Do skills get outdated? This is a question that should keep us on our toes for a fulfilling career. Yes, skills do have a limited life; they need re-skilling and updating as and when there are changes and development in our professional domains.
Typewriters have given way to computers. Long ago, we moved into automated stuff. Today, we have taken to gadgets as a natural extension of human faculties. When I look back at my school days, I remember most of us opted to learn typewriting as an skill that could add to our formal qualifications. By the time we graduated, we moved into the computer era but the keyboard skills that we learnt on a manual typewriter gave us an advantage over those who used to type with one or two fingers. The manual skills were quickly adapted on the electronic medium.
Even today with highly advanced digitization, manual skills are indispensable. But then, why is it that we undervalue and downgrade these skills?. If our education had valued manual skills appropriately, we would have had a perfectly balanced vocational component in all the graduation programs. Appreciation of manual skills at the right age and in the right manner also help in creating awareness about the dignity of labour.
Skills can be categorized into manual and non-manual skills. The latter refers to the intellectual type of skills. In terms of hierarchy it may look like this: unskilled> semi skilled> skilled> highly skilled.
The need to develop skills has been getting lot of attention from the government with the upcoming PMKVY and Skill India Campaign, the industry, the training companies and other organizations. Looking at all that is happening in this domain currently, one may feel that we woke just some years ago (precisely around 2009 with many initiatives and policies)to speed up and scale up to be a skilled nation.