Evolv­ing Ca­reers and Skills in the IT In­dus­try

IT pro­fes­sion­als must keep learn­ing and rein­vent con­tin­u­ously to stay in de­mand in the fast-chang­ing job mar­ket.

OpenSource For You - - Contents -

The In­dian IT in­dus­try is go­ing through test­ing times. Amidst hype around the huge lay­offs, which is fu­elling a lot of spec­u­la­tion, the bit­ter truth is that au­to­ma­tion is killing some jobs, there is slow growth in the tra­di­tional ser­vices busi­ness cou­pled with an in­crease in pro­tec­tion­ism, and newer busi­ness mod­els that de­cou­ple rev­enue and head­count have emerged. The need to take charge of one’s ca­reer has never been felt as strongly as it is be­ing felt now. It is a fact that skills that could fetch jobs at a pre­mium a few years back are no longer fan­cied to­day. It is tough for peo­ple who have not in­vested in them­selves or grown as pro­fes­sion­als to sur­vive and stay rel­e­vant in to­day’s fast-chang­ing times.

The good news, how­ever, is that jobs are aplenty but only for those who have stayed rel­e­vant by in­vest­ing in them­selves, hav­ing taken risks to step out of their com­fort zone to learn what is ‘new’. Au­to­ma­tion may have made some jobs re­dun­dant but it has also cre­ated a new set of jobs. With the de­cline in tra­di­tional ser­vices, and the sharp in­crease in dig­i­tal and en­gi­neer­ing R&D ser­vices, skills have be­come much more im­por­tant than scale. The types of skills in de­mand have changed but the num­ber of new jobs con­tin­ues to be high.

A re­cent NASSCOM re­port in­di­cates that 40 per cent of the tech pro­fes­sion­als in In­dia need to reskill over the next five years, if they want to sur­vive the on­slaught of au­to­ma­tion. An­other star­tling statis­tic is that In­dia will lose up to 640,000 low-skilled jobs to au­to­ma­tion by 2021, and the IT in­dus­try will shrink by 14 per cent within the same time pe­riod. With open source tech­nol­ogy plat­forms be­com­ing main­stream, the po­ten­tial for devel­op­ers to ex­per­i­ment and evolve is vast. Jobs and skills are not limited by how much you know, but by what you can do with the knowhow. Open source plat­forms have al­ways been a source of in­no­va­tion for devel­op­ers.

Dif­fer­ent open source tools and open stan­dards are im­por­tant, and will con­tinue to be so in the fu­ture, in or­der to en­sure that all the de­vices be­ing used to­day are able to in­ter­con­nect prop­erly. These open source tools will also be re­spon­si­ble for the back-end tasks of pro­cess­ing the large vol­umes of Big Data that all of these de­vices will gen­er­ate in the fu­ture.

It is im­per­a­tive for ev­ery in­di­vid­ual to un­der­stand what skills they have an ap­ti­tude for, what in­ter­ests them and what the in­dus­try trends are. This will help them pick skills that make them much more com­pet­i­tive in the job mar­ket. Also, in­di­vid­u­als need to in­tro­spect ev­ery few years in or­der to stay rel­e­vant in the in­dus­try and pro­long their IT ca­reer. Or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als who have con­sis­tently rein­vented them­selves ev­ery few years have man­aged to forge ahead.

Gone are the days of gen­er­al­ists—the IT in­dus­try needs spe­cial­ists to­day. Learn­ing and im­ple­ment­ing any new age tech­nol­ogy, which in­cludes cer­ti­fi­ca­tions in mo­bile and Web de­vel­op­ment, data sci­ence and Big Data an­a­lyt­ics, ma­chine learn­ing, UI/UX de­sign, robotics, cy­ber se­cu­rity and so on, will be in de­mand. One could even choose to be an SME in the field of se­cu­rity, fi­nance and pay­ments.

An im­por­tant point to note here is that soft skills have emerged as a crit­i­cal skill with­out which sur­vival in the IT in­dus­try is a chal­lenge to­day — this was not the case a decade ago. With the in­dus­try be­com­ing bound­ary-less and global, job seek­ers must have good com­mu­ni­ca­tion and pre­sen­ta­tion skills along with good stake­holder man­age­ment, as well as ne­go­ti­a­tion and in­ter­per­sonal skills. Also, work­ing on open source projects not only en­ables one to en­joy the work and con­trib­ute back to com­mu­nity-de­vel­oped projects, but also helps to hone one’s skills and stay rel­e­vant in the job mar­ket.

Hon­ing skills need not be re­stricted to ju­nior level em­ploy­ees or devel­op­ers but ap­plies to mid-level man­agers and se­nior lead­ers too. Mid-level man­agers who know how to man­age tra­di­tional en­gage­ments should learn how to man­age en­gage­ments with newer de­vel­op­ment method­olo­gies. They can get new cer­ti­fi­ca­tions un­der their belt, mak­ing them more at­trac­tive to prospec­tive em­ploy­ers. Se­nior lead­ers, on the other hand, who have a proven track record of creat­ing lead­er­ship pipe­lines can con­sider be­com­ing cer­ti­fied lead­er­ship coaches or cer­ti­fied ex­ec­u­tive coaches, as they have the abil­ity to bring out the best in peo­ple; that’s a skill that will al­ways be in de­mand.

The in­dus­try will al­ways be in a state of evo­lu­tion, so it is up to in­di­vid­u­als whether they view this as a chal­lenge or an op­por­tu­nity. The time is now or never, and if you do not take con­trol of your own ca­reer, no one else will.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.