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India lags in data science skills, but overall tech proficiency improves: Study

India lags in data science skills, but overall tech proficiency improves: Study
Photo Credit: Pixabay
14 Jun, 2022
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Indian professionals continue to lag in data science skills, even though their overall technology skills have improved over the last year, said a new study.

Coursera’s latest Global Skills Report (GSR) 2022 revealed that in terms of overall skills proficiency, India has slipped four places to be ranked at the 68th position globally. In Asia, India stands at the 19th position. The report also shows an increase in India’s technology proficiency levels from 38% to 46%, with the country strengthening its position by six spots.

While Cloud Computing emerged as the strongest technology skill on Coursera platform, proficiency in data science has dipped from 38% in 2021 to 26% in 2022, leading to a 12-rank drop, showed the report.

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It highlights that India scores low on foundational and specialised data science skills, including, data visualisation (10%), statistical programming (14%), and data management (22%) among others. The strongest skill in the domain for India continues to be Machine Learning (41%). 

The report draws data from 100 million learners in more than 100 countries who have used the edtech platform to develop a new skill during the past year. It benchmarks three of the most in-demand skill areas driving employment in the digital economy — business, technology, and data science.

“The Great Resignation and automation are mandating stronger investments in human capital, as institutions must prioritise developing the high-demand digital and human skills required to build a competitive and equitable workforce,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO.

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“Our data shows these skills are not equally distributed, and students and low-wage workers need access to flexible, affordable, and fast-tracked pathways to entry-level digital jobs that offer a foundation for a stronger and more inclusive economy.” 

State-wise, West Bengal leads in terms of skills proficiency. The eastern state is ranked the number one across the three domains. The state showed the highest levels of digital skills proficiency in the country, outpacing Karnataka (the state where India’s Silicon Valley — Bengaluru is situated), which ranks number 4 in technology and number 6 in data science. Andhra Pradesh is one of the top 3 performing states with high proficiency in business and technology skills. The state learners have 100% proficiency in security engineering, operating systems, and computer networking.

On the whole, Indian learners in southern states perform better than those in states in the north across all the three domains, showed the report.

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“Industry reports estimate that 28 million new technology jobs will be created in India by 2025. This year’s GSR signals a significant need for Indian learners to bridge the critical skills gap, especially in data science, to ensure this digital potential does not turn into a lost opportunity,” said Raghav Gupta, Managing Director, India and APAC, Coursera.

“Strong industry-academia-government collaboration that focuses on the rapid deployment of high-quality digital and human skills training would be key to ensuring that the Indian workforce remains resilient and competitive amid rapid technological transformation.”

The study also noted that Indian professionals are concentrating on digital financial skills and are exploring courses in investment management, blockchain and risk management.  

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