In an interaction with Dataquest, Arun Rajamani, Country GM of Pluralsight India, a technology learning platform, talks about the current scenario of enterprise skill training and its increasing significance due to impact of automation on employment. He also divulges on how they are making a difference through their e-learning platform.
Do you believe the Indian education system is able to bridge the gap between demands and supply of productive and skilled professionals?
The Indian education system has been slow to change and is over-reliant on the classroom method of teaching. A technology company takes 6 months to train a college graduate to becoming a billable professional due to the skills gap that exists between what is taught in academia and what the industry needs. We are now seeing technology companies vertically integrating with colleges to ensure that they train students early and create a strong supply chain for themselves.
What solutions does Pluralsight provide for online skill training of technology professionals?
Pluralsight has over 6000 courses on software development, IT operations and creative technology and covers all areas of cloud, design thinking and tools, mobile app and product development, data analytics and data science and a host of digital skill areas. Pluralsight’s technology e-learning platform provides online assessments, skill paths, personalization features like channels and live mentoring to deliver a holistic learning environment. In fact, inspired by our technology learning experience, software OEMs like Microsoft and Oracle partnered with us to create content, assessments and skill paths for cloud, Adobe and Autodesk partnered for design, Tableau partnered for data analytics and we are actively speaking with the world’s leading mobile OS OEMs to drive the next generation of skills development around mobility.
How much of a difference can corporate training programs make? Do you see companies stressing more on offline training or online training?
Companies are beginning to move from the classroom led corporate training model to a full-online or a blended model combining both forms. India has been slower to change but in a recent survey conducted by Pluralsight with software professionals, there is an overwhelming move towards online self-paced learning. Millennials are learning differently. Companies also can’t afford their employees plucked out of projects for a week to sit in a classroom. They would much rather want that skilling happens while working.
Observing the ongoing gap amidst IT education and on-the-job skill-set requirements, how is Pluralsight bridging the gap through its e-learning?
Pluralsight helps IT companies evaluate current skill levels of their employees against future skills direction. Then we map skilling to business objectives by customizing the e-learning experience with Skill Paths and Channels. Next, we gamify re-skilling with adaptive online assessments that a learner takes pre and post-learning and this becomes a continuous measurement system. Finally we provide live professional help with our global mentor network to learners with practical technology needs or doubts.
The number of hours of e-learning that we are clocking in India on Pluralsight has grown by 250% in 3 years. If you combine that with the fact that more than 300 customers have signed up with us including some of the largest tech companies in India, that would give you a good indication of the rate of shift towards online as the preferred mode of learning both from an individual as well as company’s point of view.
What makes Pluralsight’s e-learning path different than other online tutorials?
Hyper-personalization of learning experiences – The platform allows the learner to customize the experience to suit her learning style and needs. Pluralsight has a feature called Channels that allows a learner to personalize the learning experience and also allows companies to customize the learning platform to match their business objectives.
Real-time mentoring – With e-learning, a global mentor network can be made available to each employee where they can avail their help in real-time to resolve doubts in their minds on concepts and applications
Skill Analytics – In today’s evolving tech environment in India, it is imperative that companies conduct detailed analysis of skill clusters that exist within their organizations. e-learning allows for skill analytics (through online assessments) which allows a company to define current skill levels, target skill levels and tailor learning programs to take an employee from current to target skill level.
What are the latest trends emerging in the enterprise technology learning space in India, against the global backdrop?
Gamification: Gamified learning not only makes the learning process more of fun activity, it also increases learner engagement and effectiveness. If implemented in right manner, gamified learning will enhance the overall learning experience for all experience brackets. Games give freedom to experiment, freedom to think, freedom to jump in and out of roles and provides a platform to collaborate while learning. This is very different from a formal classroom or virtual environment where there is relatively lesser immersion.
Byte Size learning: With shrinking attention spans and digitally induced distractions plus the pressure of meeting work deadlines, it is important for learning to be condensed into byte-sized modules so that the learner can switch to 2-5 minutes of learning and then switch back to their work.
Artificial intelligence: Machine learning, which we use in our platform as well, will be used extensively to understand user behavior to recommend courses, paths and assessments based on the user’s browsing pattern and interest levels.
Cloud technology: Cloud-based learning platforms will pick up in the enterprise space as companies look to promote any-device, any-location, any-topic learning solutions to meet their re-skilling needs at scale.
Are you updating or making any important changes in your courses and training programs post automation making its mark in the industry?
Through our 1000+ author network, Pluralsight adds 90 courses a month to our 6,000+ course portfolio. We have more than 500 courses and skill paths on automation, on how tech professionals can learn automation tools in development, testing, infrastructure management and design to bring more efficiency to their work and increase productivity for their companies. We also support e-learning for various certifications like AWS, Microsoft, Docker which requires expertise in automation.