Article (August-2017)

Articles

Technology is a boon; embrace it and up-skill to stay ahead

Monica Malhotra Kandhari

Designation : -   Managing Director

Organization : -  MBD Group, Delhi

01-Aug-2017

1. How do you see the scenario of mass layoffs in IT sector to change in future?
Ans. Growing job insecurity and layoffs among IT professionals call for up-skilling. The personnel need to re-skill themselves according to the need of the sector. According to a NASSCOM report, 40% of the estimated four million workforce in India need re-skilling over the next five years to keep pace with automation and changing skill needs in various industries.
To combat with automation and technological revolution in the industry, HR has a major role to play in order to train their employees in digital skills and help them become innovative and creative. I believe that the universities and education institutes too have a great role in skilling their students because with the same knowledge & no diversified skills, it will be hard for engineers graduating every year to find up a suitable job with decent pay. With only the basic knowledge & nothing diversified, it won't be wrong to say that job cuts might continue for many more years. Hence, there is a strict need of skills up-gradation. Moreover, the professionals trained in newer technologies like Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing, analytics, big data, digital marketing, etc. will command higher pay scales.
2. What all sectors and functions will be highly impacted by job cuts?
Ans. With gloom in the IT industry due to job cuts, all the related industries are facing the heat. With newer technologies changing the way how these industries should function, are compelling the professionals to re-skill themselves. Apart from the hardcore IT sector, professionals in other industries like manufacturing, telecom, banking, etc. have also started feeling insecure about their jobs due to machine learning, AI, automation, robotics and technology replacing the manual jobs.
3. Is there a greater need than ever to stay updated, up skill, re-skill and remain employable?
Ans. With manual jobs becoming obsolete and automation overtaking it, yes, there is a greater need than ever to stay updated, up skill in order to remain employable. Hence, to survive in this fast evolving technological environment, it is very important to re-skill yourselves in newer technologies like robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Analytics, AR/VR, etc. Many organisations are now days taking this initiative of training their employees on digital skills and helping them survive in the industries.
Moreover, with increasing competition in the industry where every organisation wants to have the best talent and since there are many people with the same skill sets as yours, it is very important to up skill your abilities & talent to showcase your employer that you are a valuable asset for the organisation.
4. Has the current surge of job cuts made up-skilling more crucial?
Ans. Shrinking job market due to mass layoffs in IT and related industries has resulted in a dire need of skills up-gradation. Growing job insecurity and job cuts have left the professionals worrying about redundancy and survival in the industry. Hence, there is a necessity to come out of your comfort zones and re-skill yourselves for better job roles & salary hikes. Many corporates are now days taking the initiative of partnering with online learning platform (access anytime anywhere) to provide training to their employees.
5. Since, a greater need to stay employable has emerged from the way technology is taking over the businesses - AI, robotics, digital, is it right to say that technology is the curse that is pushing the workforce to stay updated? Or, is technology actually a boon, which is aiding up-skilling of employees?
Ans. The growth in digital technologies like robotics, AI and cloud based services is happening at a much greater pace, there is a need to re-skill the workforce in order to catch that speed. Gone is the time when we were comfortable with whatever we know, we thought that's enough for us; it's high time now that we have to upgrade our skills otherwise be prepared to get replaced by someone else who have already retrained themselves with the required skill sets. I would say that technology is not a curse; rather it is a boon which is forcing the workforce of our country in up skilling themselves so that they can compete globally.
From making a pencil to designing a building, technology is now an important part of every industry. With this significant shift in technologies, it has become really important to up skill the professionals for each and every industry, not just IT.
6. How can organisations help employees to remain employable?
Ans. At this time of rapidly changing industry, organisations should intensify investment in re-skilling their employees in order to strengthen their capabilities and make them industry ready. Companies should also keep in mind the age groups of their workforce and devise strategies according to it, for example, millennial learners would prefer learning through gamification or social connect whereas mid - level professionals would love to hear & get trained from motivational speakers in special session arranged from them. Also, it is important for the employees to understand and implement various solutions themselves which can help them remain employable.
Even though companies are currently restructuring leading to job losses, many are hiring with a rapid pace and many are helping their employees in different ways to remain competitive and employable. Diversifying one's skills is a major task which cannot be overlooked by employers these days. With layoffs happening, it's really important to have employees who can multi - task and perform different jobs within the organisation.
7. What are the 3 basic rules to follow to stay relevant, updated and employable?
Ans. Organizations and professionals have started realizing the need and importance of re-skilling in these tough times of combating automation. Following rules should be followed to stay relevant, updated and employable:
  • Diversify your skill sets.
  • Be Agile, updated and adapt quickly to changes in the industry.
  • Give your best and never give up. Keep trying in order to succeed.