Indian workers who are equipped with digital skills add ₹10.9 lakh crore to the country’s GDP, according to a study by U.S.-based consulting firm Gallup. The study was commissioned by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

"Digital skills yield big economic benefits. We have seen dividends for India's GDP to the tune of about $508 billion. People who have advanced digital skills command higher salaries," said Rohit Kar, regional director (Australia, New Zealand, and India) and managing consultant of Gallup. 

The study was conducted among 3,000 employees with access to the internet in 19 countries in the APAC region such as Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand, amongst others. In India, the study covered 2,005 employees and 769 employers.  

As per the study, as many as 91% of workers in India who have advanced digital skills have higher job satisfaction than those who have basic digital skills.

However, despite this, the shortage of digital talent continues to be a challenge for employers in the country. "While digital workers across the region generally experience gains in job satisfaction, there are differences per country. Generally, workers in middle-income economies, such as India, Indonesia, and Thailand, report both the highest overall levels of satisfaction, as well as the largest satisfaction advantage for advanced digital workers over basic digital workers," the study said.

According to the study, 83% of workers in India are non-digital workers. Only 7% of workers are equipped with basic digital skills, whereas 8% of employees are equipped with advanced digital skills.

With this, as many as 88% of organisations in the country experience acute shortages in digital talent, according to the study. While 49% of organisations view the shortage of digital talent to be a significant challenge, 39% of employers see the digital talent crisis to be a ‘somewhat’ challenge.

In India, while 60% of employers feel a bachelor’s degree is a requirement for hiring employees, 15% of hiring managers prefer digital workers with a bachelor’s degree. The study has listed 26 skills including cybersecurity, cloud-based tools, the internet of things, and technical support amongst others, which are required by workers to be digitally equipped. Of the 26 skills, the workers in India have expressed interest in additional training for 22.

Earlier this month, TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship in its report said that India Inc is in the midst of a massive skilled talent crisis. According to the report, the country is struggling with significant skill gaps, and a minimal percentage of the workforce is recognised as formally skilled. More than two million jobs in AI, cyber security, and blockchain are expected to be unfilled by 2023, as per the report. A recent study by NASSCOM also forecasted that the demand-supply gap to increase 3.5 times by 2026. It also mentions that only 35% of the STEM graduates of 2020-21 are employable, and the remaining 65% would require upskilling to get a job.

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