‘Workforce Development in the Age of Digital’ highlights the Urgent Need for Private Sector to Lead

‘Workforce Development in the Age of Digital’ highlights the Urgent Need for Private Sector to Lead

ravi kumar infosysInfosys (NYSE: INFY), a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, today released research which explores the current state of workforce development efforts in the United States. The research identifies a fundamental workforce development misalignment between academic institutions and businesses. It also describes how the private sector must provide greater training opportunities to lower the barriers which currently prevent workers from nurturing the skills they need to participate in the digital economy.

“The research clearly demonstrates that the private sector must play a larger role in addressing the workforce development needs of today and tomorrow,” said Ravi Kumar, President, Infosys. “While the private sector cannot overcome the skills gap without partnership with academic institutions and government, we can and must lead the way. By recruiting talent agnostic of their disciplines and backgrounds—but with the aptitude to learn new skills —and providing them a continuum of lifelong learning, we can nurture workers on the cutting edge of all that’s needed for the future of work.”

The quantitative and qualitative research report, which surveyed groups across the workforce ecosystem — including hiring managers, school administrators, traditional STEM talent, and unconventional or non-STEM talent — identified the different perspectives, expectations, and needs of both the supply and demand sides of the U.S. workforce and labor market. The research found that the economy for which colleges and universities have prepared their graduates is not the economy in which businesses operate today. In today’s digital age, businesses increasingly need workers who are fluent in digital skills, but who are also capable communicators, well-versed in logical and analytical reasoning, and geared toward problem-finding rather than just problem-solving.

“For those of us in the liberal arts, we are teaching and educating our students to understand how to learn so that they are adaptable for any career in the future,” said Joanne Berger-Sweeney, President, Trinity College. “Liberal arts students do a great job of adapting to technology positions because, one, they know how to learn; two, they’ve learned the soft skills that allow them to work with all types of people; and, three, they come in with very strong oral and written communications skills—all of which allow them to provide incredible breadth and depth to the technology workforce of the future.”

As opposed to traditional methods of classroom-based learning at the university level, the research found that the training model of the future necessitates that talent be continuously reskilled throughout a worker’s career life cycle. Importantly, the research found that this approach solves for two of the biggest barriers to cultivating a workforce of the future: the time and money it would cost workers to pursue these skills outside of the workplace.

Thirumala Arohi, Vice President of Education, Training and Assessment, Infosys said, “Lack of adequate digital talent supply continues to be one of the greatest barriers for large organizations looking to transform. Infosys Wingspan, our holistic learning platform, revolutionizes corporate learning, making it on demand, on the go, interactive, and easier for workers and organizations to focus on reskilling today, to be better prepared for tomorrow.”

Infosys’ workforce development model closely follows the findings of the research report. The company is recruiting and training local talent with the aptitude to learn digital skills, creating opportunities for those with and without a background in technology. The company has created on-demand learning for employees, delivered through experiential means, which they can access throughout their time with the company. This learning is enabled, in part, through partnerships with universities, colleges, and community colleges from across the country. These partnerships are critical to the development of continuous learning curricula, geared toward solving the problems of the future. And through its partnership and training efforts, Infosys is creating local recruitment pipelines matched to a rapidly changing and disruptive workplace ecosystem.

To develop the research report, Infosys surveyed over 700 hiring managers, school administrators, traditional talent, and unconventional talent online in December 2018 and January 2019. The survey, conducted by Brunswick Group, developed a 360-degree view of the transformation of talent sourcing and training.

Highlights from the research:

  • 85% of hiring managers believe reskilling and continuous education for existing workers is needed to ensure American workers can access the opportunities in the future
  • 76% of school administrators and 82% of hiring managers agree that corporations must play a greater role in developing unconventional candidates by providing cutting-edge training opportunities to be successful in the future
  • Many do not consider technical skills as important as non-technical skills (strong work ethic, self-motivated, high cognitive skills etc.) in the workplace today, but expect the workforce to rely more on technical skills in 10 years
  • Greater than half of the unconventional talent polled and greater than a third of conventional talent polled identified the cost of the program and the time needed to dedicate to the program as the greatest barriers for pursuing STEM careers
  • The best resources to reduce these barriers for unconventional talent were identified as online courses and employer-subsidized programs, which provide accessibility and flexibility