Emerging sectors for skill development in India: Cybersecurity & data science
The driving force for a nation’s inclusive growth is skill development that spans all sectors of the economy. According to the Pre-Budget Economic Survey 2013-14, India’s working-age population is expected to rise to 64% by 2021, with young individuals in the 20-35 age group. This means that India’s burgeoning young workforce can benefit the country if they are nurtured and prepared with the requisite skill sets.
The job market in India is experiencing a tectonic shift. The future of work in India: Inclusion, Growth & Transformation Report by the Observer Research Foundation and the World Economic Forum explore how transformative technology will impact employment in every sector. This report discovered that businesses anticipate technological change to result in employment opportunities rather than job loss. They see the potential for new technologies in almost every sector in the future, paving the way for the need for skilled professionals to cater to business needs.
We have also witnessed a digital transformation in recent years, and there’s been a tremendous push to ensure that all sectors make use of cutting-edge technology. Today, every sector from marketing to production is embracing digitalisation with AI and quantum computing among the many emerging technologies being embraced to improve efficiency, service, and profitability.
The growth of IT and ITES sectors for fresh graduates and working professionals has been phenomenal. It is giving rise to a situation wherein there will be more jobs than individuals with requisite skills in the near future.
That said, in the race to adopt, many organisations must recognise the need for skilled professionals with knowledge of emerging technologies, especially in the field of cybersecurity and data science – two critical domains that can impact a business dramatically.
However, this skill gap must also be seen as an opportunity to upskill or re-skill in both fields. According to a NASSCOM report, as of 2021, there are approximately 800,000 jobs available in the field of Big Data and AI in India alone. Additionally, the field of cybersecurity, India is expected to have over 1.5 million vacant jobs in the areas of application development security, cloud security, risk management, and threat intelligence according to Michael Page India.
Opportunities for Fresh Graduates & Working Professionals in Cybersecurity & Data Science
The cybersecurity job market is expanding exponentially with the evolution of technology in all sectors.
Data science and data security skills such as data collection and storage (cloud computing), data analytics (including big data) will be required in every sector as we advance. As a result, the demand for skilled professionals is already outpacing supply, and we expect this trend to continue.
Emerging technologies like AI and IoT are expected to change the way people work, live, and interact in the future. If India’s workforce is upskilled and adept at using emerging technologies and tools, it will only result in better productivity and efficiency.
Skills Needed in Cybersecurity & Data Science
Cyber defence skills are required by every sector, such as designing, implementing, and managing ICT systems to enable confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT assets.
There is also an increasing need for skilled professionals in the Data Science field.
Professionals who have expertise in using tools to solve complex problems play a critical role in data analysis. Moreover, at present, the crime rate is increasing rapidly and to tackle such increasing cyber-attacks, businesses need professionals who have good knowledge of data science.
Data security skills are also required in almost every sector. Instances of data theft and misuse have increased manifold. If a company’s data is hacked, it has a detrimental impact on the business market value. It leads to an increased demand for professionals with in-depth knowledge of data security and cybercrime investigative tools.
The Need to Upskill or Reskill
Employers are constantly looking for quick adopters of technology who can think out-of-the-box and offer solutions that can help their organisation gain an edge over their competitors while safeguarding their data.
The era where armchair experts earned well is no more – having niche skills will be an advantage for career seekers in both domains.
In this IT revolution age, one could look at Data Science and Cybersecurity as lucrative career paths. Skill requirements by employers are evolving, and so should every job seeker. Therefore, it is advisable to continue to upskill or reskill to ensure one is prepared and ready to take on new challenges.
There is also an increasing demand for upskilled professionals in emerging technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, etc., to make processes more efficient, reduce costs and improve business decision-making.
Therefore, to stay relevant in an evolving job market, it is essential to gain in-depth knowledge of the concepts, tools, and skills that matter. Curated online courses that are co-delivered by industry experts and academicians, in addition to the experience and knowledge that one gains from experts through practical application of tools, real-life scenario assignments, industry-oriented projects, assisted internships and guidance by experienced mentors, are highly beneficial for job seekers looking at a lucrative career in Cybersecurity and Data Science domains.
Prioritisation of skill development is an important step towards building a robust workforce that can meet the emerging demands of our nation’s economy. This will enable India to create opportunities, increase its global competitiveness and capability to harness scale and scope by developing and deploying new technologies across all sectors.
Guest contributor Gaurav Bhatia is the Chief Business Officer of RISE WPU, an online campus for upskilling and reskilling working professionals in the areas of science and technology. Any opinions expressed in this article are strictly that of the author.