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Microsoft’s New Initiative- Why Is It Important To Upskill During This Pandemic?

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On Tuesday, Microsoft announced that it would be training 25 million unemployed workers free of charge by year-end. The company will be working with LinkedIn to help out people during this pandemic upskill themselves so they are better suited for digital jobs. The coronavirus pandemic has caused an upheaval in the economy with joblessness in the US mirroring those numbers of the Great Depression. 

With this program, Microsoft is hoping to equip 25 million people globally with additional skills that help them acquire job roles such as graphic designers, software developers, customer- service specialists, and more. LinkedIn will play a big role by providing data on which jobs are employers looking to fill and also access to abundant content that helps build a skillset. 

A quarter of a billion people may be unemployed globally as per Microsoft’s calculations. This is no shock since so many are losing jobs in this pandemic and so many lucrative businesses are falling apart due to new safety measures. 

In a blog post, Microsoft’s President Brad Smith explains- “One of the key steps needed to foster a safe and successful economic recovery is expanded access to the digital skills needed to fill new jobs. And one of the keys to a genuinely inclusive recovery are programs to provide easier access to digital skills for people hardest hit by job losses, including those with lower incomes, women, and underrepresented minorities.”

He also said that a quarter of the grant money will be directed to community-based nonprofit organisations that are led by and serve US communities of colour. 

Why is it important to upskill during this pandemic?

Economic instability

The global economy is not just wounded, it is in critical condition. A lockdown due to COVID-19 has halted businesses with their stocks falling down, no revenue generation and no certainty of when things can go back to normal. A lot of businesses are not able to handle the losses that a pandemic has brought in which is leading to bankruptcy and huge layoffs. 

As an individual, you will have to acknowledge that there will be long term implications of the decisions taken today. By upskilling or reskilling, you will be adding more value to your job profile and ensuring that you stay relevant to the new demands of the future. It is tough for employers to say no to someone that fits all their skills criteria. 

New Reality

The world is going to change multi-fold after the pandemic and you will have to change with it. The travel and tourism industry has been significantly hit during this pandemic as social distancing measures that key to a person’s survival. This industry will have to rethink some of their social gathering ideas to continue business this year and the year after as well. 

A lot of jobs will become redundant but there will be new kind of job roles that will cease to exist. 

Upskilling on more digital and new-age skills will help you stay relevant and significant for your organisation. A new reality will demand a new version of you as well. 

Upskilling is a good option even when there isn’t a pandemic…

Regardless of a deadly pandemic changing the job scenario, upskilling or reskilling is always a good option. Your curiosity to learn more keeps you driven at all times and it is a great skill to have as an employee. You become indispensable to the organisation since you are always updated. 


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