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Indians have high skills in machine learning, Math but lack data skills: Coursera’s Global Skills Report 2021

The Coursera’s Global Skills Report 2021 by global online learning platform Coursera said that overall, India ranks 67th globally. It ranks 55 in business, at 66 in both technology and data science.

June 09, 2021 / 02:25 PM IST
Over 5.7 million learners from India had joined Coursera in 2020

Over 5.7 million learners from India had joined Coursera in 2020

Despite high skills proficiency in areas like Machine Learning and Math, India trails in data skills. The Coursera’s Global Skills Report 2021 by global online learning platform Coursera said that overall, India ranks 67th globally.

India ranks 55 in business, at 66 in both technology and data science. In Asia, India ranks low, placed at 16, ahead of countries such as the Philippines and Thailand, but below others like Singapore and Japan.

The platform said in a statement that over 5.7 million learners from India had joined Coursera in 2020. Despite the increase in enrollments, Coursera’s latest Global Skills Report 2021 said that India continues to witness a digital skills gap.

The study draws on performance data since the pandemic's onset from more than 77 million learners on the platform to benchmark skills proficiency across business, technology, and data science for over 100 countries.

The report reveals that while Indian learners are relatively more adept at digital skills like cloud computing and machine learning, there is a significant skill challenge across the three key domains.

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As demand for data scientists outstrips supply worldwide, India is also grappling with a shortage of data science professionals. Coursera’s GSR 2021 indicates that Indians have 52 percent proficiency in ML and 54 percent in mathematical skills.

However, there is significant room for improvement in two key skills for digital transformation-Data Analysis and Statistical Programming, ranked only at 25 percent and 15 percent skills proficiency respectively.

A report by AWS estimates that digitally skilled workers represent only 12 percent of India’s workforce, and the number of employees requiring digital skills is expected to increase nine-fold by 2025.

"The pace of skills transformation is slower than the pace of digital transformation in India, as is the case in several countries across the world. Learners must invest in both soft and technical skills to prepare for jobs of the future," said Raghav Gupta, Managing Director - India and APAC, Coursera.

Among the various skills, cloud Computing is India’s strongest technology skill with 83 percent proficiency. A report by Wheebox, ranks India among the top nine nations for global public cloud services, with a growth rate higher than the global average.

The report said that the increasing investment in cloud technology and computing power marks a clear direction of future talent demand. It added that cloud computing is an area that also presents an employment opportunity for entry-level workers with just 51 hours of learning.

It added that India must focus on building key data skills, despite strong foundational skills like Machine Learning (ML) and Mathematics.

STEM and women learners

The report said that India shows evidence of evolving gender dynamics as women adopt online learning at one of the fastest paces globally.

The share of overall Coursera course enrollments as well as in STEM courses from women learners in India saw an unprecedented increase. The former increased from 25 percent pre-pandemic to 35 percent in 2020, accounting for the fourth highest increase globally.

Here, the share of STEM course enrollments - which constitute many foundational digital skills, by women learners in India grew from 22 percent pre-2020 to 33 percent in 2020, the second highest increase globally. However, an overall learner-share of 37 percent (women), emphasizes a gap in access to online learning.

Based on the performance data of millions of learners on Coursera globally, the report also reveals the skills and time required to prepare for entry-level roles.

It said that recent graduates and mid-career changers can develop entry-level, digital job skills in as little as 35 to 70 hours (or 1-2 months with 10 learning hours per week).

On the other hand, someone with no degree or technology experience can be job-ready in 80 to 240 hours (or 2-6 months with 10 learning hours per week).

The most transferable skills across all future jobs are in human skills like problem solving and communication, computer literacy, and career management.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jun 9, 2021 02:25 pm

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