Rising Demand for Skill-Based Education and Vocational Training in the 21st Century

Rising Demand for Skill-Based Education and Vocational Training in the 21st Century

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What Is Skill-Based And Vocational Training?

In today’s globalized world with a growing emphasis on industrialization, the demand for skilled professionals is on the rise. In India, skill-based education is a necessity to meet this demand. Traditionally, academic subjects have been favored by students and parents in India, perpetuating the misconception that skill-based education only leads to low-paid jobs and is meant for academically weaker students. However, skill-based and vocational training focuses on developing specific skills that make students more employable and prepared for the job market.

Difference between Skill Based Education and Vocational Training

Skill-based education and vocational training address the growing need for a workforce with relevant capabilities, but they cater to distinct learning goals.

  • Skill-based education offers a broader approach, focusing on practical abilities that can be applied across various industries. This could involve learning in-demand software like project management tools or developing transferable skills like communication and critical thinking. These programs often prioritise flexibility, allowing learners to tailor their skills to their interests or career aspirations.
  • Vocational training, in contrast, takes a deep dive into specific trades or professions. Think electrician apprenticeships or intensive medical assistant programs. Here, the focus is on acquiring the specialised knowledge and hands-on experience necessary to excel in a particular field. Vocational training programs tend to be more structured, often leading to industry certifications that validate a graduate’s qualifications to potential employers.
    In essence, skill-based education equips learners with adaptability, allowing them to navigate the ever-changing job market. On the other hand, vocational training offers a fast track to a specific career path with a strong foundation in technical expertise.

Need for Vocational Training in India in the Context of Industrialization

India has been grappling with the issue of high dropout rates for many years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this situation. Studies have shown that 12.6% of students dropout of school in India, with 62% of dropouts occurring at the school level. Many students leave school before completing their 10th standard qualifying exams, and in such cases, skill-based and vocational training becomes crucial in making the youth employable. While students gain knowledge during their academic and graduate programs, the real challenge lies in the lack of employability skills. Various sectors require specific skills to enhance productivity.

Where Can Students Pursue Vocational Training?

There are several institutes and schemes that offer skill-based and vocational courses and training for students. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has launched the Pradhan Mantri Kushal Vikas Yojana, which is implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation. The objective of this scheme is to empower youth with industry-relevant skills to secure better livelihoods. PMKVY training centers also provide short-term courses and soft skills training in areas such as entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and digital literacy. Upon successful completion of the training, providers offer assistance to students in finding placements. Indian vocational training institutes also offer vocational courses in engineering, IT, paramedical science, business management, yoga, journalism, mass communication, and other fields. Organizations like Pratham, NSDCA, Om Institute of Vocational Training also provide vocational training.

How Does It Impact?

Studies have found that vocational training increases wages by 4.7% in the overall economy. The impact is most significant in the primary sector, where individuals with vocational training experience a wage increase of 36.9%, while those in the secondary sector see a rise of 17.6%.

Why Should One Opt for Such Courses?

Skill-based and vocational courses help students advance in their careers. These courses are often shorter and more flexible, allowing students to pursue them alongside their academic studies, thereby achieving their goals faster. After completing vocational training, students can obtain higher positions within the same company, acquire knowledge and skills for career transitions, and negotiate for higher pay scales as they become better suited to their roles.

Read More: What Next? Best Course After 10th Class – Arts, Science or Commerce?

Why are Skill-based and Vocational Courses Important?

  1. Many students face difficulties in securing jobs immediately after graduation. When students possess skills that are in demand, they are more likely to find opportunities for their dream jobs. Skill-based training is purpose-driven, as it helps students gain clarity about their objectives in entering a specific field and increases their chances of success. It also lays a solid foundation for their future careers.
  2. Such training equips students with critical skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, self-advocacy, emotional intelligence, and decision-making, which are crucial for their professional growth Skill-based training also enhances leadership abilities.
  3. Skill-based training integrates learners with real-life experiences and encourages behavior that is relevant and appropriate.
  4. Students who complete skill-based or vocational training alongside their academic studies or current jobs are more likely to receive promotions or salary increments due to the additional skill set they possess. They are also more likely to earn higher salaries and achieve financial growth.
  5. Vocational training helps bridge the gap between work and education. In vocational training, students work closely with their peers and trainers, which helps them build a strong network before entering the job market.

Also Read: How To Help Students Get Ahead and Prepare for Modern College

Top Recruiters for Vocational and Skill-based Courses

Companies like TATA recruit a large number of students who have completed vocational and skill-based training. Numerous industries, such as airlines, IT firms, boutiques, the electronics sector, beauty salons, clothing houses, interior design, and education, also hire individuals with vocational training for various job profiles, including electrical technicians, medical assistants, graphic designers, and salespeople. The average annual salary for freshers starts at 2,00,000, and experienced individuals can earn around 5,80,000.

Where to Find Financial Support for Your Dream Courses?

If you are interested in skill-based or vocational training, this article can certainly assist you. However, affordability is also a crucial factor to consider when making decisions about such courses. If you find courses unaffordable or costly, student loans can be the best and most convenient option.

Indian banks and NBFCs offer attractive loan options for students from underprivileged backgrounds. Varthana also provides appealing interest rates and flexible payment options for various academic and vocational courses, making it more affordable for students to finance their skill-based and vocational education.


Education is the key to progressive nation-building. Providing youth with the right knowledge and skills can propel a nation towards economic growth. Whether you are starting your career or seeking a change, vocational and skill-based courses can help you achieve your goals and ensure long-term success.


1. Why is education and skill development important in the century?

In today paced world, vocational education and skill development play a role for various reasons:
Meeting Workforce Demands: The evolving landscape of technology and globalisation is reshaping industries, leading to a growing need for professionals in fields. Vocational training provides individuals with the hands-on skills that employers value.
Employment Opportunities and Better Pay: Graduates of training programs are more likely to secure employment opportunities. Potentially earn higher incomes due to their specialised expertise.
Continual Learning: In this era, acquiring skills and adapting is vital. Vocational programs lay a foundation for learning and career growth.
Personal Development: Gaining skills enhances self-assurance and paves the way for entrepreneurship or self-employment ventures.

2. When does the demand rise for vocational training, and in which sector?

The need for vocational training increases under the circumstances. This includes when new technologies are introduced, and industries require workers with skills to operate and maintain them. For instance, the demand for robotics technicians has surged with the advancement of automation. Additionally, rapidly expanding sectors, such as energy or healthcare, often seek a trained workforce to meet their needs. Vocational training plays a role in addressing skills gaps by offering tailored skill development programs.
The sectors where the demand for vocational training rises can differ based on shifts and technological progress. However, some common areas include Information Technology, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Construction, Renewable Energy and Green Jobs.

3. What are the benefits of vocational education and training?

The advantages of vocational education and training are manifold. For individuals, it provides job prospects, better salaries, chances for career progression, personal development and the possibility of starting one business. In terms of society, it leads to a workforce with lower levels of unemployment, economic expansion, and increased innovation.

4. What are the aims and objectives of vocational training?

The primary aims of vocational training are to:
Equip individuals with the practical skills and knowledge needed for specific occupations.
Prepare graduates for successful careers in chosen fields.
Foster lifelong learning and adaptability in a changing job market.
Bridge the skills gap between workforce capabilities and employer needs.
Contribute to economic growth and development.

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