Not business as usual for Indian IT as a post-pandemic workforce reconsiders career choices
Was job security in IT just a myth?
With uncertainty and time being two offerings the Coronavirus brought for the Indian IT population, jobseekers are rethinking their career choices, eyeing more ‘meaningful’ jobs.
The Coronavirus came, it saw, it conquered. Businesses were devastated, SMEs went out of business, technology washed over the undigitized at an unprecedented rate. At a micro level, many lost jobs, putting families almost in danger of destitution.
Now, as the world picks up the pieces, employers are calling back their employees to offices, hybrid or otherwise. The IT market as well as other sectors are recruiting fiercely. But there is a change.
Recently, Amazon shared the findings of a survey conducted to realise the impact of COVID-19 on jobs and future career plans among Indian professionals. The study reveals that 59% of Indian professionals are actively searching for a job, while 90% say they are interested in learning new skills.
Indian youth has long been dictated by parental and societal pressure to join IT. There has never been a choice for millions of students graduating from high schools. There has never been time to think of their own aspirations. The pandemic, a shocking event with uncertain consequences, has provided that pause
Over two in three (68%) jobseekers in India are wanting to switch industries, with one in three (33%) eyeing a new job “where they can do more meaningful work.”
Indian youth has long been dictated by parental and societal pressure to join IT. There has never been a choice for millions of students graduating from high schools. There has never been time to think of their own aspirations.
Even this year, the Delhi University cut off list for UG courses is at 100% for Jesus and Mary College, Hansraj, SRCC, Ramjas, Hindu, and others.
The idea of IT as a fool proof career plan being handed down for generations has shaken up. For the first time, there is space to think of seeking ‘meaningful’ work
The pandemic, a shocking event with uncertain consequences, has provided that pause. Over one in three (35%) employed professionals in India experienced a pay cut because of COVID-19. As a consequence, the idea of IT as a fool proof career plan being handed down for generations has shaken up.
For the first time, there is space to think of seeking ‘meaningful’ work.
Professionals are ready to learn new skills if need be. 75% of Indian professionals showed concern about their current skills becoming obsolete, 90% showing interest in learning new and transferrable career skills. 74% of these professionals stated the pandemic caused this interest.
And thus, the Great Resignation has started. Albeit rudely, but the pandemic has offered 9-5 workers a chance to pause. Employees in sectors like IT have had time to rethink their careers. And they want more.
Employers Are Yielding
With this tectonic shift in the workforce mentality, employees are wising up, and employers are trying to accommodate. In the US, Microsoft has indefinitely postponed the return of its employees to offices after a spike in COVID-19 cases. Apple reopened in September but its employees are reluctant to return and are pushing back.
Offices in India have started opening up. For example, Wipro leadership have been returning to office since mid-September. However, there is a change. Employers are trying their best to make coming back to office safe and attractive.
Last year, after 96% of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) staff moved to Work From Home, the company planned to change the old style of working. The multinational giant announced that by 2025, only 25% of its total employees will be returning to work.
Infosys too is planning to follow a hybrid work model. The company’s back to office risk assessment model will check criteria such as vaccination status, employee’s place of residence, risk in the region and locality, and basic health parameters so that the confidence in returning to work remains.
Innovation for Smoother WFH Are Flooding the Market
The fact that the market is being flooded by tech solutions that allow a completely different work life in the form of virtual meeting apps or tailor made automation solutions speaks volumes about the shift in work life after the pandemic.
An extremely high tech solution is Facebook’s latest remote collaboration Horizon Workrooms. It is completely in sync with a post-pandemic workplace, where users can create avatars that sit around an animated virtual table holding meetings, including scribbling on a virtual white board.
EdgeVerve Systems, an Infosys subsidiary, recently updated its RPA system, AssistEdge, to support and scale large process automation programs for global enterprises.
Hiring is Up but Are IT Professionals Biting?
In India, hiring has gone up in IT. India Inc is picking up freshers by droves and offering up to 120% hikes to existing employees. TCS, Infosys, Wipro and other big tech giants are aggressively hiring candidates across India. IBM has invited applications for entry-level jobs in multiple locations in India.
SAP India and Microsoft have launched a tech skilling program called TechSaksham for more than 62,000 underserved young women across India in areas of artificial intelligence, cloud computing, web design, and digital marketing.
Albeit rudely, but the pandemic has offered 9-5 workers a chance to pause. Employees in sectors like IT have had time to rethink their careers. And they want more
The Indeep Report has found that the demand for IT professionals has gone up by 400%. The demand for skilled technical job roles like Application Developer, Lead Consultant, Salesforce Developer, and Site Reliability Engineer expanded between 150-300%, becoming the top sought after roles since January 2020 to February 2021.
Not Just IT
Apart from IT, other sectors are reporting similar news too.
American multinational giants Microsoft, PepsiCo and MAQ Software plan to invest INR2866 crore in building factories in Uttar Pradesh with the aim of generating 7500 jobs.
IBM also expressed a commitment to set up a software lab in Ahmedabad, the fifth such software lab for the IT giant in India.
In ecommerce, Amazon India has reportedly created 10 lakh jobs, digitising 25 lakh MSMEs, while enabling US$3 billion in exports.
Walmart owned Flipkart said it has added 66 new large-scale fulfilment and sortation centres throughout India in the recent months, creating 1.15 lakh additional seasonal jobs to bolster its supply chain network ahead of the festive season.
A Happy Indian IT
Change is often rude but can lead to great things in the long term.
This shift in the mindset of IT professionals could be a good thing for the future of Indian innovation. Recently, Indian software development has been criticized often for being poor quality, a land of coders and not innovators.
Now, if only those who really want to be in IT enter the sector with true aspirations of creating great programs, the sector will be unstoppable. After all, it already has all the backing it needs
Now, if only those who really want to be in IT enter the sector with true aspirations of creating great programs, the sector will be unstoppable. After all, it already has all the backing it needs.
While this is good news, what’s better is that we will finally see IT professionals happy and comfortable in their jobs.