With little good jobs on offer along with the constant demand for new skillsets, IT professionals in India are facing a difficult time. Cost constraints and shrinking profitability have forced major IT companies to rethink their working style to at least contain employee’s cost to company and drive more productivity from existing teams. While the challenge for fresh graduates is to get a job in the IT industry with the skills and knowledge of the bygone era, for mid-level managers the threat of losing their jobs and not finding a new one is even greater.
IT companies are investing very little on training their employees. And with the drastic drop in entry-level salaries, IT professionals with under five years of experience are under severe threat to perform or perish. Also, with the millennial workforce, shuffling between companies in the same domain of expertise or industry is now very common.
Zairus Master, CEO, Shine.com, an online job portal in an exclusive interaction with Debashis Sarkar of News18.com shares his viewpoint on five crucial aspects in the Indian IT job market.
1) Embrace automation and AI While automation and artificial intelligence are seen as the evil forces that will take over IT jobs, Zairus believes the best way forward is embrace them and not escape them by looking out for different job profiles. “Just imagine the time, banks in the late 90s got to see computers. Everyone thought computers would kill jobs. But nothing like that happened. More jobs were created due to computerisation. In fact, banks hire way more people now than what they used to back in the 90s. Now imagine, if a seasoned banker, in the 90s, had embraced computers and got himself trained instead of simply letting new joinees with computer skills to take over, then he would surely race up the hierarchy. This is exactly what will happen with automation and AI,” he says.
Human workforce will co-exist with automation and artificial intelligence. These technologies will add more jobs in the market and not necessarily minus positions. Of course, the nature of jobs will change. So, it is imperative for people to get reskilled in these domains and be prepared to face them head on in the future.
2) Keep learning, online: Surviving in IT jobs by just being “people managers” would be difficult going ahead. Mid-level IT employees are required to take out time from their busy schedules to brush up their core competencies and add related skillsets. “You just can’t afford the time to visit a training institute to learn new skills. You will have to rely on online learning,” adds Zairus. Just get an idea of the skills that would be required for getting a better job and start leaning online and get certified.
3) Beware of Freshers: “Quite literally”, says Zairus. “If a fresher, who earns half of what you earn, can do your job within just six months of his/her joining, then why will your company show interest in retaining you? You are simply not entitled to anything anymore,” he adds.
4) The Millennial mindset: “Gone are those days of sitting in one company for five years to prove your experience and mettle. It’s perfectly okay to change jobs every year or two if it helps you to grow,” he says. Having said that, the candidate needs to evaluate the short and long term goals before mindlessly hopping jobs. Also, the millennial mindset could force companies to hire more people on contract with better remuneration than permanent employees.
5) Appraisals: The job landscape has changed drastically and no employee is entitled to get yearly appraisals. “Just because you have spent another year in your company doesn’t entitle you for an appraisal. You will have to bring more on the table to expect a better raise. Simply meeting your daily KRAs won’t help much,” he adds. The best way to forward to reskill yourself is to start with signing up for a relevant online training course and continue doing so unless you grab all the necessary skillsets of a particular domain. Reskilling is only way ahead to thrive in the Indian IT industry.