Indian IT professionals start their careers with great expectations and big dreams. Not all make it to the ”top”. That the IT professionals have to survive and tackle cut-throat competition to reach the top hierarchy and to be successful is no secret. However, this prompts one to ask questions such as “How do you reach the top and what skills are required for Indian IT employees to reach the top?” or simply put, ”How does one become the smartest techie at the workplace who earns over a crore?” Wow, isn’t that a great dream to work towards? And here’s the thing – it is POSSIBLE.
Speaking to FE Online, Rituparna Chakraborty, Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, TeamLease Services said, “While a lot of areas are witnessing redundancy or automation, new roles are emerging at a quick pace in the technology industry. Most of them are in the area of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science, 3D Printing, Block Chain, Cloud Computing. The compensation for these roles at its height or complexity and maturity would a crore per annum wages. However, it’s a matter of time (even in the long run), the flavours would change and hence, it is important for IT professionals to invest in their ability to create and think design, work together with others and being able to manage people is what would give them an edge over others.”
Belong, an enterprise software company in the outbound recruitment segment, supports the hiring needs of companies such as Cisco, Amazon, Reliance Jio, Paypal, Adobe, among others. Recently, the company released a Talent Supply Index in June 2017, which indicates some interesting trends related to the Indian IT sector.
For instance, their report states that demand vastly outstrips supply for core AI, IOT and cloud talent. Cloud technologies like DevOps, security and network engineering are in demand across all companies since all industries are more or less in line with going digital. The mobility for mobile developers, Python developers, and data scientists is extremely high. Between 2014 to 2017, the demand for IOT talent rocketed by 304%, with companies like Cisco, IBM, Intel and Qualcomm emerging as the top employers in emerging technologies.
Among cities, the Talent Supply Index June 2017 points to Bengaluru as the hotbed of supply and demand for high-value tech talent. The city accounts for 40% of India’s data scientists.
“We’re witnessing a new tech order today where systems of engagement technologies in the form of IOT, augmented and virtual Reality are fusing and enabling systems of insight technologies in the form of AI / cognitive and deep learning to drive action for businesses.We recently launched Talent Supply Index, we are witnessing very high YOY CAGR across the last three years in the number of jobs that are being hired for in India where in demand for IOT has grown by 304% and Data Science has rocketed by 76%. We’re seeing a heavy shortfall in skills like Mobile Development, Cloud Computing, Data Engineering and Data Science. This means firms will have to go beyond mainstream hiring solutions to attract and win talent and rethink their current recruiting capabilities,” Rishabh, Co-founder at Belong, told FE Online.
So, what do the top tech employers look for while headhunting for talent in the IT sector? A few HR influencers shared their insights with FE Online on the skills sets that are critical components for success.
“At Amrita University, an MTech got 75 lakhs as the highest package. The opportunities are immense. Artificial intelligence, Big Data and Analytics are the skills in demand now, compensation is determined on the basis of experience and role. Cyber security experts are also in great demand, so will Data Scientists,” Ruchi Bhatia, University Branding Specialist at IBM and HR influencer, told FE Online.
From an HR perspective, the biggest challenge for top IT companies today is to find the best-suited candidates and making sure they are aligned with the company’s core values, shared vision, and business objectives, but there is more depth to this process than we think.
Abhijit Bhaduri, Social Media Influencer, and Talent Development Coach, who was earlier Chief Learning Officer of the Wipro Group shared his insights with FE Online, “Scaling up is all about being people-oriented, which many people miss out on. It is about how you work with teams, how you collaborate with others to solve a problem is key. Outcomes are based on this. How do you collaborate with others to solve a problem? Today, people don’t have time to read, which is an area to look at. Learning has come down. The more the organizational skills one has, the more complexities of the problem emerge for solving. All of this requires not just a multi-disciplinary skills set but also an original point of view about the problems you want to solve. Constantly grow, clean up. Being able to think through the enterprise is important. ”
Now, what are the training needs that can help IT employees, to quickly scale up for a position of top leadership?
“Some of the good places to study include SRM University, IISc Bangalore and of course, the IITs and IIMs. Women professionals need to opt for careers in STEM (Science, tech, engineering, and maths) and pursue management as well. It is important to build skills and capabilities, gain the right experience and hone leadership potential. Developing domain expertise is key and the starting package could be 15 to 25 lakhs and then you move your way up in the corporate ladder as you gain experience, ” Ruchi Bhatia, University Branding Specialist at IBM and HR influencer, told FE.
Sharing a different take on ‘training’ versus ‘learning’, Abhijit Bhaduri said, “Training and learning are two different things. Training has a prescribed format but the core issue is that learning has come down. We do things that are transactional but there is no innovation in leadership development. Think about this – how many companies are investing in this aspect of growth? There are organizations that spend and invest considerably in grooming leadership talent. That is where the real growth is.”
What about the niche areas that can be a ”gold mine” in terms of propelling one’s career growth into the top league?
“In my experience and based on what I hear from the ground, most CIOs and CTOs mention that – Data is the new Oil. We see many of our customers asking for help in deriving meaningful insights from existing data and also help in all the machine/customer data they are generating every single day. So, given this, I would say knowledge of technologies like predictive analytics, data integration (Hive, MapReduce, Hadoop), NoSQL is imperative. On the consumer side too, we are listening to and investing in Artificial Intelligence capabilities, as we see brands looking to automate much of the consumer facing business. Knowledge of technologies like NLP, Machine Learning, Deep Learning Platforms and RPA is a good bet for securing high earning jobs,” said Malhar Barai, who manages Marketing for a key vertical from a leading technology services provider.
With the talent war set to intensify even more in the years to come, the signs are already there – traditional workplace models and behavioral systems are no longer a recipe for success in the Indian IT sector. Those techies who want to make it BIG, have to think out-of-the-box, explore niche areas, participate as stakeholders by focusing on innovation and finding new ways to keep adding value to the system as they proceed to create a successful growth curve not just for themselves but for their employer and other participant stakeholders, who invest in their company’s growth and success.