI) is the apex organization that facilitates an ecosystem for skilling agriculture and allied sectors. ASCI plays a key role in maintaining training standards through NSQF compliant curriculum, certification and assessments by coordinating with the industry, training partners and academic institutions across India. Read more about ASCI


Besides, job-role based training from ASCI, training programmes in farming and allied sectors are also conducted at 690 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) across the country. The government believes that this step would fasten the pace of skill development in the agriculture sector by training its workforce with accordance to the demand.


Doubling the farmer’s income is one of the major and important targets of the Union Budgets. This can be achieved only when the skill gap prevailing in the agriculture sector is bridged. The KVK Scheme is bound to enhance relevant skills to match the rapidly growing demand in the agriculture sector. The government is also planning to develop agriculture as a private enterprise, with the aim of attracting the youth of the country, both in urban as well as rural regions.


Entrepreneurial opportunities in agriculture and allied sectors

India’s agriculture sector is gradually inclining towards different technologies such as financial technology, machine learning and digitisation. This is leaving a scope for both technology as well as agriculture enthusiasts to begin ambitious projects and businesses in the industry. Additionally, several organisations and incubators like Agri Udaan are now helping food and agriculture startups through market networking, investor pitching and timely mentoring. An interesting thing about these agriculture startups is that they are collectively generating high employment, especially in rural areas, where agriculture is predominant.


Challenges faced by the agriculture sector


The agriculture sector is highly volatile in nature. It is mostly prone to natural calamities. This leaves the sector in the need of constant security and damage control mechanisms. Crop and harvest related challenges are quite inevitable, given to the dynamic nature of this industry. The industry however, is taking great measures in wastage reduction and damage control, with the help of government schemes, smart agriculture plans, risk financing and modern technology.

The lack of awareness and highly prevailing exploitation in the farming sphere are hindering the growth of this sector to a large extent. Farmer suicides are common headlines now. Lack of proper awareness and knowledge regarding several elements is resulting in improper farming practices, inaccurate financial operations and eventually, in stagnant growth. This is one of the most critical challenges that the agriculture industry is facing is yet to be tackled. Steps are now being taken to solve this issue. Several organizations are beginning to do awareness campaigns in rural regions. Financial and technological based institutions are organising programmes for farmers.

On the whole, the agriculture industry is a complex, yet crucial sector which is contributing a lot to our economy. Despite being the major contributor, the industry still holds massive potential that is waiting to be tapped. This can be possible only when there are efforts made to tackle the challenges faced by this industry in an upfront and smart manner. Let’s hope that our golden sector goes high up the ladder, soon!es such as financial technology, machine learning and digitisation. This is leaving a scope for both technology as well as agriculture enthusiasts to begin ambitious projects and businesses in the industry. Additionally, several organisations and incubators like Agri Udaan are now helping food and agriculture startups through market networking, investor pitching and timely mentoring. An interesting thing about these agriculture startups is that they are collectively generating high employment, especially in rural areas, where agriculture is predominant.


Challenges faced by the agriculture sector


The agriculture sector is highly volatile in nature. It is mostly prone to natural calamities. This leaves the sector in the need of constant security and damage control mechanisms. Crop and harvest related challenges are quite inevitable, given to the dynamic nature of this industry. The industry however, is taking great measures in wastage reduction and damage control, with the help of government schemes, smart agriculture plans, risk financing and modern technology.

The lack of awareness and highly prevailing exploitation in the farming sphere are hindering the growth of this sector to a large extent. Farmer suicides are common headlines now. Lack of proper awareness and knowledge regarding several elements is resulting in improper farming practices, inaccurate financial operations and eventually, in stagnant growth. This is one of the most critical challenges that the agriculture industry is facing is yet to be tackled. Steps are now being taken to solve this issue. Several organisations are beginning to do awareness campaigns in rural regions. Financial and technological based institutions are organising programmes for farmers.

On the whole, the agriculture industry is a complex, yet crucial sector which is contributing a lot to our economy. Despite being the major contributor, the industry still holds massive potential that is waiting to be tapped. This can be possible only when there are efforts made to tackle the challenges faced by this industry in an upfront and smart manner. Let’s hope that our golden sector goes high up the ladder, soon!




Why there is no age for being an entrepreneur or a founder of startups.



When one thinks about entrepreneurship as a mid-career option, there are a series of concerns one tries to address. This includes the risks, the responsibilities, the finances and majorly, the age factor. It is essential to note that entrepreneurship is never associated with age. These days, terms like entrepreneurship and startups are used in connection with youngsters and fresh graduates from colleges. This is probably inspired by the success stories of young entrepreneurs who made it big in a short period. But, the success of a business/startup or an entrepreneur does not depend on age. You are never too old to be an entrepreneur and it is never too late to embark on a new journey.  


Entrepreneurship isn’t just a young person’s game

Once a person crosses the age of 40 or 50, he/she might feel they are too old to be an entrepreneur or a founder of a startup. But that isn’t the case. You don’t have to be 18, 20 or 25 to start your own business. Entrepreneurship doesn’t come with any age restriction. Most successful entrepreneurs started later in life and made their mark in their respective fields. Gordon Bowker founded Starbucks, the most popular coffee chain across the world, at the age of 51. Charles Flint founded IBM at 61 and Harland David Sanders founded KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) at the age of 62. Mc Donald’s, Walmart, Adidas are all started by people over 40.

Research shows entrepreneurs who started their own business in their mid-careers are likely to be more successful than the youngsters who started one right after college. Let’s look at some the positives that come with age and work experience.

Experience – When you start a business in your 40s or 50s, you have about 20-25 years of work and industry-specific experience. With this worldly wisdom, you take better decisions about the business in terms of execution, establishment and its expansion. With experience, you also know that success does not come overnight and it takes time and effort to achieve it. You are less likely to feel disappointed by the way your business might perform and take it as an opportunity to persistently build a strong base for it.


Network – When you start a business a little later in life, you can leverage the professional network you have built over the years. These contacts can range across various fields – management, marketing, writers, engineers,  media, advertising and so on. It is this network of yours that help in promoting your brand or business in the initial stages. Sometimes it is through these contacts that you can build your client and/ or investors list.

Find your true calling – This could be your Ikigai moment and you should not look back and just listen to your heart and mind and get started. It may also be the case that you found your true calling and you are keen on building a business around it. This is common with many who begin to reflect on the social impact they’ve created or the number of lives they’ve touched. This is another positive trigger that has helped many from mid-level age group to build successful enterprises.


Financial stability – Initial investment and financial stability are few of the biggest setbacks for young entrepreneurs/startup founders. But, it is an advantage for those who plan to start their venture later in life. With a job for over 20 years, you might be financially stable to start a business of yours. Or, you might have an idea that would work well in the current times than it would have 20 years ago. Perhaps, this is where you might want to use a part of your savings.


Management – Your work experience for the past several years might have thought you industry-specific managerial skills, networking, team management, teamwork and much more. All these skills come handy while running your own business. Because of your experience, you have an idea of how to work in a team and how to get the teamwork for you sticking to the deadlines. Everything right from hiring employees to managing a successful team.


“Any time is a good time to start a company” – Ron Conway, Silicon Valley angel investor.

It takes courage to move out of your comfort zone of having a stable job and getting into the adventurous world of entrepreneurship. There isn’t any right time to start something new and you never know when your idea might click and grow beyond your imagination. With good planning comes great business. And remember, you are never past the age of being an entrepreneur or a founder of a startup.





Future of Indian Skills and Skill Development

India has immense skill development potential if policies implemented properly

Right now, we are living in turbulent times. However, these aren’t the first time that humanity is facing such challenges but they certainly feel a lot worse than past crises due to an uncanny convergence of events. Practically, anybody can actually claim to have survived more than one crisis in their lifetime. The anemic European growth of the late eighties, the Asian Tiger implosion of the late nineties which followed close on the heels of the Balkan War, the SARS outbreak and the dismal banking crisis that welcomed us as soon as we stepped into the new century—chaos seems to have been the running background theme of human existence for as far back as memory serves us. Along with all these, the nature of jobs kept changing keeping pace with the developments technically or otherwise. Similarly, skill requirements also underwent a metamorphosis.

The events of the past, though daunting at the time, were ultimately survivable and also proved to be harbingers of change. The shake-ups of history eventually resulted in the emergence of better, more resilient systems. New industries were formed and only the fittest survived. In fact, the birth and death of industries that the last North American recession witnessed, eventually led to new employment opportunities arising that virtually erased the 10 per cent unemployment of 2008 – 09.

But none of the pandemics, crises and disasters in the past led to entire industries getting retired or put on hold for extended periods of time, not unless catalyzed by technological disruption.

The scale and impact of COVID-19 are unprecedented. The contagion descended on a world which was already reeling under geopolitical uncertainty, trade tensions between US-China-Europe, Brexit and widespread social unrest.

Against this backdrop, skill development has been considered one of the critical aspects for job creation in India. India has a unique demographic advantage with more than 60 per cent of its population in the young age group. However, in order to get any dividend from such a huge work force, employability has to be improved.

According to available data, only 10 per cent of the fresh graduates are employable and rest of the 90 per cent lack skills required to be hired by the corporate sector. India’s GDP, so far, has been growing at great rate of around 6-8 per cent but job creation is not catching up with it. Yet, as things stand, just 10 per cent of management graduates in India have the skills to deliver in a real job scenario as per a 2017 ASSOCHAM study.

The Prime Minister’s push for skill development is of critical relevance today. A December 2018 report of NITI Aayog revealed that 5.4 per cent of Indian workers have undergone skills training compared to 96 per cent in South Korea and 75 percent in Germany.

The rewards for building this intangible asset are not limited to productivity alone. Upskilling and reskilling also offer the additional advantage of expanding the range of choices available to people. Rewarding their lifelong education and learning also improves morale and reduces employee turnover.

Particularly, the sunrise industries of logistics, health, education, E-retail, and food processing have the potential of high-yielding opportunities and must increase emphasis on human resource development.

Incidentally, the number of patents filed by IITs increased from 599 in year 2015-2016 to 726 in 2019-2020 taking innovation to a new high in India.

Quacquarelli Symonds, which publishes the QS world university rankings, released their Top 1000 list of institutes from all over the world recently for 2021. Merely three Indian Universities made it in Top 200 list. There wasn’t a single Indian university in the top 100 universities of the world. And the three institutions were IIT Bombay, ranked at 172nd position; IISc Bangalore is at 185th position while IIT Delhi is at the 193rd position. Additionally, in The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, not a single Indian university made it to the top 300 list.

Perhaps one can say that the world rankings are biased against India due to transnational impact, it may be untrue due to geographical differences. If this is the case then why India’s unemployment rate continues to hover above 24 per cent as per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE)?

The Global Business Coalition for Education’s 2030 Skills Scorecard focuses on these concerns. It states that by 2030, India will have the highest number of secondary school graduates in South Asia, but nearly half of them will lack the skills to enter the job-market. In addition to that, economist Shamika Ravi says that the Skills Scorecard reveals a lot about the quality of Indian education; too many engineers and other professionals are waving around degrees that are relatively worthless.

