IT today has percolated into all industries to an extent that all companies would be technology companies in the near future. Given this change, it is imperative that individuals, enterprises and institutions align to the dynamism of skill demands.
With the drastically reducing shelf life of skills, it has become extremely important to have a learning ecosystem that scales based on demand with respect to every learner based on individual stage in learner evolution. While IT jobs primarily aligned to scale and later to skill, it has now reached a tipping point where the need is to skill at scale. Speaking of skilling, the equations have further been redefined wherein the need is for learners is not merely to know-how, but to practically show-how.
The solution to a challenge this big can only be by a way of multiple interventions which are seamlessly integrated into a desirable learning engine that has various aspects such as mentor assistance, hands-on practice labs for application, rich media content for self-learning, micro-assessments for self-evaluation, capstone project to create personal profile and recommendation engine with learning paths to cross skill & up skill.
The list of emerging technologies has turned into a hissing livewire with frequent change in trends as per client/ consumer demand. At this juncture the only skilling mantra would be to “Learn, Unlearn and Relearn”. Learning technology/ technologies from this context becomes a perpetual voyage with significant milestones without a specific finish line. The key would be in not looking at training courses as an end in itself but learner excursions that are tempered with learning experiences which result in defined outcomes.
The need of the hour will be Learning Experience Platforms and not just Learning Management Systems. These platforms must have the ability to create and sustain meaningful, immersive and engaging learning interventions by establishing the learning design as an art and science. The learning design needs to integrate a wide array of enablers that work in tandem to mould the learner into a finished product, allied to specific skill sets.
It is also becoming imperative that skill development will have to be established as an immunity system and not as a cure after realizing the unemployability of an individual. Eventually all job roles of the future would have technology embedded into it. In this regard, whether it is a student, job aspirant or a working professional, having the pertinent skills is the only way to last in a competitive job marketplace. In fact, IT as a singular industry is an approach that is dated and the appropriate perspective would be to envisionIT as the spine to most industries.
Appropriate learning paths/ ladders will not just change the employability quotient, but actually provide a skilled talent pool to write the success stories of the future. Technology needs to be approached as a means to solve problems and not merely as tools or languages to execute instructions. Technology needs to be taught as a mindset, not just as a skilling measure. A spirit of scientific enquiry and inquisitiveness needs to be developed in learner eco-systems to build a powerhouse of talent that will shape the world. What is getting redefined is the elementary equation itself where learning happens only when teaching happens. Learning shall now have to happen in the absence of teaching, where an individual can meaningfully draw learning/ career paths based on personal ambitions, professional obligations or industry applications.
Learning technology will ultimately have to be through contemporary means since many of the conventional methods might not be sufficient to cater to the learning needs. It is time that we all embrace the Information in Technology. It is time that we harness technology to train the workforce of the present and future. It is time technology is an enabler to learn key skills such as mental elasticity, problem solving and design thinking. It is time to learn technology, through technology.