The mankind is witnessing one the most devastating crisis ever in the human history. The corona virus pandemic is worse than the WW-II or Great Depression. The impact of this virus will be felt long after it has been completely eliminated from the earth’s surface. Many economies around the world will endure chronic suffering and many lives and livelihoods will be lost. The virus has left millions of people high and dry.
But there is a silver lining too, the nature, who has been ripped off its bounties and beauties from such a long time by human species, has started to heal. The halt of activities due to COIVD-19 worldwide, has aided the earth to heal and revive. Many species have been flourishing, skies clearing up and rivers cleaning themselves up.
Coming to the economic impact that the pandemic will have on the countries – Many sectors like aviation, luxury, apparel and fashion, tourism and hospitality will see plummeting growth rates and will be badly hit by the pandemic. Many start-ups and mid-sized companies might also be badly hit by the crisis. Subsequently, all those engaged in these sectors will either find themselves unemployed or will have to suffer a lot in the near future. But a coin always has two sides, there some markets which will take off due to this crisis and will flourish such as E-commerce, insurance, gaming, over-the-top (OTT) services, logistics, cyber security, IT services, healthcare services, digital marketing, business data analytics, work-from-home, virtual teams, project management software, and edu-tech segments would see the sunrise. Jobs will be hot in these segments. Along with this, microbiology and biotech will also take off. Virtual tourism, demand for nursing and doctors will experience a sharp rise in the post COVID-19 times. IT domain would also create a lot of jobs along with Research & Development (R&D), marketing and sales domain. What is clear during this time, is many conventional things like working from office, , classroom teaching etc., will become a thing of past and work-from-home culture, online-classes, virtual meetups etc., will become the order of the day.
In such radical and upheaval times, thousands of live will be affected and many people especially the labor class, will face the struggle. Many workers will be laid-off and many new professions will be in demand.
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According to World Economic Forum (WEF), in mere five years, 35% of the skills deemed essential today will change. Hence, it goes without saying that in order to survive in the post COVID-19 world, there is only one way – evolving and adapting. There will be a permanent change in markets and job requirements in the post pandemic world. Although there is a lot ambiguous about the post COVID-19 scenarios, but one thing we have to learn is to live with the virus and constantly adapt in order to survive.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it is the one that is most adaptable to change”.
Agility, adaptability, digital upskilling, tech savviness will be pre-requisite in the post COVID-19 times. Artificial intelligence, Internet controlled operations, robotics etc. will be the future that will help industries grow more resilient to pandemics in the future. It is therefore very important that people develop an aptitude to learn new technologies and develop the skill to use emerging tools in their work effectively. A major chunk of unskilled workers will face the brunt of the crisis. Some jobs like street vendors, grocery shops etc., might even face low demand initially. People are bound to become more conscious about their safety and sanitation, and thus, demand for medical and para-medical services will jump up. Workers working in the informal sector like construction will fall into the deeper cycles of poverty and destitution.
To summarize, while the current pandemic has devastated many countries, individuals, communities and livelihoods, nevertheless, it has also ushered an era of opportunities for the new industries to sprout and thrive. Many sectors will face a rough time, striving and surviving, while many new sectors will take off in the post COVID-19 times. In such transforming times, the need of the hour is upskilling and reskilling ourselves. Many jobs will require new skill sets and digital acumen will be the need in order to be future ready. The workforce can take advantage of the upcoming opportunities only by evolving themselves. Those who fail to do so, will be left behind, unemployed and thrown into the shackles of destitution.
The challenge for a country like India is much greater as a major chunk of the population is unskilled and in employed in the unorganized sector. Thus, Government needs to step-up and take the charge. Only with the collaborative actions of the Government, industries and various stakeholders, can we sail though such difficult times.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author Mr. Gaurav P Verma, Skill Development Expert. The matter and intent of this article has not been edited by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage if caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)