The situation, if not completely beyond repair, is definitely alarming. Setting up of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship was a positive step that the government took and which yielded positive results, too. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), SANKALP (Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion), UDAAN, and Polytechnic Schemes have drawn out the skills of the marginalized sections of the country. However, a lot more has to be done and government and private educational machinery has to go hand in hand to bring the change. It’s imperative that world class education reaches each student who, as per his or her capacity, will help in carving the future of our nation.

By the year 2030, India will have around 140 million people in the college-age group. Will the country rise to the occasion to deliver a world-class higher education system? If India can bring in world class education into its geography and an educational institute breaks through into the top 100 best educational institutes of the world, then this will be landmark achievement in itself. And it is possible! We have the largest English-speaking youth population in the world helping it overcome all sorts of communication barriers. In other words, international faculty members can be invited to train students and teachers in India to transfer key knowledge and skills and improve education at large. This will, in turn, produce skilled manpower which will be a huge asset in the days to come!




A Peep into China’s Vocational Education System: Lessons for India



Last year, the Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR) of the erstwhile Planning Commission published a research paper, ‘China’s skill development & training; Lessons for India.” We are reproducing its abridged summary while wondering why Govt. didn’t take any lessons till date from this evidence.


For the past two decades, the Chinese economy has been growing by over 10 per cent per annum. Keeping in mind the needs of a growing economy, Chinese planners gave much importance to educational reforms, especially vocational educational reforms. Vocational education in the Chinese school system is introduced at the junior secondary level (or junior middle school) for students in the age group of 12-14 year olds. Junior level secondary schooling is the last 3-year stage of the 9 years of compulsory schooling mandated by the Nine Year Compulsory Education Law of 1986. The element of vocational education is however fading away at the junior secondary level over the years. Unlike India, after the junior secondary level, each student is required to undertake the Senior High School Entrance Examination called the ‘Zhongkao’, the score in which determines the entry into general academic and vocational education schools. Typically, middle school graduates with lower marks end up in the senior secondary vocational stream. After completing 9 years of compulsory schooling, only about 11.6 per cent junior secondary graduates enter(ed) the workforce (2012) in contrast to India, where the share is much higher. Out of the 88.4 per cent continuing senior secondary education, the proportion of those entering the vocational stream, is about 47 per cent. That is almost half of the junior secondary graduates who enter the vocational secondary schools  again in total contrast to the situation in India. In 2011, there were about 13,093 schools under vocational secondary education (China Statistical Yearbook, 2012). These schools are classified into four categories, depending upon iii their sponsoring organization and trades/subjects taught  regular specialized schools (3,753), adult specialized schools (1,614), vocational senior secondary schools (4,802) (all under the Ministry of Education), and technical schools, also known as skilled workers schools (2,924) (under the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security). Vocational education at the senior secondary level is for three-four years duration (depending upon the trade), of which the last year entails field training at the enterprises in the related subjects/trades. Public-private partnership takes a concrete form in China. All enterprises as a policy are required to utilize 1.5 per cent of their payroll towards in-service training, which if they fail to do, should contribute to the government to be used towards adult training. (No such requirement exists on Indian firms.) However, without the legal backing of the law, not all enterprises are contributing to such training fund. Given that, township and country governments (and their mayors) have since the economic reforms began in 1979, had much more autonomy and power than local government in India, the support to enterprises by the local government is a crucial aspect of industry participation in TVET. Incentives such as allotment of land at subsidized prices, and preferential treatment in case of award of government projects, do prove to be influential in encouraging industry to actively participate in vocational education and training. To increase participation in the vocational education stream and support students from poorer economic backgrounds, the government initiated various measures. Since 2006 over 40 billion Yuan (OECD, 2010; Wang, 2010) has been spent on vocational education, with more than half financed by the local levels of government. To overcome the financial burden and to ensure that the poor students continue in VET schools, a national scheme was introduced to offer a subsidy of 1500 Yuan per year per student, for their first two years at secondary vocational schools to cover their fees. Since 2009, an initiative has been taken to make tuition fees for senior secondary vocational schools free of cost for all students. This policy recognizes the fact that vocational education in China is not an aspirational (as in India); it also recognizes the fact that poor students face a financial cost if they undertake vocational education and also an opportunity cost as they are not earning a wage by joining the labor market.

The curriculum of a senior secondary vocational school is designed such that, one- third includes general academic skills defined nationally by the Ministry of Education, another one- third is again nationally defined content associated with the particular occupation, and the remaining one- third defined again with respect to the occupational field is determined locally at the school level with the help of local enterprises. Another important aspect of TVET is training of teachers and instructors at vocational schools to be at par with new technologies and needs of modern industry. There are strict requirements of teachers being hired at vocational schools and colleges. Teachers hired to teach at the senior secondary level must possess undergraduate degrees (there is no such requirement in India) and those who are to teach in vocational undergraduate colleges must themselves be postgraduate degree holders in that particular field along with the occupational certificate in that respective trade. In addition, teachers in vocational schools are required to undergo one month in industry each year, or two months every two years for their career progression and promotion. There is no such requirement either for vocational education teachers in senior secondary schools in India or for ITI teachers in ITIs (public or private). According to the 1996 Vocational Education Law, China’s vocational training includes pre-job training, job transfer training, apprentice training and on-the-job training and entrepreneurship training.




 5 Essential digital skills that enhance employability



Do you realize the importance of digital skills in the ever competitive job market? Digital skills play a very important role in today’s world. Be it any industry, digital skills have become indispensable with diverse opportunities for talented candidates. It’s not just basic coding skills but more than that.


As a student or a job seeker, you need to be employable with the right set of skills to grab your dream job. With the advancement of technology, there is a huge demand for people with employable skills. Be it creativity, communication or problem solving, employers need people who possess the 21st century skills. Hence, polishing your skills in social media branding, networking etc. is extremely important once you start your job search. Now, let us have a look at the 5 essential digital skills that will make you employable.



Online profile management

In an era of tweets, likes and shares it’s no wonder that people’s personalities are judged by their presence on social media platforms. Online brand management has become extremely important than ever before with millions of active users striving to build their profiles in various platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora etc. You need to invest your time to make a presence in social media channels. As an active user with lots of activities, you can build your image in an easy manner. This will be an added advantage when employers search social media platforms to analyze a candidate’s personality.


MS Office skills

With the advance in technology and work place processes, many skills have become integral to all job positions. Your MS Office skills are essential for you to complete your works easily. Mastering the art of making presentations and spreadsheets has become a core skill. To get an edge over others, it’s imperative that you excel in advanced versions of MS Office Suite.


Document Management

Digital world eases your tasks in many ways. However, there are some risks that come along with it. Document management is one of the most important skills that you need to develop. For example, with the use of Cloud software, you should be able to store all your data including photos, videos, audios etc in an accessible and orderly manner. This way you can prepare well for all the associated risks.


Social Media and Mobile savviness

Social media and mobile phones are transforming the way you live and even think. Today, it is not just posting an update, adding a picture or commenting something. All the platforms have changed drastically with the influence of marketers, consumers, brand builders and many other people. To adapt with this change, you need to think from all perspectives. Your skill to use various mobile apps and social media platforms should be enhanced with your ability to analyze the changes happening in this industry. You should be able to understand the way each platform work and think strategically.


Image and Video editing

As mentioned above, social media platforms are driving companies to build their brands through various ways. Companies strive hard to build their presence through various creative marketing strategies. Today, employers look for candidates who are able to offer creative solutions. Online marketing strategies are aided by attractive videos and info graphics to influence target population. Therefore, image and video editing skills is one of the core skills that you should focus to become employable.

21st century jobs require smart, social-savvy candidates who are creative and innovative. As companies strive hard to beat their competitors, what makes them strong is their efficient workforce. Digital skills have become essential in all jobs with disruptive technologies. To build a career of your choice, you need to be updated with these technologies and develop you digital skills.



Learning New Skills: 10 In-Demand Skills To Learn Online



The world evolves around us faster than ever before. Technology, medicine, our understanding of human behavior, and psychology—these are some of the many fields making giant leaps year over year. In that context, it’s pretty evident that our initial formal education is no longer enough to sustain our place in this fast-paced world, which makes learning new skills more important than ever.

That is why it’s critical not only to identify those fields and skills that are in high demand in general but also to be very specific at matching those skills with your strengths and existing knowledge. By extending that already-present base, you give yourself a chance to quickly step forward and grow so you can keep up with the pace.

But it’s also a great idea to look above and beyond your circle of comfort. Many skills might seem intimidating at first because they appear too daunting and outside of your comfort zone. You might be scared of even thinking about them because you are afraid that you might find yourself stuck or fail if you start on that road.

Here’s the good news: everyone has those thoughts, and you did, too, before. You had them in first grade about reading and in fifth grade about algebra. Everything new in life was scary at some point. Once you realize that, taking on a new field won’t seem so intimidating.

There’s such a myriad of skills out there, and many of them are in high demand. By allocating time, learning new skills, and putting deliberate efforts into tackling one or more of these fields, you give yourself an extra chance to uncover new passions in life. Along with that, you might find new ways to earn a living or simply live a more purposeful and fulfilling life.

Below are ten skills you can easily tackle with online courses, whether live or self-paced. Each one of them is in high demand today in different ways. When learning new skills, you don’t have to try them all. Instead, chose the ones that resonate more with you, and go for them!

1. Writing

When people hear about writing, they immediately think about authoring novels or non-fiction books. But there’s a lot more to writing than that. You probably write every day—at your job, when you post something on Facebook, or when you write an email, personal or not. Writing is everywhere, and enhancing this skill will improve your communication in all aspects of life.

Some of the best areas of writing you can easily sharpen with an online course are brevity and clarity, grammar, structure, and formatting. Just remember that your personal selling tool—your resume—is also in writing. The better you are at it, the more chances you give it to stand out.

2. Foreign Languages

Globalization is here to stay, and the more our civilization evolves, the more the cultural boundaries begin to merge. That is not in the sense of muddling those boundaries or experiencing a loss of self but in the sense of combining toward betterment.

Cultures bond and borrow the good from one another while also learning from each other’s experiences and perspectives. That’s why learning a foreign language will put you ahead of the pack. In addition, scientific research has shown that learning a second language improves your brain and critical thinking.[1]

3. Coding

For most people who haven’t dabbed into computer programming, the word coding is just as scary as a spacewalk. It sounds alien and downright impossible to grasp. The reality is that today’s coding is no longer the cryptic assembly language where you had to learn how to speak in the dialect of the computer chip. Today, programming languages are more approachable because they employ visual editors and use words closer to our natural language to describe the available functions and variables.

Most code editors are free, and there are dozens of free online courses for all levels that can teach you the basics of programming languages, such as PHP, C#, JavaScript, or Visual Basic. With guided tutorials where you get to program side by side with the teacher, you’ll be able to write your first “Hello, World!” program in no time.

4. Design

Design is everywhere around us, and it influences our choices, our decisions, and our actions. Someone designed the website and the article you’re reading right now. Someone else designed the monitor you’re looking at and the chair you’re sitting in. You acquired those items because of their functional value, on the one hand, but also based on their look and feel.

When you learn how to adapt your work visually to make it more appealing, you gain a skill that will set you apart from the rest. It can be as simple as learning how to design PowerPoint presentations better or make beautiful Excel charts. It could be learning how to format your resume in a pleasing way to the eye or create a color scheme for your blog that will make people want to hang around to read it.

