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As technological innovation continues to disrupt the business landscape, global labor markets are undergoing a seismic shift. Low value, repetitive tasks are being automated while the demand for multi-taskers with cognitive-thinking and problem-solving skills is growing exponentially. According to the Future of Jobs Report 2018, almost 50% of surveyed companies expect automation to reduce their full-time workforce by 2022. On the flip side, 38% of companies expect their workforce to move to more ‘productivity-enhancing’ roles while more than 25% expect automation to create new roles within their organization. So, it boils down to the question – will technology cause mass unemployment or will it help evolve the workforce by creating new opportunities?
Will the relentless pace of automation steal IT jobs?
Businesses across industries such as healthcare, education, retail, manufacturing, and transportation, are increasingly leveraging automation, cloud and data analytics. Innovation-driven industry leaders such as Netflix, Amazon, and Google are going a step further – they are embedding Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in internal processes and services to drive enhanced customer service and competitive advantage. The result: AI, ML, cloud computing and data analytics are coming to the fore. These skill sets will replace traditional IT skills in the emerging paradigm. According to a NASSCOM report, 40% of India’s workforce (about four million professionals) will need to upskill within the next five years to stay relevant, as a result of automation and the changing industry.
The good news is technology has always created more jobs in the IT sector, and the current scenario is no different. A Gartner report shows that by 2020, AI will generate 2.3 million jobs globally, exceeding the 1.8 million it is estimated to replace. Looking at India, A NASSCOM study has estimated that a number of job openings in AI and Big Data Analytics are expected to increase to 230,000 by 2021.
While roles such as testers, system administrators, network engineers, and project managers are likely to take a hit, there are many others that are likely to grow in scope (Source – Manipal ProLearn White Paper). These include DevOps/Full stack developers, Data Scientists, Cloud Engineers, Information Security specialists, and ML experts.
How to stay ahead as technology shifts
New-age IT roles demand new skill sets and flexibility. Continuous learning and upskilling are the best way to stay in sync with the shifting world. Training and development must become a priority for business leaders who want to build technologically relevant teams. Forward looking companies understand this. A survey of 1,000 organizations by Capgemini shows that 71% of companies have already initiated employee reskilling and upskilling programs in AI and automation. Several others are partnering with educational institutions to fulfill their upskilling mandates.
This article has originally been published in Mail Today.
About the Author:
Dr. Yogesh Kumar Bhatt the Vice President & Director of Manipal ProLearn. He looks after the academic development and delivery of professional learning programs.
Dr. Bhatt has over two decades of rich experience involving employee competency development, education, training, delivery and consulting in the Information Technology sector.
Prior to this, he was associated with Infosys for over 16 years and in his last role was the Associate Vice President and Head of Consulting and Systems Integration Academy. In this capacity, he headed the training and competency development requirements of Consulting and Systems Integration service which accounted for about 1/3rd of Infosys revenue and had employee strength of more than 30,000.
Dr. Bhatt is a Graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, Post-Graduate from CEPT University, Ahmedabad and Fellow (Doctorate) from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad.