Global edtech leader upGrad seeks to upskill 25 per cent of UAE’s working professionals - GulfToday

Global edtech leader upGrad seeks to upskill 25 per cent of UAE’s working professionals

Entrepreneurship

Picture used for illustrative purpose only.

Sajjad Ahmad, Deputy Business Editor

The UAE can generate an additional 43,000 jobs by 2030 by closing the skills gap. This opportunity can lead to a gain of $4.3 billion (Dh15.8 billion) for the country, according to the World Economic Forum.

Global edtech leader upGrad is aligned with the UAE’s visionary initiatives such as National Talent Agenda that will bridge the talent gap. Upskilling and reskilling talent may be the only pathways to ensure people continue to have opportunities for work and career growth. Our recent acquisition of global edtech firm KnowledgeHut, which also has offices in UAE, is a step in this direction, said Saranjit Sangar, CEO upGrad for the UK, Europe, and the Middle East.

She added, “Our vision is to upskill 25% of the UAE’s working professionals over the next three to five years. We look forward to providing quality career outcomes and driving educational inclusion through our programmes.”

Sangar said, “upGrad’s programmes are reverse engineered to meet current job demands across industry sectors in the UAE. We offer programmes in data sciences, blockchain, machine learning, AI and emerging technologies that are in demand for the future.”

upGrad’s growth testifies to the demand for accessible, affordable, and relevant online higher education. In FY20-21, upGrad crossed the milestone of $14 million revenue in a month and achieved an Annual Revenue Run rate (ARR) of $165 million. Our ambition is to achieve a revenue goal of $2 billion by 2026.

She explained, “Edtech has been gaining traction for the past years, but the pandemic has accelerated the shift to online education. Overnight, millions of learners had to adapt to the new normal. Globally, 75 million jobs are expected to be displaced in the coming years despite digitalisation being predicted to create 133 million unique digital jobs, highlighting the widening skills gap in a rapidly evolving industry.”

On the role of technology in education field she added, “technology has transformed sectors and lifestyles. Education is no exception. Since last year, education has become more accessible with various online learning platforms. In the near future, we will see deep personalised learning gaining in importance, where every student can learn at their own pace.”

She elaborated, “Online platforms such as upGrad are empowering students with the choice of where and how they learn. Leveraging our international technology platform, we have generated positive and tangible career outcomes for more than a million professionals globally. We look forward to supporting GCC professionals to new career paths. Earlier this year, we commenced our online learning programmes for professionals in the GCC to accelerate their careers. Through our curated curriculum, we aim to power career success and deliver meaningful career outcomes. The UAE is an important market for us, where we see potential for immense growth.”

She said, “upGrad provides a rigorous programmes in collaboration with university and industry partners to ensure people are truly upskilled. Our high completion rates (over 90%) and successful recruitment outcomes testify to the success of this approach.”

Saranjit Sangar said, “two fields are gaining significant momentum: data and communication. In data, we foresee demand in data science, cybersecurity, Machine learning and AI. In communication, digital marketing, the use of AI in communications, and design are gaining momentum. The UAE government has also identified similar patterns and is supporting with the right initiatives, such as The National Program for Artificial Intelligence.”

Technology and digital transformation have created new career opportunities. Jobs that are repetitive are being replaced by automation.

She said, “upGrad helps professionals achieve career transitions, accelerated growth and elevates their professional confidence. Despite the pandemic, in just the first quarter of 2021, upGrad enabled over 2500 career transitions, with an average salary hike of 50%, beating the industry benchmark of 20-30%.”

Technology and digital transformation have created new career opportunities. Jobs that are repetitive are being replaced by automation. This is already happening in logistics and manufacturing.

She added, “As technology evolves, online learning will evolve too. In the near future, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) could have a massive impact on online education. Thanks to technology, learning is now no longer dependent on geography.”

 She said, “online platforms such as upGrad are empowering students with the choice of where and how they learn. Leveraging our international technology platform, we have generated positive and tangible career outcomes for more than a million professionals globally. We look forward to supporting GCC professionals to new career paths.” upGrad offers 100+ courses in collaboration with top-notch global universities such as Liverpool Business School, Duke CE (US), University of Arizona, University of Essex Online, Michigan State University (US), IIM Kozhikode (India), and IIT (India), to name a few.

With learners placed across major corporates such as Deloitte, Publicis Media, Gojek, Citiustech, Airtel Payments Bank, NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India), Flipkart, HDFC Life, Naukri, Ernst & Young and Ola, the quarter also witnessed the highest salary hike of 400%. Roles such as product manager, data scientist, big data ML engineer and senior software engineer, saw salary hikes of over 100%.




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