Design can be complicated, but its basics are not. With a few online classes, you can easily brush your knowledge of design, start applying it to your job or hobbies, and make your work stand out.

5. Data Analysis

According to Statista, by 2025, we can expect to have about 180 zettabytes of digital data.[2] If that doesn’t mean much, know that one zettabyte is the equivalent of one billion hard drives of one terabyte each or the amount of all grains of sand on all the world’s beaches. That sounds scary, but it’s reality. The world is moving at light speed toward more and more data every day.

Everything that ever existed in an analog form is being converted to digital, and this process will continue and accelerate. That is why learning how to understand data, analyze it, and draw conclusions from it is a crucial skill that will be more and more in demand.

The great thing is that the basic methods and systems to analyze data can be understood and learned from online courses and books and then applied to any amount of data that comes your way. With improved data analysis skills, you’ll make better judgments at your job or even use that knowledge in some areas of your personal life, such as investing.

6. Presentation

Presentation skills are more than just a beautiful PowerPoint presentation. They are a combination of speaking, visualization, and personality. When you present something, a part of your presentation comes from the material you prepared (text, visual, audio), and another part comes from you, the presenter. Getting a good grip on both aspects will make you a more effective presenter.

This kind of skill is applicable at your job and in other situations where you might be required to present. Maybe it’s a seminar you are teaching or a speech you have to make in the context of a community you are a part of. Either way, there are dozens of courses available online that will help you polish these skills and start using them in the real world. Combining design skills with presentation and communication skills is a killer combination that will truly catapult you ahead of the pack.

7. Sales

From the moment we apply to college until our last job, we never stop selling. We constantly sell our skills, knowledge, and ideas to those around us. Learning how to sell means improving your expertise in many other areas, such as communication, reading and understating other people, persuasion, and presentation.

Improving your selling skills will also help sharpen your negotiation skills. You can apply those in your day-to-day life, even in personal situations such as buying a new car or a new house. When you learn sales, you improve how you listen and talk to people, how to present your ideas clearly and concisely, and how to be more persuasive.

It doesn’t matter what kind of profession you have, you’re always selling something, which is why improving your sales skills will give you a critical edge everywhere in the world.

8. Artificial Intelligence

I know that artificial intelligence sounds like you’d be building robots ready to take over the world, but it’s not that—at least not for the time being.

Artificial Intelligence refers to using machines—or computers, in this case—and leveraging their massive computation power to analyze large data sets, identify patterns, and predict the evolution of different phenomena. Although the field itself is exceptionally vast and can get very complicated, there are areas of artificial intelligence that you can grasp from online courses and use in your day-to-day job to improve your effectiveness.

Machine learning algorithms consume data and apply different patterns to predict and estimate the future. These become very important if your job involves data and future uncertainty. You probably won’t be able to use this to win the lottery, but it will help you in your career and, perhaps, even in some hobbies.

9. Video Production

Obviously, video is not new. What is new is that with a relatively simple piece of software, you can edit a clip taken with your phone and make it look as professional as any true professional would do. You can see this phenomenon on YouTube and other video platforms out there where the users drive the content.

Video editing and production are no longer restricted to large studios and lots of employees. Some of the most successful YouTube creators use a camera, a microphone, and a laptop, and the results are fantastic.

Having this skill under your belt will not only set you apart when it comes to your profession, but it will also allow you to branch out into other hobbies, such as vlogging or taking interviews.

10. Mobile App Development

“There’s an app for that” is no longer a cliché saying because it’s almost true. As of 2020, there were more than four million apps available for download between Google Play and the Apple Store. That’s an impressive number. If you search for just about anything and add the word “app” at the end, you’re bound to find an app that does that.

That means that wherever you go and whatever you do, there will always be a need to create and use apps. The great news is that the app development industry realized this long ago and worked hard to make it effortless for developers to create apps. Nowadays, some simple drag-and-drop editors will produce an app that can work across multiple platforms in just a few clicks. Within a few hours of an online course, you could be building your very first mobile app.

It could be something for your hobbies, your own business, or even something you can propose at your current job. Just having that skill on your resume will open many more doors and open you up to many more opportunities.

Final Thoughts

Life is a never-ending circle of accumulating knowledge, followed by applying that knowledge in the real world and gaining insights and wisdom in the process. Skills are the building blocks of your performance. Although it’s never a good idea to do and try to be everything at once, you should always attempt to learn new skills that are in high demand, even if they are outside of your comfort zone.

Maybe you won’t tackle them all. Perhaps you’ll never become the master of any, but just the sheer fact that you start learning will give you a chance to discover new things that you could grow to love. That’s how passions get built, so why not attempt to find passions in things that are already in demand?

You’d only give yourself an extra chance to succeed in your profession and personal life.







The Power of Soft Skills for Employability


We asked young people a question or two on communicating at the workplace. In the responses received, we saw a pattern…

“I’m good at technical skills but somehow I’m unable to share my thoughts and go to the next level.”

“I don’t agree with my supervisor’s ideas but I feel it is okay to keep quiet.”

“I’m scared to express my thoughts. What if I am not heard or what if my supervisor rejects my thoughts? Or might even respond with aggression!?”

“I find it difficult to work with my team. It’s difficult to get along with them.”

A fundamental theme cutting across these was that of soft skills. Being able to communicate, having active listening skills, expressing creativity, being a team player, being adaptable, and being able to solve problems, all come under soft skills.

Possessing these skills – in addition to skills of the domain – provide new entrants, and existing workforce alike – a better shot at adapting to the changing nature of work.

Why are soft skills necessary?

In the Annual Employability Survey 2019 by Aspiring Minds, it was pointed out 80% of Indian engineering graduates were not employable. Employers also noted that campus recruitment drives are yielding fewer employable candidates.  Employers are raising concerns that many employees lack basic “workplace readiness” skills, especially at the entry-level.

Some of the scenarios include:

  • An entry-level employee does not know how to ask for personal leave. They often take time off from work and come back after a week.
  • It was observed that even when a specific task is given, there is very poor accountability. A lot of follow-ups are needed. This means increased bandwidth of supervisors, which in turn means more costs.
  • Many act emotionally when a difficult situation presents itself. For instance, a dispute with a customer or a disagreement with the supervisor, or a difficult conversation with a colleague. This takes a lot of counseling and cajoling to ensure they are ‘okay’ and stay on the job. This again means more time and cost in managing such an ‘untrained’ or ‘unskilled’ workforce – at least on the life skills front.  This often happens because employees are not explicitly taught to do so. Hence, many may not and do not speak up even when they need support.
  • Another commonly observed scenario is ‘Jump Ship’. Employees jump to another organization, invariably to a competitor for a mere Rs. 500/- or Rs. 1000/- hike in salary. Employees do not understand that frequent job changes would not reflect well in the long run and they end up not learning anything about the organization or process or the job in detail.

Many of these kinds of behaviors are considered unprofessional and may not be acceptable for employers who have strict customer/client commitments. These commitments need to be honored and such behaviors understandably put their brand and reputation at risk. This drives away their trust in such a new/entry-level workforce and they adopt a “wait and watch” approach. Since the attrition is also high, the compensation is not lucrative. Employers feel that even if they invest in training these resources, they tend to leave sooner, and thus making these investments a sunk cost. This becomes a vicious cycle or a zero-sum game where no one wins.

Why do students/ employees lack soft skills?

Let us understand this with the example of an iceberg. In any soft skills training, what is visible or observable to the naked eye is the tip of an iceberg, i.e., only one-eighth of an iceberg. This is the behavior. What is often overlooked or not paid attention to is the hidden part of an iceberg beneath the water level. These are values, beliefs, limiting beliefs, thoughts, motives, traits, feelings, emotions, habits, culture, character, and many more.

A trainer also uses inquiry-based and project-based learning methodology to provoke independent thinking, problem-solving mindset, encouraging systems thinking, emotional intelligence at critical moments, and application of growth mindset to name a few.

Consider the term ‘employability’ – the term itself is enough to turbocharge conversations in the Skill Development ecosystem. But what does it mean to the employer? And to and for the learner? For the latter employability may simply mean learning technical skills – those necessary fundamentals of the craft at hand that “will help get me a job”. But for an employer, it’s more than that. Yes, technical skills are important but equally important are soft skills – or life skills. For it is through working upon these skills, enhancing and honing them is that results in better performance during interviews and then, better placements for the center or institute.

Domain & soft skills – both lay the foundation for one another. But this also involves bringing about an understanding – a shift – to help the learner develop a realization that a mix of the two is key.

It is therefore imperative more than ever before, that the perspectives of fresh graduates and employees’ shift from factoring the ‘now’ to the ‘next’. And with mandatory work from home policies implemented across organizations due to the sudden disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of being guided by soft skills assumes all the more significance – as we continue to be connected virtually – with self-discipline and resolve to be drivers of a very pertinent realization – ‘I need to invest in myself’.





Job and Market Trends of skilled workforce post COVID-19



Mankind is witnessing one of the most devastating crisis ever in human history. The coronavirus pandemic is worse than the WW-II or Great Depression. The impact of this virus will be felt long after it has been completely eliminated from the earth’s surface. Many economies around the world will endure chronic suffering and many lives and livelihoods will be lost. The virus has left millions of people high and dry.

But there is a silver lining too, nature, which has been ripped off its bounties and beauties for such a long time by the human species, has started to heal. The halt of activities due to COIVD-19 worldwide has aided the earth to heal and revive. Many species have been flourishing, skies clearing up and rivers cleaning themselves up.

Coming to the economic impact that the pandemic will have on the countries – Many sectors like aviation, luxury, apparel and fashion, tourism, and hospitality will see plummeting growth rates and will be badly hit by the pandemic. Many start-ups and mid-sized companies might also be badly hit by the crisis. Subsequently, all those engaged in these sectors will either find themselves unemployed or will have to suffer a lot in the near future. But a coin always has two sides, there are some markets which will take off due to this crisis and will flourish such as E-commerce, insurance, gaming, over-the-top (OTT) services, logistics, cybersecurity, IT services, healthcare services, digital marketing, business data analytics, work-from-home, virtual teams, project management software, and edu-tech segments would see the sunrise. Jobs will be hot in these segments. Along with this, microbiology and biotech will also take off. Virtual tourism, demand for nursing, and doctors will experience a sharp rise in the post-COVID-19 times. IT domain would also create a lot of jobs along with Research & Development (R&D), marketing, and sales domain. What is clear during this time, is many conventional things like working from the office, classroom teaching, etc. will become a thing of the past and work-from-home culture, online classes, virtual meetups, etc., will become the order of the day.

In such radical and upheaval times, thousands of lives will be affected and many people especially the labor class, will face the struggle. Many workers will be laid off and many new professions will be in demand.

According to World Economic Forum (WEF), in mere five years, 35% of the skills deemed essential today will change. Hence, it goes without saying that in order to survive in the post-COVID-19 world, there is only one way – evolving and adapting. There will be a permanent change in markets and job requirements in the post-pandemic world. Although there is a lot ambiguous about the post-COVID-19 scenarios, but one thing we have to learn is to live with the virus and constantly adapt in order to survive.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it is the one that is most adaptable to change”.

