What Is The Key Skill in Post-Covid Job Market?

During the lock down if there is anything that has been unlocked and unleashed it is online learning. The onus to develop and build your career is on you now, says Irwin Anand, MD Udemy India in an exclusive with Namrata Kohli

What is most important skill that one needs in order to be successful in today’s job market?

The currency, going forward, for people to be successful will be learning and skills. In fact, what we believe is that the key skill for people to be successful in today’s job market is the ability to learn and acquire new skills.

Do you find an increase in number of registrations at Udemy during lockdown period?
Sometimes crisis gets the best out of people. We see doubling of the traffic, users and enrollments not only in India but everywhere in the world. There is three times growth in demand for business skills such as digital media management, stock trading, financial analysis etc and five times surge in hobbies of art, how to play a musical instrument, activities such as Pilates (being also used to coach kids during the lockdown period). Besides, a rise in registration by individual learners and corporates, there is a 125% surge in new instructors.

Who are typically the instructors who create the content? How remunerative is it for an instructor when they associate with a site like Udemy?
Eighty percent of our instructors are professionals, with proven skills in the work environment that can be applied on the job ‘here and then’, and not like a theoretical lecture in a classical setting. So our value proposition is that you can learn from people who are practitioners of skills in a particular domain– it will be taught in a way you can apply in the job. With 57,000 instructors and growing, new skills which were not there five months back keep getting introduced. It is the instructors who essentially figure out the next big topic, the next big skill, create that content and put it on Udemy to keep their courses fresh and refreshed. Most of them continue to make this as an incremental source of income or even the potential source of only income. From a revenue share perspective as a thumb rule we do a 50:50 percent revenue share with instructor which makes it extremely lucrative for them. The reach of online learning platform is unmatched. The courses are available for access by learners not only within your city, state or country but all around the world.

Which are the bestselling courses at your platform?
The courses that continue to have a strong audience are the ever-trending technology courses- the likes of Python, Java, ethical hacking, data science, machine learning, IT. Data science and digital marketing are also the buzzword for a lot of people. The business skills for negotiation, financial analysis are also very popular. Apart from professional enhancement, there is heightened interest in developing skills that allow you to become a better person in life.
What is your experience with Indian learners?
India is Udemy’s biggest market outside of US. India is our second largest market which is the fastest growing one at triple digits. This talks a lot about the overall curiosity, anxiety and need of learning within this particular market. India has potentially the largest number of college graduates in the world but lack training in practical skills.

How do you manage to keep the courses so affordable and lucrative?
For us, affordability and ensuring learning for the masses is extremely important. In fact we also encourage our instructors to create free courses on the platform. Out of the 1.50 lakhs, 15,000 courses are free.
It all boils down to us anchoring on the marketplace model wherein Udemy itself does not really create its own course – it’s the instructors who own these courses and they own the IPs. There are very few marketplaces who have been able to scale and become big in the learning space and Udemy is potentially the only one.

Is there any sort of advice you can give for everyone out there during Lockdown. How do they positively channelize energies into learning and upskilling and zero in on right course for themselves, through platforms such as yours?
Today you could either specialize in one direction or acquire familiarity across a breadth of skills. I think the beauty about Udemy is that you can discover your own path. The onus to develop and build your career is on you now.I would say the system in the past would help us become successful but today it’s up to us- as to what actions we will take, in terms of investment in ourselves- which will help us navigate and address the challenges and opportunities of the future.
I feel during lockdown, you must block yourself from thoughts about the future but at the same time, utilize your extra time in what you want to do and what should you be investing in terms of career growth. You can familiarize yourself first of all with a few things and wherever you are getting interested, explore deeper. Focusing on learning today is important.

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