Education, Career and Technology
23 Nov 2020 by Irfan Aznal, Finance Executive
Mismatch of skills and labour
As I entered the ‘adult’ career world, it came to the realisation that our educational systems have not kept pace with the changing nature of work. This is the reason why many employers are saying they cannot find enough workers with the skills they need. In a McKinsey survey of young people and employers in nine countries, 40% of employers said that the lack of skills was the main reason for entry-level job vacancies. 60% said that new graduates were not prepared enough for the world of work. There were technical skills gaps such as STEM subject degrees but also in soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and punctuality. Furthermore, even those in work may not be realizing their potential. In a recent global survey of job seekers conducted by LinkedIn, 37% of respondents said their current job does not fully utilize their skills or provide enough challenge.
How Technology Comes in the Picture
Therefore, this decision to become a part-time student is increasingly popular as students are now able to gain whole degrees and qualifications to fill those gaps through distance learning. And I myself have been working at IPSB Technology as a Finance Executive, and a part-time student of UiTM for almost a year now. Truthfully it can be overwhelming at times, but I know that since this is a ‘’sow’’, I will get to ‘’reap’’ it later.
It was a scary thought at first when I decided to study part-time while working full-time. When I started working, the environment was new yet it does not feel intimidating. My colleagues and supervisors have been so supportive despite my lack of experience. And for me personally, working in a positive environment has made me become more motivated to go to work every day.
Studying part-time also is made possible by technology. Moreover, in these pandemic times, the effectiveness of technology is becoming more visible. Students and lecturers don’t have to be in the same classroom to have a learning session, instead, we can just turn on our laptop and have discussions online using multiple platforms such as Google Meet.
As a Finance Executive, I deal with the finance-related of the company. And as both student and employee, I find that there is quite a lot of difference regarding theory, and practice itself. Each comes with its own challenges. I learnt a lot of new things, and it helps in my study too. Now I know what happens when a transaction occurs from the beginning to the end in reality, not just in theory.
However, with all being said, this is by no means an easy route to get the paper. If you work five days a week and go to weekend classes, there is not much time left for life. This is how I tackled these commitments.
- Recognize the commitment required
First thing first is that we must ask ourselves the question. ‘Is it really worth it?’’. Sacrificing our weekends is not that easy. Thus we should calculate how much work it will take, can we really commit to going to classes etc. This way we will be more prepared and we will have a more realistic point of view.
- Plan your time
Time management for me is the most important thing to have in order to become efficient. As a student, we tend to do a last-minute assignment. And when it’s getting near to the deadline submission, we will become stressed. In order to avoid this, we should plan our time efficiently. For me, since I have classes on weekend, I will take some time at night to study when there is an important thing coming up eg. examination.
- Mingling with colleagues
One thing that I am grateful for working at IPSB Technology is having positive and supportive colleagues and supervisors. Going to work does not feel exhausting since I had a mindset that I am going to meet my friends too. I know that some people might not open up to their colleagues, but trust me it will make things much easier if you do
Studying part-time while working full-time might be a challenge, but at the end of the day, it will be worth it. And I know that those who chose to take this path have their own circumstances. So it makes it more worthwhile when everything is over.
Points to ponder – Staying Connected
More than four billion people, or over half of the world’s population, is still offline. About 75% of this offline population is concentrated in 20 countries, including Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Tanzania, and is disproportionately rural, low income, elderly, illiterate, and female. The value of connecting these people is significant, and as they enter the global digital economy, the world of work will transform in fundamental ways and at a%n unprecedented pace. Access to the technology alone is not enough; even in countries where a large majority of the population has access, the literacy and skills needed to capture digital gains are sometimes limited.
To connect, visit my LinkedIn Page.
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