Given the rising demand from companies as well as the increased focus on cloud computing, big data, automation, and artificial intelligence, Pakistan, like many other countries, is experiencing a skills shortage. According to the World Economic Forum, automation will affect half of all occupations worldwide in the next ten years. Employees have been focusing on gaining extra skills in order to further their careers, and online courses – both free and paid – have shown to be helpful in the past.
Although the trend of upskilling and reskilling through online courses is not as strong in Pakistan as it is in other countries such as India, Brazil, and Mexico, there has been a significant shift toward online professional learning. And the global pandemic may have accelerated this process, which includes the use of online platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, and others.
Surprisingly, according to Coursera’s most recent skill survey, Pakistan outperforms India in terms of learner skill levels. The study uses performance data from over 77 million learners on the platform since the epidemic began to benchmark skills competency across business, technology, and data science, and provides a glimpse into the state of skills in over 100 nations. Pakistan is ranked 65th in the Coursera Global Skills Report 2021, ahead of India, where its people are said to have higher skill levels in two main categories: business and technology, with India dominating in the third: data sciences.
Pakistan has risen to become one of Coursera’s top ten markets in the Asia-Pacific region, with a staggeringly high enrolment on the platform since March 2020. During the epidemic, the shift to online learning was a crucial component. HEC also collaborated with Coursera to develop a learning platform that teaches university students job skills. According to the Coursera Global Skill Report 2021, the programme offers a wide range of job-related learning courses, including data analytics, computer science, and cybersecurity. Many universities, including Pakistan’s, are now using Coursera on Campus, which offers free access.
Though the skill trends and competency studies are filtered through Coursera’s lens, some of the information is accurate. The report also includes a list of the top abilities, as well as the number of learning hours required for high-demand entry-level employment. A similar research from Udemy – Global Skill Gap Report 2019-20 – underlines the skill gap that has expanded as technology and employer demands shift – and the necessity to overcome it to remain competitive and employable in a digital age.