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These skills will help you survive layoffs

The IT sector in India is currently undergoing a major transition. Technology and business shifts are impacting its growth and that of the employees alike. There is a constant fear of layoffs across the IT sector and the need of the hour is to re-skill employees to cut this risk for them and companies.

The IT industry is based on talent and skills, and both are mobile entities. A lot of work at the bottom of the pyramid is getting delegated what with automation and robotics making way. As per industry insiders, over 56,000 jobs will be lost this year itself in the top 7 IT companies alone.

With campus recruitments slowing down, those entering the IT workforce in the next 3 years would have to work hard to get themselves employed. This is excluding the fact that they will compete with those who have already lost their jobs. Those who retain their jobs will see lesser salary growth, zero bonuses, and a work environment that requires them to be highly competitive.

There are three fundamental changes happening in the IT landscape: IT Process Automation, Programming languages and frameworks, and Big Data/AI/ML.

● IT Process Automation Lot of IT development and support activities which were done manually earlier have been automated. For example, manual testing has given way to automation testing, manual build and deployment activities have given way to DevOps related tools which automate whole workflow etc.

● Programming languages and frameworks Most of the new development is happening on new frameworks like MEAN (Mongo-Express- AngularJS-Node.js) and ReactJS.

C/C++/Java is making way for Python and JavaScript.

● Data Science/AI/ML Related This is an area which has matured over last decade and is causing total disruption. Thousands of support jobs are being replaced by chatbots and other AI/ML lead automations. Skills like R, Spark, Python, Tableu are seeing increased demand. These are relatively newer skills and that’s where lot of future jobs will be created.

No matter how dismal the picture may be with layoffs, there are new sectors within IT with thousands of job opportunities today. Some such emerging fields with a growing demand for skilled professionals are Analytics, Big data, Internet of things, AI, Robotics, Cloud computing and security, and Blockchain technology.
However, the existing working professionals do not possess these skills. With their knowledge limited to traditional skills which are no longer required, there is an increasing need to re-skill these professionals.

Some popular courses for professionals to re-skill themselves include DevOps, Machine Learning, Big Data Development, Full-Stack (MEAN) Development, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, and Android Development. There are also bundle courses such as Data Science Bundle, Big Data Architect, Web Development, and Mobile Bundle which are very intensive and makes sure you have all the skills needed to get employed in those technologies.

It is imperative for existing professionals to update themselves and read up on upcoming technologies. You can choose where your interest lies and identify the best way in which your previous experience and skills can be leveraged. Once this process is done, take a professional course. You could even do an internship with a startup.

Once you are re-skilled and back in the job market, you will be perceived differently and will also find it easier to get a job suited to your skills. It is important to not look at these layoffs as a discouragement but instead view it as an opportunity to reinvent and transform your skills and place in the professional world.

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