The world of digital and automation technologies opens a window of opportunity for the Indian IT professionals provided they reboot their technical skills.
The $150-billion-PLUS Indian information technology industry, now staring at single digit growth rate with slower intake of people, is also witnessing new green shoots which could brighten employment prospects. The industry, which employs close to 4 million people directly, has been constantly talking about re-skilling which includes efforts by the companies and individual employees. In this changed scenario, there are the new emerging technologies and domains which drive a strong sense of optimism. “Considering the evolution that the industry is undergoing due to the adoption of new technologies, it is imperative that we, as an industry, drive the skilling and re-skilling of new and existing talent, so as to ensure that the requirement that will be created in the form of new job roles can be fulfilled appropriately and in time, helping us prepare for the future opportunities,” said R Chandrashekhar, president, Nasscom.
Nasscom also identified six areas of specialisation in the Big Data Analytics domain which are expected to be key to the sector’s growth in times to come. These are business analysts, solution architects, data integrators, data architects, data analysts and data scientists. With the rising requirement for niche competencies in artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics, the skill/expertise of the IT workforce will spearhead the analytical transformation on critical business processes across the industry, it said.
Digital economy training company Simplilearn in a report titled “How Automation is Changing Work Choices: The Future of IT Jobs in India” said the era of digitisation and automation will create newer career choices for IT professionals. The new job roles that will dominate the IT workforce are within digital domains such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing and Cyber Security.
According to Simplilearn, roles such as data analyst and project manager will continue to be in demand but the skills required to perform these roles will witness a shift. Professionals in these domains should thus look at re-skilling and up-skilling themselves to stay relevant in their careers. On the other hand, there has also been a rising demand for those institutions which provide the training for these skills. Acadgild, a Bangalore-based technology education start-up that provides skill-based training, has seen 20-30% spike in people signing up for its course. The increase is in strong correlation to the rise in automation across sectors and also more layoffs in the IT industry.
According to Acadgild, with the IT industry leaning towards automation, there is a growing demand for professionals skilled in the areas of analytics, Big Data, IoT, AI, robotics, cloud computing and cyber security and blockchain technology. The knowledge that today’s working professionals possess is limited to traditional skills which are no longer adequate, and consequently, there is an increasing need to re-skill these professionals. The skill development must evolve to adapt to and keep up with the needs of this dynamic environment.
“There is an increased need for re-skilling due to automation. To remain relevant in the industry, employees need to be re-skilled on the latest and next-level technology,” said Vikalp Jain, president and co-founder, Acadgild. “When it comes to reskilling, while mid- to senior-level professionals tend to go for management courses to hone their leadership skills, people with less than 10 years of experience tend to look for domain specialisation, to add to their skill sets.”
Industry-specific certifications are important for upgrading a professional’s skill-sets and helping him/her stay relevant. While companies are looking to adopt new technologies and platforms to advance their business results, professionals must focus on preparing for job roles of the future. Some of the ways to stay relevant in the digital economy include up-skilling/ re-skilling, moonlighting, technical education and changing career paths.
Agrees Kashyap Dalal, chief business officer of Simplilearn, “The IT industry is seeing the impact of two major trends – first, of AI and machine learning. And second, that of legacy skill-sets going obsolete. While there is risk to jobs due to these trends, the good news is that a huge number of new jobs are getting created as well in areas like cyber security, cloud, DevOps, Big Data, machine learning and AI.” According to him, it is clearly a time of career pivot for IT professionals, to make sure they are where the growth is.