In today’s highly competitive world, skills are more important than anything else, says Jarupula Prem Kumar, a resident of the Warangal district of Telangana. Prem Kumar comes from a typical lower middle class family where his father works as a farmer and his mother is a housewife.
A young professional who, like everyone else, Prem Kumar was looking for ways to progress in his career. He was looking for means to make himself more attractive on the labor market and to learn how to integrate technology and agriculture. In doing so, he also took the opportunity to improve his skills by enrolling in an artificial intelligence and machine learning course, which ultimately helped him receive a 100 percent salary increase when he joined TVS Motors as a data engineer.
As a member of a family with an agricultural background, Prem watched his father and uncles toil in the heat and rain to support their family. Since all their labor was manual, he wanted to help his family by integrating technology into the agricultural sector with the aim of developing useful tools that make farmers’ work easier and increase their productivity.
Prem’s first action was to search for resources through platforms such as YouTube. It was then that he decided to explore upskilling courses and enrolled in upskilling artificial intelligence and machine learning courses offered by Great Learning.
Prem appeared for JEE Main in 2016 and qualified for the JEE Advanced that year. He then joined the Gokaraju Rangaraju Institute of Engineering and Technology with the state government refunding his full tuition fees. Prem had a BTech degree in information technology and previously worked for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for 2 years as a test data engineer dealing with performance testing. He got the job at TCS through the TCS NINJA campus recruitment as a complete refresher with no internships or certifications.
When asked about his views on the benefits of participating in such upskilling courses, Prem said: “Upskilling in technology has become crucial to prevent it from becoming obsolete. Enrolling in a course like this will give you an industry perspective and deepen your understanding of the realm of data science and machine learning. This increases the chance of being placed in positions such as data scientist, data analyst or machine learning engineer, which usually offer high package salaries.”
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Today, individuals have open access to various distance learning courses to upskill themselves, from the comfort of their homes. Prem did just this by participating in this 12-month online course during the pandemic. Prem explained that there were pre-recorded videos in the course, as well as a two-hour live session on the weekends for the sole purpose of answering questions. A new learning module was made available each week, along with tasks and tests based on the material in the module. All fundamental and intermediate topics were covered during the course.
Prem Kumar also stressed that upskilling with emerging technologies can help people boost their careers and earn higher salaries. It can also be considered a natural progression from higher education, as entering the business world with only academic qualifications and no industrial training may no longer be enough. For the chance to become the best candidate, people need to improve themselves with a variety of skills as employers prefer candidates who can work with different technologies. In addition, such candidates earn higher salaries.