In India, 85% of workers consider skills-based experience more important than a degree or industry-specific qualification when trying to land a job in today’s market, a new report revealed on Thursday. According to Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, workers in India think skills are more important than educational qualifications or career background. Yet only 4 in 10 Indian employees are using AI in their current role — which is cited as one of today’s most in-demand digital skills.
However, there is a disconnect between the skills companies need and those currently used by the workforce. While 9 in 10 Indian workers report using digital skills in their day-to-day work, only 1 in 4 workers are currently using AI skills in their day-to-day roles and just over half (52%) report using skills beyond digital administration.
There is less fear and more excitement around the potential of emerging technologies to transform the jobs of the future. This, paired with workers’ reported desire to learn new skills, suggests that companies can help close the digital skills gap by providing continuous, skills-based training to their employees.
With AI technologies like generative AI emerging fast, 93% of Indian workers reported excitement about the prospect of using generative AI for their job. In India, 91% say that their company is considering ways to use generative AI. Indian workers agree that AI skills are important. Almost a third of workers (29%) rank AI skills as among the top three most important digital skills right now, rising further when asked about the importance of these skills over the next five years.
Despite its importance to their future skill set, only 4 in 10 Indian workers say that their day-to-day role involves AI. A mere 34% say their role involves other, related digital skills like encryption and cyber security, and only 27% claim to use coding and app development skills.
The industry indexing the highest for AI skills is Travel and Tourism, however, even for this industry, only 67% use AI skills within their role today. Outside of the Travel & Tourism roles, this number drops further – 21% of those in the Public Sector and 25% of those in Healthcare report they use AI skills in their day-to-day role.
All Indian workers surveyed believe businesses should prioritize AI skills in their employee development strategy. As a result of the rise in AI and automation, Indian employees say data security and ethical AI and automation skills will become increasingly more important in the workplace. When asked what ‘soft’ skills will likely be more important as a result, employees ranked customer relationship and creative skills as the highest.