65% of future jobs don’t even exist

Emerging technology is not only changing human lives, it is also inextricably linked with the job market

Technology jobs

Author

Prasar Sharma is the Director of Emerging Technology Programmes at

Emerging technology is completely changing the way we live and especially impacting the job market. These technologies spanning across the gamut of automation are evolving in the form of robots, sensors, and automated decisioning systems. As automation replaces operational jobs and traditional IT requirements, IT companies that have not embraced these emerging technologies are beginning to see receding guidance.

Look at Accenture for example. Its emergence as a growth leader in the sector leaving the traditional leaders like Infosys, TCS, Wipro, Cognizant et al behind stands out significantly. Also the expected major layoffs that have already been reported (e.g. Cognizant) even as annual evaluations are still in progress.

Cognizant, Wipro and other major companies are said to be looking to cut roles that have become redundant due to the impact of automation on lower-end IT jobs. As is apparent from the examples above, both companies and IT professionals who do not invest in emerging technologies will bear the brunt of this.

SP Jain School of High Technology has stepped into this domain to focus on creating Specialist skills in the area of emerging technologies. Of the top 10 job profiles in demand, the school is offering programs in the top 3 – Machine Learning, Cybersecurity and Virtual Reality. The USP of what the school offers is that these are the only “Specialist” programs in these domains – spanning technology, business & programming.

The outcome is the creation of Specialists who can develop a holistic technology solution from scratch – right from analysing business requirements to translating them into a solution strategy, and from creating a comprehensive project plan to developing the solution using cutting edge programming.

Will ‘specialist’ courses boost employability?

Emerging technologies are omnipotent today. Internet was the first wave, which was followed by the second wave, that was apps (and their ecosystems). This has completely changed how humans connect, communicate and operate. We are now driven by data, and that data can be used to perform many operational tasks that were hitherto being carried out by people. The corollary of this is the need for the creation of complex technological solutions that drive automation even further. Therefore, emerging technology is not only changing human lives, it is also inextricably linked with the job market.

In addition to the ongoing layoffs of existing IT professionals discussed above, there is an emergent situation with respect to university recruitments. More than 60% of the the approximately 800,000 graduating engineers in the country remain unemployed, as per AICTE reports. This has been an enduring issue in the market for many years and with the changing technology landscape, is getting severely exacerbated. In addition to the original gap, there is the additional employability gap being created by emerging technology which needs to be urgently addressed.

Is IT confronting a skills gap?

In the last few years, there has been an exponential growth in computing power, portability, mobility, intelligence, and emergence of new mediums through a virtual and augmented reality. The so called Fourth Industrial Revolution has been transforming business and economies at a rapid pace, as the traditional technology and related business models are fast becoming extinct.

Up to 65% of the future jobs don’t even exist yet and up to 45% of the activities people are paid for will be automated using technology. This is a threatening statement.

The tech sector offers some of the best-paying jobs, no discussions here. Various research agencies bring out average yearly salaries data like these: Software Architect – $120,000; Data Scientist – $110,000; Software Engineer / Java Developer / Mobile Developer – $98,000; and so on. These surface researches that utilize data from job postings hardly reflect details behind the high paying tech jobs and related figures.

Many roles are not purely technical but are grouped into technical roles listing. Companies are hiring pre-post sales engineers along with other IT workers at a frantic pace. Some of the high in-demand positions are related to Cybersecurity, R, Julia, Hadoop, Scrum Master, DevOps, SAP HANA, Cassandra, Cloudera, OpenStack, CloudStack, Oculus, Chef, Pig, MapReduce, Puppet, the list is endless.

These new-age skills reflect the shift from large firm’s software to mobile devices, cloud computing, and remote servers hosting. There might be temporary intrinsic trends like a Hadoop skilled will get higher compensation than Java or an iOS developer gets higher salaries than an Android developer. These intrinsic trends are mere demand and supply impact over a short time period.

Education system has to be tech-enabled

There has been a significant change in the workplace with technological innovations and progressive improvement at a ‘weekly’ rapid pace and the trend is guaranteed to continue. Existing and prospective employees and students in colleges and universities need to be ‘technology ready’ for jobs in any field, as the technology developments are rapidly being adopted by emerging businesses.

An artificial intelligent managed print service (MPS) can take control of replications, reduce costs, and more effectively manage devices and processes. New computing and robotics technologies threaten many safe havens of professions, whether hand-skilled or knowledge-skilled workers, industrial labor, data analysts, legal experts, accountants, taxi drivers and so on. This highly competitive tech hiring market has created two scenarios. First, when the unicorns fail to live up to their valuations, what will happen if you work at one of these companies? Second, when companies struggle to retain talent, their focus has shifted to training and re-skilling to match client requirements.

To achieve skilling at large scale it is important to develop multi-media enabled teaching and learning technology solutions. For efficient skilling this needs to be integrated as online/in-class skills education through blended learning using latest industry driven curricula and pedagogy and direct industry partnerships. NASSCOM is trying to set up the IT-ITES Sector Skills with National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC). But this process has to scale-up and speed-up to bring quality capacity and a ready deployable talent pool.

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