Speaking to TechGraph, Rahul Kashyap, Co-founder of SkillSlash said, “Gen Z employee upskilling is not only a challenge but also crucial to retaining young talent.”
Read the complete interview here:
TechGraph: Could you help explain how far Skillslash has come in its two years of existence? From when it began to where it is now?
Rahul Kashyap: Skillslash started its journey as an offline service with the mission to upskill working professionals that align with the industry trends. We used to travel across cities to reach aspirants across various industrial hubs and universities. During those early days, we used to offer free sessions to help them understand in-demand technical skills and how they can help them advance in their career.
Though the free lessons helped us garner considerable attention, we witnessed a major spike amid the pandemic when we switched our services online. Within only 4-months since the nationwide lockdown, we had received over 10,000 applications for online courses. As a result, our total headcount has also witnessed over 68% growth over the past year.
We also saw a good increase when we were awarded the “Most Admired and Preferred Unicorn for Ground-Breaking & Innovative Technology” by CE Worldwide & SPOCS Global in 2021.
TechGraph: What is the state of online learning and upskilling platforms in the Indian market, especially for Gen Z?
Rahul Kashyap: Every year, India produces about a million engineers. Yet, only a few hold the expertise needed to succeed in the tech sector. One of the biggest responsible factors is the outdated curriculum offered by engineering institutions and universities in the country.
However, with the rise in upskilling platforms and increased internet and smartphone penetration, the skills gap in the industry has started to close.
It is especially true for Gen Z since they are digital natives and can emerge as highly responsible learners when empowered with the right tools and learning methods. Moreover, the generation has almost zero experience working in physical offices.
This lack of opportunity for employees to interact with (and learn from) their coworkers and inadequate onboarding could lead to high turnover and a skills gap among Gen Z.
In other words, in the post-pandemic market, Gen Z employee upskilling is not only a challenge but also crucial to retaining young talent.
TechGraph: What has the response so far been to your online courses?
Rahul Kashyap: The response so far has been positive on the services we offer. Our certification program directly from industries and real-time projects have made Skillslash highly popular among aspirants. In addition, compared to other upskilling programs, we have also kept our course fees on the lower side.
The mission of Skillslash has always been to disrupt the professional upskilling platform. And in line with our goal, we keep our courses well-designed with a significant emphasis on practical learning, be it data science, AI, or ML.
This is also why, unlike other edtech players, we don’t offer pre-recorded classes. All our classes are live, with less than 30 students. With this focus and diverse learning methods, I believe we have gathered aspirants’ trust to help them with career transition in the tech world.
TechGraph: What are the new career trends in the data science and AI fields?
Rahul Kashyap: After the pandemic, businesses across industries have realized the value of data science and AI. Adopting these new technologies has accelerated, and market experts predict their growth in all aspects, including career. In other words, companies will continue to invest more in AI and data science, and there will be an upswing in their jobs.
Also, until now, there has been a stable demand for generalists. However, I believe as we advance, niche expertise will rise in demand, especially in data science.
The new-age technologies like AI and data science are prevalent across developed countries. However, countries like India are still at an early stage. It is changing in 2022.
As more organizations realize the importance of data science, AI, and ML, professionals with expertise in these areas will gain traction for faster experimentation and execution of these models.
TechGraph: Skillslash has been collaborating with industry experts and technology partners to enhance students’ experience. From now on, do you see more such engagements?
Rahul Kashyap: We believe in offering economical and transparent courses. Through certification programs, we have won the valuable trust of students. And our primary priority for the coming years will be to expand our operations and increase our digital services.
High-quality education has always been a priority for Skillslash. So, there will be more collaboration and interaction with professionals and industry leaders to make learning a rich and rewarding experience for our students.
With similar features that benefit our students, we also aim to introduce more courses, including blockchain, robotics process automation, full-stack development, cyber security, and digital marketing. With our novel approach to learning and upskilling, I believe Skillslash has the potential to make a mark in the edtech industry over the coming years.
TechGraph: How do you see AI, machine learning, and cloud technologies concerning their relevance in online courses? What will the future look like?
Rahul Kashyap: Technology is ever-evolving, and real-time applications of technologies like AI and ML will continue to expand. Be it communication or agriculture, or finance, these technologies, including blockchain, will play a key role in the future.
Even in relevance to online courses, as the applications of AI and cloud increase, they will be directly proportional to the job market outlook. All left to do is now to upskill and stay updated because they are set to take hold of the future.
Skillslash offers professionals and students distinctive programs in ever-trending technologies. Professionals must prioritize skill development for competence and stay current with today’s fast-paced world.
TechGraph: What is the roadmap for Skillslash going forward?
Rahul Kashyap: Through our experience project-based learning approach, We hope to make Skillslash the platform of choice among aspirants. We have positioned ourselves separately from our peers with our carefully thought-out curriculum and a keen emphasis on practical training.
Besides adding new courses and collaborating with industry experts, we are also eying an international expansion. Our sole focus for the next five years is operation expansion and ramping up our digital offerings. Meanwhile, we will continue to reach more aspirants and build awareness about new applications of cutting-edge technologies and their market demand.
The career prospects in the tech sector are poised to flourish in the future, and Skillslash will play a key role in making the workforce future-ready.