WORLD YOUTH SKILLS DAY SPECIAL: How can young people help themselves grow in life?

 

Divya Jain, Founder, and CEO, Safeducate

Today’s millennials are the most diverse, tech-savvy and connected lot of young people the world has ever seen. Young and aspirational, they make up for 40 per cent of India’s population and are regarded as the drivers of the future economy. Yet, a gap exists between skilled employees and the employment opportunities available to them. While India is witnessing a high demand for skilled employees, all of them do not necessarily hover around academics. This is why a need has emerged for millennials to look beyond academic pursuits and become the catalysts for change.

Making the right career choice

Youngsters should be keen to expose themselves to different horizons and not stick on to a single field as directed by their elders. Indian parents, for long, have been known to push their children towards “safer” fields such as engineering, law and medicine. When it comes to zeroing in on a career choice, how many students are equipped enough to make an informed decision? It is high time that youngsters look beyond the conventional courses or widen their knowledge with additional courses, without restricting themselves to a single option. With the plethora of career opportunities available nowadays, youngsters need to evaluate their career choices and push their career envelope with a greater degree of awareness and enthusiasm.

The youth should have an open mind to approach different opportunities that are futuristic as well as tech-based. The dynamics of the global economy and the needs of companies have led to an increased demand for professionals with specific expertise and skills that are not necessarily available at traditional universities. Many industries and fields are looking for people with specific skills to solve problems in a practical, simple and pragmatic manner.

With massive developments in technology and many emerging fields, youngsters should realize that solely focusing on academics will do no good for them in the future. They need to be open to holistic development and come out of their shell to develop their skills. In fact, several companies reported that adaptability, flexibility, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills were given equal importance while hiring new employees.

Holistic development of students

In order to make the country’s more employable, then, educational institutions should look at the holistic development of students and also expose them to entrepreneurial activities during their formative years, in order to help them develop a better work ethic. Industry sources reveal that close to 90% of trainees have a limited understanding of the business sectors they are entering. Even the academic programs that graduates undergo, fail to prepare them for their day-to-day jobs.

It is clear then that youngsters must undergo programs that not only help them to update their skills but also boost their morale and offer confidence to perform better. A solutions-based approach, with exposure to relevant problems, would provide students with a holistic education, and allow them to compete at both the national and international levels. There are jobs that exist today that didn’t exist a few years ago, and in the coming years, there will be new job roles created with every successive year. Millennials need to look at the larger picture and learn to apply their skill set to different roles to open up their horizons and they need all the support they can get in this endeavour.

 

 

To raise awareness on the importance of investing in youth skills development, the United Nations General Assembly decided in resolution A/RES/69/145 to designate 15 July as World Youth Skills Day.

Celebrating the World Youth Skills Day 2018, a discussion focusing on how innovation and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), are transforming labor markets, as well as what skills youth need to operate in future economies and to become drivers of a sustainable future, will take place July 16 at the UN Headquarters in New York.