PayPal and ICT Academy: Bridging theory and reality

As groundbreaking trends redefine the future of work, a critical imperative emerges – connecting classroom lessons with the practical applications of the real world. With young people spending longer in formal education, many might not connect with the world of work until their 20s.

The digital makeover of the job market is profound. As we embrace attractive new roles, the transformation also ushers in the obsolescence of low-skilled jobs. Addressing this transformative challenge is not only crucial but demands an accessible and affordable approach to acquiring skills for the emerging workforce.

PayPal’s partnership with ICT Academy, a not-for-profit initiative of the Government of India, to launch the Student Enablement Program represents a strategic commitment to equip students with the skills essential for success in the digital age.

This initiative aims to narrow the gap between academia and industry by focusing on upskilling final-year students in key states, including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Telangana. The goal is clear – empower the youth with skills that bring textbook education to life.

V Chandramouliswaran, VP of Data and Site Leader, PayPal India, emphasizes, "As technology advances swiftly, fostering people's skills becomes essential for employment opportunities. It is crucial for institutions to realize that helping students be future-ready isn’t just about tech prowess. It’s about fostering holistic growth, blending technical expertise with professional finesse. Through this program, we aim to help shape the students into well-rounded professionals to equip them with the requisite skills and knowledge to thrive in today’s world."

With a comprehensive 140-hour curriculum, comprising 100 hours dedicated to technical skills in Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and Cloud and an additional 40 hours to foster professional growth, the program applies a holistic approach to students’ growth as professional individuals. Additionally, the establishment of Centers of Excellence for Women Empowerment and Youth Empowerment in 25 colleges reinforces a commitment to inclusivity and diversity.

The first edition of the program had an overarching goal of empowering 2,500 students and 100 faculty members with Industry 4.0 skills. A joint certification by PayPal and ICT Academy, paired with tangible placement opportunities, adds weight to the acquired skills. Following the inaugural success of the Student Enablement Program, the second edition launched this year aims to benefit 3,400 students in engineering, arts, and science institutions. Providing placement opportunities at various IT departments for 70 percent of the participants, the program provides critical development opportunities for women and underprivileged youth.

PayPal and ICT Academy's shared passion for uplifting the next generation shines through this initiative's blueprint. As we journey through the intricate maze of tech advancements, it is crucial for the future workforce to have access to programs where students are poised for success in the dynamic realm of Industry 4.0 to champion the leaders of tomorrow.

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