Published: 17th February 2018
Imagination is the future, says Dr R Karthikeyan of Indian Society for Training and Development
Dr R Karthikeyan from the Indian Society for Training and Development gives us his predictions of how the scope of careers in this sector will expand with time
Dr R Karthikeyan recently took over the reins of the Indian Society for Training and Development, a non-profit society that was started way back in 1970. Their core focus area is training and they work closely with state governments, NGOs and corporates to do so. With about 50 chapters across the country and over 6,000 members, Dr Karthikeyan is looking forward to laying more emphasis on their core role and he hopes that, in the future, careers like AR, VR and more emerge to help him with this mammoth task. In a chat where he answers all our questions, he outlines the various careers and the scope they have to further the cause of this sector. Excerpts:
What are the kinds of jobs that will emerge in the training and development sector?
Machine Learning is going to be big because we will move away from a traditional classroom, which is instructor-lead, to a learning-centric, tech-enabled space, and this is the future. Because of our political, social and economic issues, schools might not want to upgrade, so it might not start from schools but eventually, it will get there. People who know how to harness technology to make learning fun will have a bright future in this sector. Take for example Khan Academy and Byju's, which are making the most of technology, or for that matter even TED. Augmented Reality (AR) is also going to be big, especially for training. Currently, we use retail labs to show infrastructure and experience during retail training. Imagine what AR can do in this area.
Dr R Karthikeyan is a clinical psychologist with an M Phil from NIMHANS, Bengaluru and a PhD from the University of Madras. He is is on the Board of many organisations as an advisor on curriculum development
Anything to do with imagination is going to be the future. People are talking about storytelling and drama, which were considered taboo in a serious learning environment. But, in the future, theatrical skills, storytelling and role-playing skills will help make learning fun.
Those five-day training programmes and one-year induction programmes will no longer exist. Hence, the training manager's job will undergo a lot of change. Earlier, we used to send people for one year, where they travel all over, come back and then start working. In the future, if we still follow this, it is likely that the technology itself might change in one year.
Profile shot: ISTD, which is headed by Dr R Karthikeyan, was established in 1970
Social media experts will be in demand because the need for networking will grow. Another non-traditional role is that of WhatsApp forwards, which people treat as serious learning material, even though the messages are not authorised. This is a very informal way of learning or gaining information. So, over time, things will be formalised, validated and copyright issues will be sorted, and it will mature over a period of time.
On one side of the spectrum are all these advancements and on the other side, we are still talking about illiteracy, deprivation, discrimination and the rising number of dropouts in schools. These are the things that I hope public-private partnerships, CSR, legislation, social consciousness and community engagement can solve. Technology and global forces will drive careers in this sector.
What are the steps that the Indian Society for Training and Development has taken to widen the scope of careers in their sector?
Indian Society for Training and Development is a not-for-profit company for training and development in the public sector and corporate organisations. We were one of the first bodies recognised by the Government of India to conduct skill assessments, which we have been doing for about a decade. It was only recently that we've gotten involved in the Modular Employability Scheme (MES). We are also focusing on our core, which is training. We are also asking state governments like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu for help in advancing our skills agenda. We are the only government-recognised, pan-India training body. Our business is to train and create as many trainers as possible.
You can reach out to ISTD by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org