Industry-aligned upskilling is the need of the hour for early professionals looking for career transition
CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview withVijay Pasupulati – Chief Executive Officer (CEO), OdinSchool
- As an upskilling platform…. what differentiates you from your other competitors. How do your programmes help your students achieve the desired growth in their career through your Data Science job-aligned bootcamp courses?
OdinSchool is a highly industry-focussed company, aiming at a positive career outcome for our learners. In the course of developing our Bootcamps, we have interacted closely with the industry, understood their requirements and designed a program that addresses these requirements. We prepare talent that can be easily deployable to projects. The entire program, from curriculum design to pedagogy and outcomes, are aligned to addressing the needs of the current industry.
As an upskilling platform, our focus is on bridging the skill gap in the industry. In this regard, we have launched several initiatives. For instance, we realised early that what the graduates and working professionals are actually looking for is not just learning content but also guidance and lots of hands-on practice. So, we ensure that our learners get to work on multiple projects, are good problem solvers and can be an asset to the company.
Besides our upskilling Bootcamps, we specialize in running induction and employee upskilling programs in companies.
- Explain about your Data Science, Full Stack Software Development job-aligned bootcamp courses. Duration/Time/Batch strength etc
We start a new cohort every month with an intake of 300 to 500 learners. Our learners are primarily early working professionals seeking career growth or career transition. They come from all over India and from different educational backgrounds and work experiences.
Our Bootcamps run for 6 months and have 24 months of placement assistance. These structured courses have been designed to have live classes every weekend. We have ensured that there is enough rigor built into the program so that the learners get adequate hands-on experience learning these skills. Every module comes with live online interaction with expert instructors, teaching assistant support, projects and assignments for practice. Learners commit a minimum of 20 hours per week for the Bootcamp.
At the end of the fourth month of training, our learners start participating in the recruitment drives. These drives are designed based on the requirements that our hiring partners have.
- What is OdinSchool’s role in helping women who want to restart their career post a break?
The industry today has been accommodative towards women who want to restart their careers. Many companies have special drives and initiatives for women returnees as part of their Diversity and Inclusion programs. We work with companies that actively hire ‘returning women’ and connect our learners to them.
We have observed that women who want to restart their career after a break come with several benefits. For instance, they have tech acumen and have an understanding of the corporate work styles. All they need is training on the current skills. We at OdinSchool train them in the latest skills and enhance their employability quotient. Additionally, we work with them to make them feel more confident about restarting their careers, prepare a good resume that highlights their strengths and set up several rounds of mock interviews.
Several OdinGrads, who are returning women, have made successful comebacks as a result of all these efforts.
- What are the latest trends in Data Science and the upcoming changes?
Data Science is an evolving domain with tremendous applications. With more and more businesses looking to automate several tasks and make their processes smarter, the demand for these skills is definitely rocketing. Companies are investing into better decision making based on data and analytics, predictive analytics is expected to become a $21.5 billion industry. Other applications such as Sentiment Analytics, Opinion Mining, Cloud integration and migration are going to be big in this domain. However, while there is going to be an increased demand for advanced skills such as augmented intelligence, AI, ML, Computer Vision and NLP, the bulk of the jobs are going to be created in real-time data analytics and data engineering.
- Can the existing education infrastructure satisfy the talent demanded by the booming start-up ecosystem in India?
The traditional education infrastructure has a long way to go to satisfy the modern talent demand, especially in the start-up ecosystem. The requirements of start-ups differ slightly. For instance, they need talent which can start performing without a lot of investment into training. Secondly, they need multitaskers who are quick learners, strong problem solvers, very agile and adaptive. Online upskilling platforms like OdinSchool complement the existing education infrastructure in developing these kind of skills and producing talent that is productive.
- What does an early stage professionals seeking career growth or professionals seeking a career transition actually need?
Whether seeking career growth or a total career transition, early stage professionals need to be dynamic and upskill constantly in order to keep abreast of the changes in the industry. Hands-on upskilling is a basic requirement for early stage professionals.
Also, availability and access to information and courses is not an issue in today’s world. In fact, while the availability itself is a huge advantage, the downside is that a professional seeking to upskill does not have clarity about what to learn, how much to learn and how to learn.
So, what is actually needed is upskilling in a guided and structured manner. What is also needed is hand-holding and continuous support to help clarify doubts in time, especially for people looking for a transition.
- Today the latest hiring trend in the industry – Skills over Degrees. So many companies looking for candidates with the right skills rather than their educational qualification. How OdinSchool bridges the skill gap and talent-crunch problem in Data Sciences and Full Stack software development domains?
Skills over Degrees is not just a latest trend; it is here to stay. At OdinSchool, we solve this skill gap problem in a multidimensional manner. Firstly, the curriculum is highly dynamic and designed in consultation with the industry. Secondly, the entire course, be it Data Sciences and Full Stack Software Development, is very hands-on in nature. Our learners have to execute projects and study in a practical manner. Thirdly, we give our learners ample opportunities to interact with industry experts and learn real-world practices. Fourthly, we have a robust Student Support system to guide our learners and ensure that they are learning well. With all these systems in place, we ensure our learners build a very strong skill set that gives them an advantage over degrees.
On the other hand, we work very closely with our hiring partners to simplify their hiring challenges. They get access to trained talent at OdinSchool any time of the year since we have more than 1000 learners available for hiring. Since our learner pool is very diverse, including freshers as well as working professionals from across different domains, companies are very likely to find talent that suits their requirements. We provide support throughout the hiring process and make the whole process very simple for them. Besides, we do not charge any kind of fee for hiring our learners.
So, we work with both the demand and supply side to bridge this gap.
- What are the challenges that people face to get employed in new-age technology domains, especially if they want to transition from non-IT to IT?
At the outset, we have to understand that the industry is open to hiring deserving talent, even if they are transitioning from non IT to IT, provided they come with a robust skill set that is in line with their expectations. So, in that sense, as such there is no substantial dearth of opportunities.
The challenge is in the skill sets that people looking for these opportunities bring. The skill set has to be in line with the needs of the industry. They should know how to apply these skills to solve business problems.
The other challenge is in how these skills are presented. It is also important for people to know how to highlight the right skills through their resume, LinkedIn and other platforms so that they can be found by prospective employers. During the interview process, they should be able to present their learning and work effectively.
- The ideology behind the design of OdinSchool’s Bootcamps and how this ideology solve the above two challenges?
We have designed the Bootcamp to make it a robust combination of conceptual understanding, hands-on practice and learning support.
Ensuring that the curriculum is current so that our learners are equipped with the most in-demand and appropriate skills from the industry viewpoint. This is followed by inducing a good amount of rigor, live interactions with instructors and hands-on practice into the Bootcamp so that our learners can learn and apply skills effectively. We also work towards bringing in an element of career services and support to train students in resume prep, project presentation practice and workplace behavioural skills.
All these aspects together produce a huge trained talent pool that is highly employable and productive from Day 1.