Agility, adaptability, digital upskilling, tech-savviness will be pre-requisite in the post-COVID-19 times. Artificial intelligence, Internet-controlled operations, robotics, etc. will be the future that will help industries grow more resilient to pandemics in the future. It is therefore very important that people develop an aptitude to learn new technologies and develop the skill to use emerging tools in their work effectively. A major chunk of unskilled workers will face the brunt of the crisis. Some jobs like street vendors, grocery shops, etc., might even face low demand initially. People are bound to become more conscious about their safety and sanitation, and thus, demand for medical and para-medical services will jump up. Workers working in the informal sector like construction will fall into the deeper cycles of poverty and destitution.

To summarize, while the current pandemic has devastated many countries, individuals, communities, and livelihoods, nevertheless, it has also ushered in an era of opportunities for the new industries to sprout and thrive. Many sectors will face a rough time, striving and surviving, while many new sectors will take off in the post-COVID-19 times. In such transforming times, the need of the hour is upskilling and reskilling ourselves. Many jobs will require new skillsets and digital acumen will be the need in order to be future-ready. The workforce can take advantage of the upcoming opportunities only by evolving themselves. Those who fail to do so will be left behind, unemployed, and thrown into the shackles of destitution.

The challenge for a country like India is much greater as a major chunk of the population is unskilled and is employed in the unorganized sector. Thus, Government needs to step up and take the charge. Only with the collaborative actions of the Government, industries, and various stakeholders, can we sail through such difficult times.



India Is Facing Acute Shortage of Skilled Workforce



India has the largest working population in the world. More than 62% of the country’s population is aged between 15 and 59. Whilst, 54% is below 25 years. Wikipedia estimates that India’s average population will be below the age of 29 in 2020. However, finding a skilled person for a job is a struggle for the recruiters. This is due to the shortage of skilled workforce across the country.

Amit Aggarwal is the CEO of Nasscom’s IT-ITeS (IT-enabled services) Sector Skills Council. He expressed his concerns about the skilled workforce shortage in the IT industry. Aggarwal stated that India will struggle to find skilled techies for 230,000 jobs in the Big Data and Artificial Intelligence domain in the future. By 2021, this shortage is likely to rise to 780,000 vacant job posts.

As per reports, more than 70 million individuals, aged between 15 and 59, will enter the Indian market by 2023. In the same timeframe, the nation’s total workforce will be around 404.15 million. According to the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-18, this figure will include 59 million people between 15 and 30.

In this situation, individuals learning new-age skills will have an advantage over their peers. Companies engaging their existing workforce in re-skilling programmes will put themselves ahead in battling the skill shortage in the Indian market.

Factors fuelling skill shortage in the Indian job market

The disparity between classroom knowledge and practical application: Quality education should establish a link between knowledge imparted inside the classroom and its practical application. This is among the most overlooked things in the Indian education system. The majority of the students are unable to understand and process the topics taught in class and end up rote learning for exams. Thus, failing to apply the knowledge practically. These students also lack the ability to analyze a problem and come up with relevant solutions. They end up conforming to a rigid corporate framework.

Most of the mainstream education institutions across the country focus on the theoretical part of imparting knowledge. Very few focus on empowering their students with the required expertise that they can apply in real-life circumstances. Also, there’s a case of academic education not meeting global standards. For instance, a three-year graduation certificate from an Indian institution is equivalent to a one-year diploma certificate in the US.

Shortage of relevant skills: Graduates right out of college do not possess on-the-job skills, which makes the recruiters apprehensive in hiring them. Experienced professionals struggle to switch jobs because they are unable to keep themselves updated about the latest technology and trends, particularly in the IT industry. This poses a huge problem for recruiters. Companies end up incurring huge losses in terms of training costs. Also, there’s no guarantee that post-training, employees won’t quit looking for better opportunities and higher salaries.

Lower female participation: India has a labour force of 395.2 million, out of which only 91.6 million are women. In the technical space, the absence of residential provision for female trainees at training centers is the foremost reason for lower women participation. The second reason is the lack of necessary social support via local workshops. The third reason is the scarcity of relevant coaching and mentoring in these skills programs.

How to tackle this skills shortage?

There are multiple skill development models put in place by the Indian government to tackle the country’s skill shortage. Government-funded programs, partially or fully, to subsidize apprenticeships/training, industry-relevant on-the-job training, and market-led apprenticeships.

The Indian government has launched several campaigns and programs, from Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) to Skill India. Other efforts to tackle the rising skills gap across the nation gap can include:

  • Raising the national standards of education
  • Offering accreditation to more educational institutions for national/global recognition
  • Partnering with developed nations to raise the country’s skill standards and provide
    online certification courses
  • Offering industry-specific online courses for reskilling of the existing workforce
  • Promoting the adoption of new technologies like blockchain

These efforts also help in creating job opportunities and promote the international mobility of the Indian youth.

A platform like Certif-ID can prove to be helpful for India’s skill shortage. It connects recruiters with skilled candidates globally. It is a dedicated skills platform built on blockchain technology and integrates educational institutes, students, working professionals, and recruiters on one single platform.

The platform enables educational institutions to create and issue encrypted, globally recognized digital certificates to the graduates on successful course completion.

Graduates backed by a blockchain-powered digital certificate can connect with potential recruiters. They can exchange information and explore employment opportunities globally.

Digital certificates created and sent using the Certif-ID platform assist graduates and working professionals in proving their skills and level of education.

India needs to tackle its shortage of skilled workforce to keep its industries afloat. The country further requires consistent and effective efforts to upskill graduates and reskill the existing workforce. This will help meet the demand to fill vacant job positions, in the present as well as in the future, across various industries.




Top Five skills required by a mobiliser in skill development

A training organisation might develop an outstanding skill development programme, but all the efforts would go in vain if it were not taken to the right people. One of the main components for the success of any skill development programme is the efficiency of a mobiliser.


The role of a mobiliser is strategic. It’s the mobilisers who influence and impress upon the youth and their parents on the need for skill training, placements, and course certification.

It’s the mobilisers who advocate enrolments on behalf of the training organisation. They are the first point of contact for the community from the training organisation. Therefore, it is essential that training partners and others in the domain give due respect to this role and recognise them with some rewards.

Let us try to understand some of the top skills required by a mobiliser in skill development:

Top five skills required by a mobiliser in skill development

  1. Ability to influence: A mobiliser is essentially an influencer who goes into the community and creates awareness among the youth and their parents on various courses and career opportunities. Mobilisers must be able to communicate effectively, interact with the youth with passion, and most importantly be able to impress upon them.
  2. Be gender-sensitive: Mobilisers must be gender-sensitive. They must keep in mind, the needs of women candidates, objections they or their parents might have, and understand their parents’ considerations.
  3. Technology-savvy: Pandemic has pushed every mobiliser to be technology-savvy. Mobilisers must be able to use mobile phones, various mobile applications to collect data, to be able to work in a team, and to be transparent with others in the training organisation.
  4. Curiosity: Mobilisers must be curious enough to know their surroundings. They must know and be empathetic towards different communities and be able to anticipate their questions in advance. They must be data-centric and be able to connect the dots.
  5. Teamwork: Teamwork is an essential skill to be possessed by mobilisers. They must work in a team not only while mobilising and enrolling students in the course but also after that. By closely working with Centre Managers, Project Managers, and others in the training organisation, the leadership team would be able to make the right commitments to their funders.

Training organisations must recognise the importance of the role of a mobiliser. They should support them with the right tools, transportation, reimbursement policies and help them build the right skills. They should also create enough opportunities to grow and move up vertically. This would be a motivating factor for mobilisers to give their best on the field.

Rewards, recognition and incentives also encourage women to take up the role of a mobiliser. When women mobilisers interact with parents, the confidence among the parents and the women students is high and that is an asset to the training organisation.



Why Vocational Education is the next big thing?


Across the globe, Vocational Education and Training (VET) is gaining immense importance. But why is Vocational Education the next big thing?

Due to the increased use of technology, changing nature of work, the growing importance of emerging technologies, and more, VET ensures that students are ready to face any challenges in the future.

Vocational Education helps students learn the right skills and gain work exposure and smoothly transition from education and training to employment without any hiccups.

Impact of COVID-19 on learning

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we learn. It has given a huge push to digital learning and it is here to stay. Training institutes will continue skill development programs through blended learning models.

Today, not just in schools and colleges, but skill development courses are also being offered through online platforms. To get an idea of practicals, students are asked to watch some videos, listen to some podcasts, do assignments, and so on.

The way skill development courses are being offered now is very different from what it was previously. Vocational Education and skill development have assumed a lot of importance, thanks to the push by the pandemic.

Why Vocational Education is the next big thing?

In the current times, getting trained vocationally has become very significant. If a person has decided to join a practical and skill-oriented course, he/she is already at an advantage compared to others who have not.

They are at an advantage because they might have already decided which career to take up and must have explored placement and job opportunities.


In the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are losing their jobs and income. With advancements in technology and changing work environment, new jobs are expected to take over some of the currently existing job roles. But if you have the right skills and have a skill-based certificate from a good training institute, you are at an advantage.


When we talk about skill-based training or Vocational Education, there are many long-term and short-term courses. These are offered in a variety of subjects like welding, plumbing, fashion designing, and many more.  Skill-based training is also offered in the latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, etc.

Apart from these, one can also choose to pursue Vocational Education from a spectrum of degree programs such as Bachelor of Vocation (B.Voc.), BBA, and B.Sc. Students can also take up an apprenticeship, where they get to learn hands-on skills and earn while they learn. There is no dearth of such opportunities in Vocational Education.


Vocational Education at the school level

The GOI (Government of India) is offering vocational courses at the school level to create awareness among young minds. At present, CBSE schools are offering vocational courses to the students of class 11th and 12th. The courses are spread across fields like Fashion Designing, Culinary Arts, Agriculture, Banking, etc.

Some students might have to take up a job soon after their 12th class. In such cases, pursuing vocational courses can land them a good job as soon as they complete their class 12. They can also choose to parallelly pursue degree programs.


 Reskilling, Upskilling, and Continuous Learning

Many industries got affected due to COVID-19. Many people lost their jobs as many industries laid off their employees due to ongoing crisis.

In such fragile times, the only way to stay relevant is through reskilling, upskilling, and continuous learning. Having only a degree certification will not guarantee a job anymore. This is where having skill-based training and certificate will be an added advantage.

Vocational Education and Entrepreneurship

Across the country today, there are fewer jobs and many job seekers. Therefore, practically not everyone can get a job. Entrepreneurship is another opportunity that comes with Vocational Education and Training.


With the right training and skills, one can set up their own company and not only be able to sustain themselves but also create jobs for others. Job creation is very crucial for a developing country like ours and is much needed in the current times.  


 Therefore, prioritizing Vocational Education, skill-based training and blended learning is crucial to avoid any future disruptions in the way students learn. This will keep the students at an advantage to face any future challenges.



Why Rural Entrepreneurship is important for the growth of Indian economy


The government’s drive to build aspirational districts is a welcome move to encourage rural entrepreneurship. Districts in India always consist of one big town and several villages around. Growing up in Assam and looking 30 years back, I can see that there are still many areas in the city that are recognized by the original names of villages which became part of the expanding town, though the boundaries disappeared.


If we go deeper into the subject from a broader perspective, the convergence will lead to making Rural Entrepreneurship aspirational. For that, we have to look at the important aspects of Rural Entrepreneurship and understand why it is important for the growth of the Indian economy.


