The Employability Crisis is a Global Crisis
High quality talent needs to be available across the globe. Unfortunately, this is not currently the case. While there are good examples of some countries putting emphasis on changing their education systems to be more business-ready (or what I call “increasing employability”) in most parts of the world, education and employability are not in step with each other, resulting in individual companies having to pick up the slack with significant investments in training.
From my point of view as a CEO in the IT industry, there are three trends that will drive talent demand in the future — and should hence be driving talent development in the present:
1. The global IT industry has been a big employer of young talent across the globe because of the increasing influence of IT in business transformation. The global meltdown is being seen as an opportunity to transform by many CEOs across the world and they are looking at IT to lead this transformation.
2. IT has become “glocal” — it has to transcend geographic and demographic barriers to deliver this transformation.
3. Technology innovation is driving IT complexity and strict compliance norms & concerns of business continuity is driving a need for repeatable processes and assured performance.
When we look at talent hiring, development and deployment on a global scale, we cannot afford to create artificial boundaries that global commerce does not support. At the same time, we cannot make the mistake of assuming that talent from a handful of countries can meet the new demands being made on Global IT; being local is a critical factor that will drive our ability to truly partner with our customers where they are.
These employability challenges are universal. This includes countries like India and China where there isn’t a dearth of education institutions, but “employability” issues persist. And it includes the US, where President Obama has argued that expanding access to higher education is essential for America to recover its superpower status.
The four parties who need to play a role in addressing this critical challenge are the Government, education institutions, industry, and the students themselves, who need to better understand the changing role of technology and innovation in driving transformation. None of the four can make this work in isolation — it will take a well-coordinated approach.
Thus the real debate is not about who is smarter or how can we create trade barriers to protect jobs — the real debate is about how we invest in every country and ensure we create rich, employable talent that is globally available that will drive efficiency and innovation in our businesses.
We have a large pool of talented and educated youth. It is our responsibility to invest in them — intelligently.
Originally posted on Vineet Nayar’s Blog site on Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2009/06/the-employability-crisis-is-a.html