By Sunil Sood, Chief Business Officer – Executive Education, Times Professional Learning
Amidst economic uncertainties, technological disruptions, a two-year-long pandemic, rapid globalisation, and many other cascading forces that are creating tectonic shifts for businesses, executive education has become more important than ever. For working professionals to stay competitive, upskilling is the need of the hour to reignite their careers.
While executive education has been around for more than two decades, it wasn’t until just a few years ago that it became the phenomenon that powered the upskilling revolution across the world. Driven by the improvements in the quality of learning management systems and immersive educational technologies, executive education has become hyper-customised to the needs of working professionals, with automated feedback mechanisms embedded in it to guide professionals as they progress through a course.
Since 2015, there has been a marked growth in the number of online executive education programmes offered by management institutes and a rapid increase in the number of students who are signing up for these programmes. The pandemic further boosted this demand for upskilling and reskilling. As institutes implemented live online learning, they also adopted new digital methodologies, including breakouts, chats, and collaboration tools, hence creating opportunities for inclusion, sustainable growth, and real change. In doing so, executive education has enabled professionals to reinvent themselves and renew their careers.
The Disconnect Between Skills Needed and Skills Possessed
One of the main reasons executive education programmes for working professionals in India has witnessed such a high surge in demand is because of the constant need for working professionals to update their skillsets and remain relevant in an ever-evolving business landscape. Rabid globalisation and technological disruptions are playing an essential part in the creation of new jobs that require advanced managerial and technical skills. Excelling in the 21st century’s fast-changing economic landscape requires employees to adapt to a wide variety of circumstances, including paradigm shifts within industries, evolving roles and responsibilities, and changing management practices and company cultures. According to a PwC survey, 77 per cent of chief executives report that a scarcity of people with key skills is the biggest threat to their businesses. Therefore, it is not a surprise that today’s professionals are taking executive education courses to stay up to date with the latest industry demands.
While freshers with management or technical degrees enter the job market possessing up to date skills, it has become essential for seasoned executives to bridge their skills gaps to stay relevant in Industry 4.0 and advance their careers. It is pertinent for them to constantly reinvent themselves professionally and realign their skillsets with the needs of their industries. A survey conducted by NASSCOM found that more than 50 per cent of the Indian professionals needed upskilling to match the changing dynamics of the industry. Another survey by the Manpower Group of 19,000 millennials spanning 25 countries revealed that 46 per cent chose the acquisition of skills and knowledge as the number one way to achieve career progress. This is because upskilling allows executives to renew their careers amidst constant industry fluctuations and changing job roles and requirements.
Executive Education and its Impact
Compared to full-time management programmes, executive education programmes do not require professionals to take a break in their careers. The courses are designed as per the convenience of working professionals so they can establish a convenient balance between their work and education. The programmes are designed in a way that helps working professionals apply the concepts they learn in the classrooms to practical, real-life scenarios, enabling them to receive prompt feedback about the usage of their upgraded skills.
A specialised credential in a niche functional area garners the attention of top recruiters from reputed organisations and can even facilitate a career change. Furthermore, a certification and alumni status from a top-tier institute can strengthen the position of aspirants in their existing organisation and entitle them leadership opportunities.
When looked at from a long-term context, executive education facilitates organisational development, professional development, knowledge acquisition, career development, and networking for aspiring candidates.
How Edtech Has Enabled Executive Education
Edtech firms like Times TSW are making big strides forward to train India Inc in industry-relevant skills. For instance, Times TSW, through its various collaborations with premier institutes of the country such as IITs, IIMs and top B-Schools, is making executive experiences richer and more meaningful by leveraging educational technologies to design customised programmes for different job functions. Through learner-centric innovations and global collaborations, executive education programmes by Times TSW have created offerings that cover a spectrum of domains ranging from management and strategy to operations and emerging technologies. The programmes are rigorous and target value-conscious professionals.
Edtech companies providing executive education solutions and offerings have the potential to transform the lives of working professionals and catapult their careers as they strive to meet the skill requirements of Industry 4.0. In the light of globalised business practices, emerging technologies, and cascading economic uncertainties, executive education has become more relevant today than ever before.
Disclaimer: Content Produced by Times Professional Learning (TPL)