Perspective on Rural Entrepreneurship

While our country is an agricultural country, there are many other industries that can develop with the right support and acknowledgment. Let us move away from the conventional models of “only” farming and related products, and look at how the migrant population in the industrial or commercial centres is driving the entire business ecosystem. Two of the core manufacturing areas (Garment manufacturing and Foundry industry) in which we are presently engaged have a huge amount of migration, which has multiple levels of impact on balancing the economical distribution of wealth and prosperity and adds to tremendous pressure on the infrastructure of the city, stress, and distress.

Impact of Rural Entrepreneurship

When people migrate from rural areas, it impacts the economy of the place. By acknowledging the plethora of untapped opportunities in rural areas, migration can be minimized. The potential migrants can contribute to the small and medium-sized businesses in their own regions which will benefit both the rural economy as well as the individual.

By following a modular approach, building skills and competencies, if units like garment/apparel manufacturing, which employs a huge amount of workforce, can evolve as a suitable rural business model. Considering the people behind the production are all from the rural belt, and have acquired skills over years, it is possible to engage them back in their rural ecosystem. Food processing is another business that can boost the rural economy.

The education system can be strengthened as the local entrepreneurial opportunities increase, the migration of students to study, and the costs involved again goes down. There is a snowballing effect that takes place once a business starts generating income and brings money into the local economy. 

Challenges and obstacles to Rural Entrepreneurship

The rural workforce faces unique social and cultural challenges in taking up certain jobs. People who would take up any work in Mumbai, find it below their dignity to do the same work in their districts or villages because of social perception. This is a fixed mindset that needs to change. It’s not easy to do but it can be initiated. Then, there are obstacles that are beyond an individual’s control, starting with political will and policies which will help overcome the challenges. This again comes from the fear of losing “control” of the local economy. The regions which could overcome these obstacles are clearly seen as progressing and their rural ecosystems have also thrived.

Another challenge is to build a culture of quality and commitment that are critical to any business. With globalization, no business or industry will be confined to one country. Meeting the expectation of global customers in terms of quality and meeting the dead line is important for the sustainable growth of entrepreneurship. Even domestic buyers expect things on time and with good quality. Even if the cost is lower, the product or business may not sustain or survive, if there will be no assurance of quality and time.

Entrepreneurship is critical to sustainable development and supporting both economic and social gains, helping to create an inclusive society. Entrepreneurs are inventors who drive solutions, including the issue of climate change. While talent is everywhere, the opportunity is not. The political will has been shown at the top leadership and needs a very persistent effort to build systems that can ensure sustained support to rural entrepreneurship.


The opportunities in India are immense, and the talent pool has a lot of aspirations. It is time to dive deeper and as I find Empretec or similar interventions working on the behaviors of all the individuals, would be fundamental for building our rural entrepreneurship. Empretec also finds a mention in the UN General Assembly Resolution of 2018 on Sustainable Development.



Skills are a Key Ingredient of Success in Contemporary Organizations

Types of Skills

In a world where unprecedented change and relentless competition between individuals, companies, nations, and other players is the norm, to succeed, one must have the right skills. The skills that are acquired as part of the formal education are one aspect and those acquired on the job as well as from informal learning are another aspect. In this article, we refer to both kinds of skills and we categorize them as formal and informal skills. In addition, there are the other skills where the acquisition of degrees and training are characterized as hard skills which land one a job whereas the other skills like soft skills, which are related to managing people, interpersonal communication, and empathy and emotional intelligence are the key aspects are these soft skills. Further, the hard skills are usually acquired during formal education and on-the-job training whereas the soft skills are acquired during informal interactions with networks, peers, mentors, and specialized training that is outside of the education and formal employment. Having said that, it must be remembered that both formal and informal skills, as well as hard skills and soft skills, are sometimes acquired in all settings which means that the ability to learn and adapt is the key determinants rather than which college or institution one attends or which company one starts one’s career. Indeed, in the marketplace for jobs and graduates in the 21st century, all kinds of skills are necessary and vital for continued career progression.


Prepare a Personal SWOT Matrix

Whether one is adept at soft skills or hard skills, the fact that one must choose one’s career accordingly should not be lost in the process. For instance, if you are strong on technology but lack interpersonal skills, you must choose to work in a company that places a premium on technology expertise rather than the ability to talk smoothly. Of course, this does not mean that soft skills are not important as the basic requirement in any job or career is how well one relates to others in the workplace. Further, having the ability to communicate and vibe very well is not the only thing you must possess as in recent years; globalization has ensured that all students and professionals are adept in interpersonal communication and language skills. The key point we are trying to make is for you to have a mix of skills and determine your strengths and weaknesses. You must be able to draw a matrix where you list your skills at which you are good and skills that need improvement along with the jobs that require these skills and then plan and apply accordingly. Indeed, the ability to create a personal SWOT matrix would help you to assess where you stand objectively and without biases that can help you in the long run. Apart from this, the fact that you must continually upgrade your skills is something that we shall discuss in the next section, and the importance of which cannot be overstated.


The Importance of Continuous Learning

As they say, learning is a lifelong process and there is never a time when you say that you have learned enough. Indeed, even experts and professionals usually attend continuous job improvement programs where they learn new skills that are compatible with the changing market conditions. As we mentioned in the introduction, the world of the 21st century can be summed up by the maxim, “Hunt or be Hunted” which means that one must constantly outpace the competition and perform better than others if one is to succeed in the uber-competitive marketplace. With the ongoing recession making it difficult to get jobs without you having a real edge, it must be emphasized that skill acquisition is a continual process that does not have a full stop.


Emotional Intelligence at Work

Having said that, it must be remembered that apart from having a competitive edge, one must also be able to relate emotionally and intelligently with your peers and superiors in a manner that has come to be known as emotional intelligence at work. This is indeed one of the most important skills, which you need to have apart from being the best at your job. Studies have shown that those professionals who focus hard, relate to people, can sacrifice short-term gratification for longer-term rewards, have perseverance, and can endure failures and setbacks have been found to be at the head of their chosen professions when compared to those who started their careers along with them. In other words, what this means is that one must have the “double whammy” combination of laser-sharp focus, a competitive mindset, the ability to work hard, and persevere in the face of failure along with empathy and emotional bonding with people to succeed.

Conclusion: It is Your Attitude, which counts

Before concluding this article, we again stress the fact that when two aspirants for a job are evaluated and when they are found to be equally good, it is the aspirant with the right attitude who is usually selected for the job. This means that no matter how qualified you are and how pedigreed your education is, having the right attitude can take you places. As the saying goes, attitude is everything and the discussion in this article can be summed up as success is determined according to the matrix of skills that comprise all categories and the winner in the ultra-tight job market is one whose skill matrix is well balanced and whose personality is well rounded.







When walking around a party you are the host of, how do you greet and deal with each guest? Is it a scripted ‘Hello, Hi, It’s so nice of you to be here? That, yes, but is that all? Take a minute to think and you’ll realize that your mannerism changes with every individual you deal with, on a closer inspection you may even find that each guest treats each person in the room including you differently.

Every individual has their own characteristic behavior, while one of your friends might be very outgoing and outspoken the other could be shy and contemplative. This difference in characters is what makes up the personality of a person. No two people can be the same, each has a different way of looking at the world and a different way of interacting with it. An individual’s personality is dependent on various factors, their past, their upbringing, the environment, financial conditions, genetic factors, the problems, and hardships or the ease of their life.

All of this is encapsulated in their person. Our personality influences how we think, what we think, our expectations, values, and belief.

Personality development is essentially the development and enhancement of personality traits that will help bring a positive change in our lives. Every single one of us has a unique personality that can be refined, developed and polished.

For the job market, a good personality goes a long way. For most job interviews, a candidate with a good personality is likely to get precedence over a candidate with slightly higher qualifications but an unrefined personality.


A few years ago personality development did not hold as much importance, the idea of personality as a factor affecting career opportunities was not very popular, people relied on knowledge and qualifications for their desired jobs. However, in today’s world personality plays as central a role in getting jobs as knowledge and experience.


Improves social skills

A good personality influences the people around, the charm and aura of a refined personality create an approachable and friendly image. Your social circle reflects your ability to interact with people and your personality earns you the respect of your peers. It is important for an individual to be polite with others, you cannot inspire respect by being rude to people around you. Your social skill also reflects in your interviews, as the interviewer will keep a close watch on how you carry yourself around other people and how you converse with them ( This is mostly observed in the group discussion round of the interview process).


Increases self-confidence

A good personality not only inspires confidence in others of your abilities and achievements, but it also gives a boost to your self-confidence. Knowing that you are well-groomed and well prepared for any social or professional situation helps you stand firm and clear about who you are. A lot of people struggle with low self-esteem and self-worth, a practice on developing your personality definitely helps with your self-worth, as you see people around you inspired by and at awe of your personality.


Improves communication skills

Great command over a language is not the only thing needed to be a convincing orator. Take for example all the great leaders of the world and notice how their presence inspires the audience. The more you work on your personality the better you get with your communication skills. Possessing a good personality adds that confidence in your speech and your body language. It’s easy to persuade and convince people with your words when it is supported with a strong personality.


Brings positivity and optimism

Being a confident and strong personality brings positivity to your life. A good personality helps you look at life in a more optimistic light. You become more open and kind towards the people around you and are able to face challenges with a much calmer and clear head. A boost in confidence also helps improve your approach to every problem. It doesn’t just help you improve your personal relationship but you also bring a more positive aura to your workspace which helps you stay focused and be more productive.


Reduces conflicts and stress level

The positivity that a good personality brings also helps you resolve conflicts more easily. It encourages you to look at the greener side of the grass and find the best possible outcomes even in the worst of situations. A good personality helps you create a healthy and long-lasting relationship both in your workplace and your personal life.

It also reduces your stress level, when you look at life from a positive lens it brings a lot of perspectives and creates a strong coping method for stress, anxiety, and other such issues. With a good personality, you can build a healthy and peaceful state of mind.

With all the advantages of having an appealing and strong personality, let’s look at some ways in which you can develop and nurture your personality.



Personality development is not something that happens overnight, it’s a gradual process spread out over a period of time and consistency. There are ways, behavior, and habits that you can adopt and practice to keep this process going. Let’s look at some simple practices to build up a strong personality.


Gain command over your field. Learn new things.

When talking about a workplace or college or even life in general, a lot of confidence comes from your grasp of a particular field or the knowledge you possess. Knowledge of your field especially helps you in your workspace and job interview, it induces confidence in your abilities and hence helps you appear more confident in your work.

Being open to new experiences and learning new things always helps in improving someone’s personality. The more you see and experience the world the more empathetic you become, empathy improves your understanding and your relationship with your social circle. Learning new things also expands your outlook of the world and does a lot to bring a positive change in your perspective.


Think positive, be positive, adopt a positive approach to life.

Being positive and in command of your emotions helps you keep your inner conflicts separate from how you interact with the outside world. Keep in mind that every challenge you are facing is not permanent and that you are capable of getting out of it. Using positive words and adopting a more confident body language will help you bring about changes that you might not even realize.


Be patient

Patience is a very important quality, personality development happens slow and it requires patience. It doesn’t just help you deal with your flaws but also be more welcoming about others. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Give yourself the time you need, every individual grows at their own pace.


