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Honing your skills in the era of freelancers

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By Aayur Kaul- Market Head, Skillshare India

The last two years turned the nature of work upside down. Businesses laid off employees to keep up with the sudden lockdowns. The unemployment rate in urban India rose by 20.9% in the first half of 2020, turning many workers towards freelancing. On the other hand, employee burnout is real, and the younger workforce in India is now turning to freelancing as it offers them opportunities for growth, flexibility and more control over their lives. It’s no surprise that the gig economy in India is expected to hit US$455 billion by 2024. The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India estimate the country is likely to have 350 million freelance jobs by 2025, presenting a huge opportunity for job seekers to capitalize and adapt to the changing work dynamics.

Online learning communities are helping freelancers upskill

With the growing market in India, the competition is larger too. And much like any area of specialisation, experience, skill levels, education and years of experience determine the pay freelancers can command, especially in creative fields like writing, design, animation, illustration, photography, music and lifestyle. The animation, visual effects and gaming segments in India are growing at a rate of 29%, and the demand for designers is expected to increase. Designers, artists and learners are now turning to classes online to hone niche skills that these industries demand knowledge of.

In the creative sphere, freelancers have thousands of opportunities to turn to online learning communities to help them get inspired, learn new skills and deepen their expertise. Growing smartphone and internet penetration in India have given millennials the opportunity to turn to online learning communities or edtech platforms to hone niche skills that set them apart and allow them to earn more. These platforms are especially popular because they’re often more accessible and affordable than traditional options.

Edtech is helping professionals transition between careers

Nearly half (41%) of the working professionals in India are thinking of quitting jobs and changing professions. The attrition rate in India is 23% and surprisingly, unemployment is not the only reason. Before the pandemic, employees put their work ahead of their personal lives. But the pandemic has led people to reevaluate and reprioritize how they spend their time. Many professionals are pivoting to online platforms with the hope of converting their passion into a profession, which gives them the flexibility to work at their own pace.

At the same time, the new way of life also demands different sets of rules and skills. For example, a freelance graphic designer also needs to know the basics of finance to keep track of their invoices and expenses, but also advertise their skills. Online learning platforms are pivotal in this regard. A graphic designer can learn niche elements of illustration and design and also take up classes on how to run a business at the same time.

Collaborative learning

Online learning platforms focused on upskilling are the fastest growing in India, accounting for 38% of the online learning market. With hundreds of platforms to choose from, those offering collaborative learning will stand apart as freelancers look for learning platforms where they can explore thousands of classes, while also networking with peers and taking advantage of opportunities to build and showcase their talents.

Freelancers are also looking for platforms that have teachers who are pioneers in their fields. The added benefit of learning from the best in the business gives them the edge to grow. Besides, online learning platforms are enabling thousands of creators to make a living in doing what they love, giving these experts the financial freedom to make a living doing what they love while also helping to mentor and train the next generation of creators.

The online learning industry is fast becoming a significant part of the freelance economy, upskilling new learners, and helping them stay up-to-date with the most relevant and niche skills. In the rapidly changing world of technology, the valuable resources these platforms provide are helping workers become lifelong learners and inspire others to get creative.

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