Sectors such as healthcare, pharmaceuticals, grocery and warehouses would call for additional talent with new skill-sets.
Covid-19 is creating a never before experienced anxiety, making people wonder what would happen to their jobs and careers. Industries such as hospitality, restaurants, airlines, media and entertainment have been impacted as the business visibility is minimal for next one year in some cases or at least until the next quarter in other cases.
Employees belonging to these sectors in sales, customer support and operations roles are trying to find alternate jobs in other sectors. The key to their success will be their ability to transfer their core skills into new domains, focus on acquiring IT skills as well as the ability to work remotely.
Although there has been a disruption to the work routine due to lockdown across many parts of the globe, due to new ways of functioning, employees and customers require increased support for accessing the IT systems. Hence there has been a surge in the demand for IT support personnel. While many businesses would be evaluating their IT budgets going forward, there would be continued demand for current systems and applications as well as some modifications to ongoing systems on account of changes in customer buying behaviour and patterns.
E-commerce has picked up a renewed momentum and this will continue to attract IT specialists with skill-sets in programming, data analytics and design of content. Sectors such as healthcare, pharmaceuticals, grocery and warehouses would call for additional talent with new skill-sets. Those who have been pursuing analytics careers in financial services or retail would be able to find opportunities in healthcare and they should speedily get to understand the nuances of domains such as hospitals, drug stores, medical equipment manufacturers, etc.
Similarly, digital marketing specialists from media or entertainment industry could find opportunities to use their skills in e-commerce or device based entertainment, gaming, edutainment and education. With collaboration and remote conferencing becoming popular, consumer and industrial marketing specialists need to learn how to reach out to customers remotely and close their sales of telecommunication or IT offerings instead of traditional ways of marketing by meeting in person. In such scenarios, possessing skills in multiple languages would come in handy for sales, technical support or content reviews.
IT service providers would be looking at ways by which they could optimise their costs and continue to service their customers. Many IT companies are already asking their employees to upskill themselves specially when they are working from home and are providing them with e-learning as well as webinar opportunities.
IT specialists too may be concerned about losing their jobs in the current scenario. If that happens, that may be temporary. Those performing jobs that have significant IT content and are aligned with the contemporary digital supported business processes should be able to reinvent themselves by upgrading their IT competencies in cutting-edge areas such as security, cloud or analytics to ensure they have alternate careers ahead of them.
What should also be not ignored is that once the current crisis rolls over, there would be resurgence of businesses that would definitely have digital components and therefore there would be further spike in the demand for IT skills. Therefore, learnability and being able to adapt would command a premium in the times ahead and hence these skills should be inculcated even before students graduate from colleges.
The writer is chairperson, Global Talent Track, a corporate training solutions company