Lucknow: Digital transformation and advancement especially in areas of data science and machine learning is causing more and more young professionals to seek advancement in their digital and human skills through online platforms, a Global Skills Report released by US- based online learning platform Coursera has suggested with CEO Jeff Maggioncalda saying the country may overtake Europe in terms of number of learners on the platform by the next 12-18 months.
The Global Skills Report 2022 prepared by the platform draws data from 100 million learners in more than 100 countries who have used Coursera to develop a new skill during the past year. The report benchmarks three of the most in-demand skill areas driving employment in the digital economy - business, technology, and data science.
In Asia, India stood at the 19th position with the report showing an increase in the country's technology proficiency levels from 38% to 46%, helping it strengthen its position by six spots. On the other hand, proficiency in data science dipped from 38% in 2021 to 26% in 2022, leading to a 12-rank drop. Maggioncalda however, attributed the fall partly to onboarding of many "beginners" seeking to learn data science from the platform, leading to an overall dip in the proficiency of the skill among ..
"The relative decrease in data science skills is because a lot of learners in India are learning the subject as beginners. Compared to US and Europe where we have advanced data science skills, a lot of new learners coming from India to Coursera are joining the platform to learn the introductory skills in data science," Maggioncalda told ET in an interaction. He also added that the average age of learners in India (28) is lesser than the global average (32) and that the percentage of women learners from the country has gone up from 26% before the pandemic to 37% in 2022. He revealed that one of the top courses for learners from India is machine learning from Stanford University and in terms of the skill, India is 20% more likely to learn machine learning that the rest of the world, pointing at the high demand for the subject in the country.
The report also suggested that overall learners from southern India performed better than states in northern India across all the three domains, even as West Bengal topped the list of states in terms of skills proficiency across domains.
“The Great Resignation and automation are mandating stronger investments in human capital, as institutions must prioritize developing the high-demand digital and human skills required to build a competitive and equitable workforce,” Maggioncalda said.
"Our data shows these skills are not equally distributed, and students and low-wage workers need access to flexible, affordable, and fast-tracked pathways to entry-level digital jobs that offer a foundation for a stronger and more inclusive economy.”
"There are 16 million learners from India on Coursera while there are 18 million in Europe. However, with growth rate of 40% year-on-year, India is growing much faster and will probably overtake Europe in terms of learning on the platform in the next 12-18 months," he said adding that the fact that some of the most premium educational institutes of India like the IITs, IIM, IISc, among others are among the 14 partners of the platform in the country also puts India ahead of US and Europe in terms of learning on the platform in the next 12-18 months," he said adding that the fact that some of the most premium educational institutes of India like the IITs, IIM, IISc, among others are among the 14 partners of the platform in the country also puts India ahead of US and Europe in terms of "innovation" and "reinventing higher education". In the US and Europe, leading universities are typically risk averse and conservative, he said, even as he also lauded the country's policy framework as "forward leaning" when it comes to integrating online learning with higher education.