Dress the part

Not to say that appearance is everything, but appearance matters for a good personality. A well-groomed and well-dressed person is likely to have more impact and admiration than someone not dressed the part. Pay close attention to how you should appear in different situations, wear clothes that are suitable to the place and occasion. At the same time do not go to extremes, if you are not comfortable in your clothes it will only portray a clumsy and restless personality. Choose clothes that you are comfortable in and make a style statement of your own, avoid copying others, wear what suits you the best.


Health is wealth

A healthy body and mind are always a good thing. Being healthy keeps you at your best and always adds to your charm. A healthy body improves self-confidence and inspires people. It also leads to a healthy mind, keeping you positive and active in your day-to-day life.


Cultivate positive traits and try to let go of negativity

Avoid criticizing people, be more open, everyone comes with a different personality. Try to not judge people on first impressions. Be sympathetic and good to people. Leave your ego behind, be more humble and down to earth.



A change in your personality is not an impossible task, all you have to do is know your weaknesses and keep them in a box, target those weaknesses and strive to work towards the areas where you are strong and you can easily build up your personality from there. What you have to keep in mind is the fact that it’s not the things that are holding you back that matter but what pushes you to do better and become who you are.



Key Steps to Writing Professional Resume

Writing professional resume

Writing a professional resume looks like it should be an easy thing to do. However, anyone who has tried it knows that it is not as straightforward as it seems. This is because a CV works at two levels. On one hand, it is a straightforward historic record of your skills, qualifications, and employment history. On the other hand, it is a carefully crafted business proposal on why you should be invited for the interview. Writing a professional resume is integral to getting a great job.

Before any employer will hire you, they want to know everything about you in detail.

The Facts

At its most simple level, your CV is a historical record of who you are, what you have done, and your contact details. The first step, therefore, to write a professional resume or even revise an old one, is to ensure that the facts are complete, accurate, and appropriate.

Every CV should include the following factual information

  • Name and Contact details
  • Details of your career history
  • Educational record
  • Any professional qualifications and /or professional memberships
  • Relevant Skills and knowledge
  • Relevant training and development

This all seems very straightforward, but getting these wrong immediately disqualifies you even if you have landed the job and may exclude you from ever applying again to that organization.


Name and Contact Details

Your name should be the name that you carry on your educational certificates. You may be called something in your private life, e.g. Dicky or Shorty, but you need to put your formal name i.e. Robert or Richard on your CV.

While writing a professional resume, it is acceptable to give only your mobile number on the CV as your preferred point of contact. However, it is important to keep that mobile topped up with money and fully charged up so that if you get a call you are able to take it.

If you have a voicemail, please ensure that you have a professional and clear voice as that is the first thing an employer may hear. Please keep professional ringtones. Ensure that anyone else who could pick up the phone is ready and equipped to take messages on your behalf.


Email address

Try using your personal email address for your job searching activities rather than a current email address (if you have one). Many companies now have internet and email policy that prohibits personal use of this kind. Make sure your email address is suitably professional. Your surname with initials or your surname with your name is very suitable. You can use numbers, however should avoid “0” or “i” unless they are part of a clearly recognizable word. For eg. using an email like is very confusing as one is not sure whether it is 0 number or O alphabet.


Career History

Employers will want to know the details of your work experience, educational background, professional memberships, etc


Previous Employers

List all your previous employers with some additional information about their size, turnover, key products, or services. You can use this information to draw attention to any similarities between your previous organization and the one you are applying to e.g. similar turnover, products/services.


Dates of Employment

It is essential to get your date of employment correct while writing a professional resume. You can enter the dates as a month to month or even year to year if you want to cover a gap of a few months. However, these must be 100% accurate. Employers will check with previous employers the dates you have worked and your bank account will reflect the salaries received, so you can’t escape the truth. Don’t be caught out by some silly error and repent later.


Key duties and responsibilities

For each role, include some brief bullet points about the key duties you performed. Employers would like to know the scope and size of your role so try to quantify this as much as possible. Do mention the budget you managed, who were your customers, and how big was the account you managed.


Certifications and vocational qualifications

List any certifications you have achieved which are industry related or recognized by professional associations like NVQs, etc

If you are already working in a specific field, you should also list any memberships of compulsory and voluntary organizations. Such organizations often require members to work to certain standards and ethics and take professional exams.

Also, include any in house courses taken, external courses are taken as part of training and development, etc


University or College Education

Write down details of any degree or college courses for which you have studied. Note the grade achieved, the dates of study, and the name of the institution. Where you have more than a degree, list them all, with the most recent or the most relevant first.


Secondary School Education

Write down all of the qualifications you attained at school and your dates of study and exam achievements. Normally your CV should include information on your secondary school achievements only if you have less than five years’ job experience and/or do not have a higher academic qualification such as a degree.

However, you could include your secondary school education if you had excellent grades.

If you are a fresher or a first-time job seeker, you should also make a note of other school achievements like any awards or prizes won, any position of responsibility head (being a head girl or head boy), part of committee managing events, etc



Write down specific areas of knowledge that you have which include legal, marketing, maintenance of web servers, knowledge of AWS, etc



This information is usually relevant to academic staff recruitment and one way to demonstrate that you are an authority in a particular field is by mentioning if you have had something published in a well-known journal, or attended conferences regularly on the subject both as a speaker and as a participant.



It is not strictly necessary to include your hobbies and interests in the CV, but it sometimes has advantages. If you are going into a job selling mobile phones, it could be helpful if your hobby is to study the latest mobile phones in the market. Also, an interesting hobby can lead to a great conversation with the employer and break the ice. So the important thing here is that if you choose to mention a hobby or an interest, make sure it is genuine and that you can talk about it in the interview.


Voluntary work

Employers are often interested in socially responsible activities. They indicate energy and team spirit and a positive view of the community, skills often required in a community.

If you are not working anywhere at the moment, and have a gap since your last job, enrolling yourself to do some voluntary work at least for a few hours a week will be enormously beneficial for your CV. It will help you answer your interviewer as to what you were doing since your last job.


Additional information

Any other information that you think is useful may be added here like languages known, holding a driving license, etc



Identify two individuals who will be happy to act as a referee for you. Ideally, they should be your current and past managers. If that is a problem, you should find someone of equivalent seniority in the same organization or in a different organization who has dealt with you.


Optional information

Date of birth is optional information that you may add. In many countries, it is unlawful to discriminate against anyone based on their age. Employers must consider your suitability based on your skills. If you feel your date of birth is going to work against you, you may not include it.

Similarly, some countries require you to have a work permit/working status so it is important for you to mention in your CV that you are legally eligible to find a job and get employed without any visa requirements.


Definitely Not add


Marital/Family status

There is no requirement to mention whether you are married or single as this gives no relevant information to the employer. This was a norm a few years ago and married people were seen as more stable but this is not true today and there is no need for you to write that in your CV at all.


Religion, sexuality, political affiliations

These are completely irrelevant information and should only be mentioned if they are relevant to the job in question for eg a job opportunity in a certain community group.



Do not mention, periods of ill health, especially if it has no impact in the future on your work performance. If the illness does impact your work in anyways like regular leaves are required, mention it in the cover letter or the interview.



How To Become Self Employed With Zero Experience

Looking for a job where you get to be your own boss? But not sure where to start? Being self-employed can be truly wonderful – you get flexible working hours, the chance to do things your own way, and best of all, you reap the profits. This is ideal, but without the necessary groundwork in place, it can be difficult and stressful to achieve. If freedom and independence matter to you in your work, then putting the time into making your self-employed venture work for you could well be worth it. Yes – it might be scary. And if you have zero experience, it’s even scarier. But it doesn’t mean it’s off the table. Let’s find out why.

As with all things, it starts with research
A common mistake that people make as they consider whether or not to become self-employed is to think only about products or services that aren’t out there in the world already. They want to offer something new and original. And this makes your job as a self-employed person even harder – because unfamiliar products need far more time, money and work to convince people they’re worth buying. So unless you’re pretty sure that your new idea is set to dazzle the world, it’s safer to look for a gap in the existing market instead.

Get all your ideas out on the table. Then ask yourself, is there a market for this? Can I find a niche in this area that will set me apart from everyone else? If not, why bother in the first place?

Spend the early stages of your journey towards self-employment doing thorough market research. If you have zero experience, then really, you can start anywhere. But it’s good to think about your interests, and what’s likely to keep you engaged with the business several years down the line. Don’t know how to conduct market research? Here’s a guide.

A list of job ideas for self-employed people
There are lots of different jobs you can do on a self-employed basis. Some require specialist skills, others require skills that can easily be learned with some time and dedication, and the rest can be done by almost anyone – providing they have enthusiasm for the role. The one thing all of these options have in common is that you get to be your own boss:

Here are some options to get you thinking:

Voiceover artist – if you have a great voice and a good range of styles, you can make money as a freelance voiceover artist. Set yourself up online and find paid work through sites like and Upwork. You will need a professional-sounding voice reel
Personal shopper – it’s no job for an amateur: one thing you will need is a real eye for style. If you tend towards the fashion-forward and have good people skills, this could be a good option for you
Designer – it could be graphic design, interiors, or fashion. To be a good designer you must have a natural eye for it, but you will also need some training if you haven’t got experience. Lynda online classes are a good place to start
Copywriter – got a way with words? If you can write well, you can earn a living, whether that’s creating content for websites, for brands, for advertisements or SEO. Setting up your own blog to showcase your work is a good first step
Event planner – no formal qualifications required, just mad organization skills. If you’re always the one getting your friends together and are good at staying on top of things, event planning could be your forte
Dog walker – naturally, it helps if you are a dog person. It also helps if you’ve got experience looking after dogs – even if you only had them growing up. Otherwise, provided you’re a reliable and enthusiastic person who doesn’t mind brisk walks and getting rained on once in a while, dog walking is a very pleasant job
Bookkeeper – every business needs one. As long as you can land clients, you won’t go out of business anytime soon. If you’re a numbers person, consider bookkeeping
Personal trainer – there are always people trying to get in shape who will pay for a professional to help them. Not anyone can be a personal trainer – you will need a certification – but it’s not outside the realms of achievability, provided you have a genuine passion and interest in fitness
Tradesperson – we’re not about to stop needing professional builders, plumbers, carpenters and electricians anytime soon. When you learn a trade, you have a skill for life – from then on it’s all in the marketing and building your reputation locally
Flipping websites – flipping websites can be a great way to make money; it’s much like flipping houses. If you can take an existing online business that is generating some revenue, improve the website to generate higher traffic and more sales, you can earn money from that website and then sell it on for a higher price. Website flipping marketplaces like Exchange are good places to find online businesses for sale
This list is not exhaustive, just here to give you some ideas.

Making yourself known
Beyond this, it’s important to have some sort of plan for attracting new clients. This will ultimately determine whether or not you make it in the self-employed world. Marketing has changed dramatically and requires creative use of various methods – both online and offline – to make an impact.

Use of online networking and social media is a big one, and can help to significantly grow your client base, as well as make connections with others in the same boat as you. It’s certainly worth having your own business website, even if it’s just a simple brochure site that provides an outline of your services and your contact details for people to get in touch.

