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Rebooting the Workforce

With IT firms opting for automation, reskilling is the only way for employees to remain relevant

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Since graduating two years ago from Terna Engineering College in Mumbai, Mahalaxmi Thevar enrolled for a digital course, six months ago, to learn Selenium, an open source web-based automation tool. Now, she will be able to automate the repetitive work of software testing through the tool. “In college, they only taught us the basic concepts of Java. Thus, we have to keep on learning an array of programming languages,” says Thevar, who works at an IT firm. She also wants to pick up big data skills. Similarly, Naveen PN, an electronic and communication engineer, who has been working with L&T Technology for more than 12 years, grabbed the opportunity provided by his company to upgrade his skills. He undertook a course to learn to build Internet of Things (IoT) applications. He has realised that applications of IoT and embedded technologies would only augment with time as the IT industry continues to grow. “Unfortunately colleges in India are unable to provide specialised training which renders many young engineers under-prepared for the complex technological challenges,” says Naveen. Thevar and Naveen are among thousands updating their skills to remain relevant in the IT industry as a new wave of technologies displace the old ones.

As the demands of global and domestic customers change, the $153-billion IT sector, employing 3.86 million people, has started shifting towards advanced technologies such as big data, cloud, IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning. A report titled ‘Future of jobs — A 2022 perspective’, prepared by EY, in association with FICCI and Nasscom, says that adoption of new technologies is picking up more pace as cost falls. 

Nasscom states that IT firms are taking steps for revenue decoupling from headcount growth with more automation and platform-based revenue. The reduction in workforce would mean a huge cost advantage for the

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