People expect businesses to have an online presence, and since most online shoppers use search engines to do their research before buying, you should also learn basic SEO skills to ensure that you can be found. Of course, meeting your potential prospects face-to-face is also important, and an online presence is no replacement for that.

Takeaway tips
Think you’ve got what it takes? Here’s some advice for making it work:

Be passionate – because if you don’t care deeply about what you do, you won’t do your best work
Be positive – because your mindset has the power to make or break your business. Be prepared to work hard and have confidence in yourself
Advertise – because unless you get your name out there, you won’t get any new clients
Be patient – because it might take a while for things to really get going, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get there
Don’t ignore your competitors – because they have bigger budgets and have been in the business longer than you. Learn from them
Be fair – because there’s a big difference between being reasonable and undercutting yourself. If your business isn’t profitable, it’s not going to be around for long
Self-employment is certainly hard work, but it’s the kind of job where you really do get out what you put in. The reward for that hard work goes straight to you. What’s more, you have the freedom to create your own work schedule and do what you’re really passionate about. Could self-employment be the right path for you?


For India to achieve development goals, investing in health and well-being of youths must be a priority

With one in five persons being an adolescent (10-19 years) and every third a youth (15-24 years), India is a young country today. The sheer size of the adolescent and youth population reflects the wealth of human resource in our country.

However, in order to optimize this demographic advantage, we must ensure that our young population is equipped to make a meaningful transition into adulthood. Efforts to this end include ensuring easy and universal access to education, skill development, employment generation, quality health services including sexual and reproductive health, nutrition and a supportive environment both at home and in the community.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of investing in young people’s sexual and reproductive health as well as mental well-being. Even prior to the pandemic, young people faced several barriers in accessing sexual and reproductive health services including, but not limited to lack of awareness, stigma due to negative cultural attitudes to premarital sex and geographical inaccessibility, mainly due to insufficient availability of youth-friendly health clinics.

To assess the impact of COVID 19 on young people, in May 2020, Population Foundation of India (PFI) conducted a rapid assessment in three states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The young people expressed the need for mental health care services as they reported feeling depressed, frustrated and irritable due to economic anxieties and job insecurity.

The National Family Health Survey 4 (2015-16) reports that there is a much higher unmet need for family planning at 22 percent among young currently married women (15-24 years) as compared to the overall unmet need of 12.9 percent among currently married women (15-49 years).

This trend indicates that a large number of young women wish to delay or avoid pregnancies but do not have access or agency to use family planning methods.

Young people need greater access to quality family planning services and spacing methods of contraception which would require greater budgetary investments in family planning. Despite a growing young population, the current budgetary allocations for family planning activities do not align with our demographic needs. The budget allocation has remained at four percent of the National Health Mission budget since 2014-15 and only 60 percent is utilised.

The limited resources for family planning also make it difficult for states to adopt a rational distribution of the available budgets resulting in skewed allocation of resources. About 82 percent of family planning budgets are directed towards permanent methods and incentives, which include compensation to beneficiaries of female sterilisation, male sterilisation, adopting spacing methods, and ASHA incentives for family planning.

Other critical family planning-related services such as provision of spacing methods for young population, capacity building of service providers and behaviour change communication activities take a back seat due to limited fiscal resources available after accounting for permanent methods and incentives.

Close to 40 percent of the approved budgets for family planning remain unspent due to inadequate capacity of the states to utilise funds, delays in transfer of funds to the implementing units and inadequate monitoring mechanisms to track the flow of funds and its utilization.

Ensuring sufficient funds for family planning is even more important today, in the context of the disruptions in provision of health services caused by COVID-19, which threaten to have severe consequences on the sexual and reproductive health of women and young girls.

Similarly, there is a definite need to increase budgetary allocations for strengthening and scaling up the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) across all states.

Budgetary allocations for RKSK have declined across most states during the pandemic period. The decline in allocations is more evident for Delhi wherein the allocations for 2021-22 have declined by 55 percent as compared to the previous year. Jharkhand and Rajasthan have witnessed a decline 32.5 percent and 24.5 percent decline respectively.

Analysis of the composition of RKSK budgets reveal that the allocations for different components within the programme are not rational. For instance, in Rajasthan, more than half (51 percent) of the adolescent health budget was allocated towards procurement of sanitary napkins in 2021-22. Budgets for adolescent health trainings have been reduced to half from 18 percent in 2020-21 to nine percent in 2021-22.

Analysis of expenditure for RKSK in 2016-17 reveals that only 43 percent of the total budgets allocated are spent.

There are also huge interstate disparities in the coverage of adolescent friendly health services through the Adolescent Friendly Health Clinics (AFHCs). For instance, in Rajasthan, only 3-4 percent of adolescents have registered at Ujala clinics to avail clinical and counselling services in 2019-20, despite the huge unmet need for sexual and reproductive health services among adolescents.

A study by Population Foundation of India titled “Returns on investments in Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health in Rajasthan”, estimates that in order to meet the unmet need for sexual and reproductive health care services, the state government would have to provide contraceptives to an additional 2,53,165 users (adolescents) and comprehensive abortion care services to 75,000 users over the next five years (2021–2025) at an estimated cost of Rs 412 million.

The benefit-cost ratio from such investments is about 3:1, i.e., Rs 100 invested to meet adolescents’ unmet need for contraceptives will result in a return of Rs 300, indicating a very high value for money from this investment. Potential health gains from these interventions could avert 1,45,696 unwanted pregnancies, 1,46,838 unwanted births, 14,043 unsafe abortions and deaths of more than 7,000 infants and 300 pregnant women between 2021 and 2025 in Rajasthan.

Going forward, there is an urgent need to place adolescents at the center of government policies, investments and interventions. Convergence between ministries of health, education, women and child development, youth and sports affairs, labour and employment, social justice and empowerment, rural development and Panchayati Raj is critical for ensuring a holistic approach to reaching every young person in the country on a range of issues impacting them.

For India to achieve its development goals, greater investments in young people’s health and well-being must be a priority.




The current skill development trends in the IT industry


The Indian IT industry, which employs millions of people, is quickly growing. The industry currently accounts for 7.7% of the country’s GDP and is predicted to grow to 10% by 2025.

Indian IT firms have always proven their ability to supply both on-shore and off-shore services to global clients. And in the aftermath of the pandemic, emerging technologies have opened up an altogether new set of opportunities for India’s premier IT firms. While rapid technological change is assisting the industry’s growth, it also necessitates the development of new skills if you want to build a career in the industry.

If you want to work in the IT industry, there’s good news for you: the industry is employing both freshers and experienced professionals at an unprecedented rate. Following nationwide lockdowns, hiring in the industry has been rapid, with a 163 percent increase in June’21 compared to June’20.

In 2021-22, the top three Indian IT giants, TCS, Infosys, and Wipro, will employ around 1.05 lakh people. This hiring has resulted in a substantial change in recruitment, which the tech leaders expect to last for the next few quarters.

Employers are prioritising candidates with the correct skill sets while hiring is expanding to fulfil demand, resulting in a shift in your employability.

A beginner’s guide to the recent technology trends in the IT industry

Gone are the days when an average person with basic programming skills might find suitable jobs in the IT industry. In today’s competitive market, highly qualified engineers are required. To create a career in the industry, you must upskill/ reskill to gain industry-relevant technical and soft skills. To begin your career, you must develop your Deep Tech abilities while also remaining open to emerging trends such as the gig economy.

Here are a few major technology trends that are disrupting the current IT job market. These technologies are the pivotal job creators in today’s IT industry.

AI and Data Science

  • Data Visualisation
  • Predictive Analysis
  • Blockchain/DLT
  • Data Management
  • Data Analytics
  • Data Architecture
  • Data Engineering

Intelligent Automation/Soft Computing

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • RPA
  • Digital Process Automation
  • Virtual Reality
  • User Experience
  • Quality Assurance
  • Mobility
  • DevOps

Cyber Security

  • Cyber Security Analytics
  • Privacy Management
  • Risk Analysis
  • Compliance
  • Cyber Security Metrics
  • Penetration Testing
  • Security Audit


  • Cloud Computing
  • Networking
  • Cloud Storage
  • Server Administration
  • IoT
  • Device Management
  • Virtual Help Desk

Skill development initiatives which aim to ensure your future readiness in the IT industry

Your future in the IT industry is secure, thanks to the industry’s strong expansion. However, in order to maintain a continuous professional progression, you must develop the necessary industrial expertise. There are numerous initiatives undertaken by the Indian government as well as big tech companies that will assure your market readiness and assist you in developing all of the necessary skills.

Here are a few such initiatives by some of the leading tech companies and the government of India,

  • SAP India and Microsoft announced the launch of TechSaksham in August 2021, a collaborative skilling programme targeted at encouraging young women (from underserved areas) to pursue professions in technology. As a result of this agreement, 62,000 female students will be trained in artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, web design, and digital marketing.
  • Infosys has developed a talent marketplace called FLUID to help their employees reskill and earn a skill tag that can be used to identify expertise in various new-age technologies.
  • IBM is beginning to provide employment skills to 30 million individuals around the world by 2030 to improve access to AI, quantum computing, blockchain, analytics, and cybersecurity, among other fields.
  • Microsoft India partnered with the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) to create the DigiSaksham programme to upskill adolescents from rural and semi-urban areas in digital skills and empower them in the tech-driven economy.
  • National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and WiselyWise have partnered to deliver free and affordable Artificial Intelligence (AI) training in regional languages such as Hindi, Marathi, and others.
  • Future Skills PRIME, a first-of-its-kind initiative by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and NASSCOM. The initiative aims to create an up-skilling/re-skilling ecosystem in 10 emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, IoT, blockchain, 3D printing, AR/VR, cyber security, cloud computing, and so on, to enable IT professionals to continuously improve their skills in line with their aspirations and aptitude.
  • Because AI and robotics are growing technologies in India, the Andhra Pradesh Skill Development Corporation has inked an MoU with the Applied Robotics Control Centre (ARCC), a leading German school, to provide high-end training to 2,400 engineering students.

The panorama of skill requirements is shifting in tandem with technological improvements. The job market will become far more competitive. While all initiatives are unique, your dedication and desire to learn will be the most important factors in understanding current technology trends and staying relevant to current industry requirements.

Apart from tech leaders and the government, major EdTech companies like TalentSprint, a National Stock Exchange Company are also offering industry-aligned courses which will help you master in-demand skills and build your career in the industry. Along with the courses, TalentSprint also organizes virtual talks and webinars to keep aspirants updated about the recent trends in the industry.  

So, are you prepared for a career in the ever-evolving IT industry?


How To Prepare for a Job Interview

Your success in a job interview depends a great deal on how you prepare for it. Interview preparation primarily involves researching the job and the company and thoughtfully considering your answers to the interview questions. In addition to pre-interview preparation, there are certain aspects you should prepare for during and after the interview . In this article, we take a look at the steps involved in preparing for a job interview and some actionable tips to improve your chances of success.

How to prepare for a job interview: Pre-interview preparation

The following are some essential steps for pre-interview preparation:

1. Review the job description

Read the job description to thoroughly understand how the employer has described the position and the type of candidate they are looking for. Carefully review the keywords and key phrases the employer uses to describe their expectations. The more you can align your skills and qualifications with the job description, the better chances you stand to impress the interviewer. You may also get some clues from the job description about the questions the interviewer may ask.

2. Consider your eligibility for the job

Think about your qualifications and experience. Ask yourself why you should apply for that job and why the employer should hire you. Assessing how the job fits into your career path and what value you can add to the company will help you convince the interviewer about what makes you the best candidate for the position.

3. Learn more about the company

Get in-depth information about the company through its website, social media pages, employee reviews and other online sources. Find out about its mission, management, work culture, the types of products it offers and the types of clients it serves. Get some insight on its latest revenue, growth prospects and business plans. Most companies display information about the management on their “about us” page, employment-related information on their “careers” or “work with us” page and information for investors on their “investor relations” page.

Researching the company well will help you align your CV with its expectations. It will also help you answer questions about the firm during the interview. If you are familiar with the organization, you can also ask relevant questions to the interviewer, which will show your seriousness about the job. However, you need not go into technical details if you are applying for a non-technical position. The idea is to get a basic understanding of the company’s line of business.

4. Prepare a list of expected interview questions

Make a list of common interview questions for the given position and frame thoughtful answers. Prepare impressive responses to questions that give you an opportunity to highlight your skills and interest in the job. In addition to position-specific questions, here are some common questions to include in your list:

  • Tell me about yourself.

  • Why are looking for a job change?

  • Why do you want this job?

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • What motivates you?

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

5. Practice mock interviews

No matter how well you prepare, it is natural to feel anxious and overwhelmed at the time of the interview. Mock interviews can be a great help in this regard. They can create a real interview-like environment and help boost your confidence. Ask your friends or family to conduct a mock interview for you. Consider recording the entire process to analyse your performance. If you can’t find anyone to play the interviewer, you can rehearse the interview in front of a mirror.

6. Organise your documents

You may have applied using a digital copy of your CV, but it always helps to keep hard copies of all your documents with you, just in case the interviewer needs them for easy access. Take a printout of your resume and cover letter. Put all the important documents including your mark sheets, certificates, ID proofs and photographs in a folder. If the HR has asked you to bring any particular documents like salary slips, relieving letter from previous employer or bank statement , be sure to keep them ready as well.

7. Update your social media profile

If you are on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform, make sure you have an updated profile. Employers often check your social media presence to get an idea about your personality and background. Search for your name in Google to see what results turn up. If there is anything unpleasant, prepare yourself for a response if the interviewer asks about it.

8. Make travel arrangements

Familiarise yourself with the location map that the company has sent you. You can also check directions to the venue using Google Maps. Based on the distance and the time it would take to commute, plan your timing and decide on the mode of transport. Have contact information of the HR department ready with you just in case you need any help locating the company.

9. Decide on your interview dress

Choose a formal dress that you would be wearing for the interview. Make sure the clothes are clean and wrinkle-free. If you plan to spray deodorant or perfume, make sure it is mild. Overall, plan for a neat and clean look with well-cut hair and shaved or trimmed beard.

How to prepare for a job interview: During the interview

Follow these steps to prepare for a job interview when you are at the interview venue:

1. Reach the location early

Reach the venue a few minutes before the schedule. It will give you some time to rest and relax. If it is a far-off location from your place and the journey has been tiring, you can use the extra time at hand to drink water, use the washroom or freshen yourself up. Reaching early helps reduce anxiety and gives time to mentally prepare for the interview.

2. Be polite

The way you hold yourself in the office tells a lot about you. Many companies use CCTV footage to analyse your personality. Sit patiently in a good posture while waiting for your turn. Be polite to the people you meet including the receptionist, security guard and other candidates.

3. Be mindful of your body language

Be firm and confident while speaking to the interviewer. You can start practising it the very moment you enter the company. Be mindful of your body language while interacting with the receptionist or HR executive. Pay attention to how you smile and greet them.

4. Ask thoughtful questions to the interviewer

Most interviewers would give you an opportunity to clarify your doubts and queries. Make mental notes during the interview to ask pertinent questions to the interviewer. If you have any doubts regarding the position, company or any other issue, you can get them clarified towards the end of the interview.

How to prepare for a job interview: After the interview

The following steps can help you after you have attended the interview:

1. Analyse your performance

After you come back from the interview, take out a few minutes to analyse how you performed and what areas could have been better. Ask yourself whether you forgot to mention something or whether you could have responded to any particular question in a better way. This will go a long way in improving your interview skills.

2. Inform your references

If you have given any references in your CV or in the job application, make sure you inform them so that they are not caught off guard when the HR calls them. Call up your references and tell them about the company and the position you have applied for. Let them know the skills and qualities you would like them to recommend you for.

3. Follow up with HR

If you do not get to hear from the company within the expected time, you should follow up with the HR department on the outcome of the interview. You can do so through phone or email. Irrespective of the mode you use, be sure to mention your name, position applied for, interview date, name of the interviewer and other relevant details to help the HR staff recall your meeting.

Interview preparation tips

Here are some actionable tips to improve your chances of success in a job interview:

  • While you wait for your turn at the venue, switch off your mobile phone or put it on silent or vibration mode. If you need to take an urgent call, speak in a soft and low voice.

  • Sit patiently in the waiting area. Loitering around in the office would give a negative impression.

  • Be careful not to ask any personal questions to the interviewer, HR staff or the receptionist.

  • Keep your answers short and focused.

  • Always talk positively about your current or previous employer.

  • Be honest if you do not know the answer to any question the interviewer asks. If you need some time to collect your thoughts, it is fine to pause and ask the interviewer for some time to think.


How to Answer “What Is Your Greatest Strength?” With Sample Answers

“What is your greatest strength?” is a common HR interview question among recruiters.

However, don’t be deceived by its simple nature as answering it can be quite tricky if not practiced well.

To begin with, recruiters ask “What is your greatest strength?” to understand whether a candidate is a good fit for the company or not.

Read on to know how to answer this common HR interview question and ace your upcoming interview.


How to answer “What is your greatest strength?

To make a lasting impression in front of your recruiter, it is important to first understand how to answer “What is your greatest strength?”

Here are a few factors to consider before framing your answer to this common HR interview question.


Read the job description well

The first step to preparing to answer “What is your greatest strength?” is to read the job description well and understand their distinct requirements.

Also, research the company to get a better understanding of the company’s values, mission statements, and vision.

This will help you to get clarity and formulate your answer better.


Choose relevant strengths to the job requirement

After you have gone through the job description, focus on the key strengths that the job requires and whether or not you possess them.

You can categorize your strengths into the following categories.

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Soft skills
  • Hard skills

Remember to choose only one category and stick to it. You do not want to sound cluttered and all over the place.


Keep the list short

Once you have distinguished your skill sets, list a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 strength points per category.

When you list strength points under the category of Experience, you can list the best point which aligns with the recruiter’s requirement for the job.

Take, for example, Mr. A is applying for the Senior Sub-Editor’s post at ABC company.

He can list his developed experience in handling magazine editorial processes, or his extensive attention to detail, as his strongest point


Provide examples

It is best to provide examples while answering “What is your greatest strength?” to support your answer.

Make sure to provide relevant and recent examples to leave a better impression on the recruiter.


Explain how it can aid in your success at the job

Let’s draw the same example of Mr. A from the above-mentioned point.

When he’s applying for an editorial position in a media organization, attention to detail is the topmost priority as market reputation is riding on it.

So, he can highlight his attention to detail as to his strongest point which helps in ensuring the brand’s image remains intact in the market by processing flawless magazine copies.



Sample Answers to “What is your greatest strength?”

Now that you know the factors to consider while answering this HR interview question, let’s go through a few sample answers.

Sample answer #1:

“I believe my greatest strength lies in the fact that I am extremely attentive to details.

We have been editing around 100 copies every week and as it is known an organization’s reputation lies on the shoulders of a flawless copy.

I have been reputed as a person who pays attention to the most minute of flaws visible in a copy which resulted in fixing it before the copy hit the printing press or even published online.

I understand the importance of a brand’s market reputation and believe that my attentiveness to details and capabilities to fixing it will help in the growth of your brand more.”

Sample answer #2:

“ I believe my greatest strength is the ability of quick-fixing a problem due to the presence of mind.

Being into event-management, problems pop up most unexpectedly and it can blow out of proportions if not dealt with accordingly.

There was an event last month where the wrong picture of a speaker was reflected during an event.

So, I immediately got it pulled down, found the correct picture, and made the corrections, and got it showcased again without anyone noticing the issue.

There is no doubt that this mistake could have cost us a great client, but thankfully we avoided losing them due to our great teamwork and presence of mind.”

Sample answer #3:

“My greatest strength lies in my people’s skill. Communication is the key to every team is what I believe.

A few months ago due to a misunderstanding, a huge communication gap was seen between the editorial team and the remote correspondents.

This was sure to affect the magazine processes and impact its revenues.

So, I decided to have a conversation with the correspondents and the Head of the other bureau.

I took the time to listen to all of their grievances and explained the problem the editorial team was facing.

It was just a matter of a day and upon understanding the problems of both the parties, everything started to fall in place.

Also, with encouragement and proper team spirit we managed to get everything done on schedule and flawlessly.”

Sample answer #4:

“My biggest strength is my level-headedness. Even in the toughest of situations I have never lost my calm.

A few months ago during our magazine editing process, I had come across a piece that was 90% plagiarised.

It was a critical piece of the main story and we had to send the magazine for print the next day.

So, without wasting any time I read the full story, got in touch with the particular reporter if I stumbled upon any roadblocks, and rewrote the entire piece.

Although it took me a whole day to fix it but was worth it.

Also, I was thankful for such an amazing team who showed great team spirit and cooperated in the smooth sailing of the magazine closure.”

Sample answer #5:

“I believe my degree in English honors and my knowledge in InDesign and Quark are my greatest strengths.

My degree helps me with my language and impeccable grammar whereas my expertise in InDesign and Quark helps me to edit any piece with ease.

Over the last year, there have been many instances where my seniors had approached me to help them with editing on InDesign.

Even the reporters approach me to get an idea of the word limit required for their stated pieces.

My knowledge in these editing tools helps the team in the smooth finish of the magazine closure and without any flaws.

There was an increase in the readers’ feedback praising the team for producing great stories as compared to the previous years.

This made a huge difference to the team and encouraged us to work even harder to keep our readers happy.”


Mistakes to avoid while answering “What is your greatest strength?”

So, with the ‘How to’ part of answering this HR interview question sorted, here are a few mistakes you would want to avoid while answering “What is your greatest strength?”

Do not be too humble

Answering the HR interview question “What is your greatest strength?” is your opportunity to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job.

Therefore, avoid providing humble answers as you want to put forward a powerful version of yourself and not a weakling.

Avoid exaggerating

It is understandable that you want to bag the job and leave a great impression in front of your recruiter.

However, it is important to know to strike a balance while answering “What is your greatest strength?”

The major reason why you want to balance your answer is that if you overdo it, the recruiter might think that you are full of yourself and would not be able to work well in a team.

Do not sound under-confident

Remember, you want to leave a strong impression on your recruiter, and the best way is to provide strong confident answers.

It is important to remember that a recruiter seldom remembers an under-confident candidate out of a pool of interviewees.

So, practice your answers as much as possible to look confident and speak in a confident posture.

With these tips and sample answers, hopefully tackling the HR interview question “What is your greatest strength?” will be simplified.

All the best!