It’s Reskilling Time for IT Professionals: An Insight

The IT industry is in an uproar, and the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data has forced IT industry employees to take a fresh look at their skills and start upgrading them. The technology, market trends, and client requirements keep changing at a breakneck speed, and these changing areas force people to acquire new skills to remain employable.

The IT giant IBM has an online platform known as Your Learning to help their employees not just assess their skills but to create a learning plan for an individual as well as a team. Your Learning is a cognitive, interactive, and digital platform that can be accessed on a smartphone as well. Employees can use this to gain better skills to improve their performance, ultimately leading to better business results. IBM spends more than 50% of its learning and development budget on reskilling employees and has denied laying off people, instead stating that it has concentrated on reskilling and balancing its employees.

The Layoffs – A Major Threat

The faster growth of digital technology, as opposed to the traditional one, is leading the industry towards automation in a significant way. As automation increases, jobs that require human intervention will automatically reduce – and layoffs will happen. The National Association of Software and Companies (NASSCOM) did a study that predicts that up to 10% of jobs will be automated in the coming ten years.  At least 60% of the 3.7 million IT industry workers need to start reskilling themselves, or they stand the risk of losing their jobs.

The three main drivers for reskilling of IT professionals is machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data. In 2016-17, Wipro has trained almost 40,000 employees, launching an initiative called Newton’s Cradle to spearhead its reskilling drive. TCS has similarly skilled one lakh employees in digital technology.

In 2014, Infosys started Design Thinking that focuses on training employees to find new problems and develop high-quality solutions for these problems quickly. About 142,218 employees of Infosys have taken this training, and the plan is to train the rest of the employees as well. The practice has also included client teams, recruits, and the leadership team. Also, Infosys has launched the Stanford Global Leadership Program in association with Stanford University for senior leaders. It has trained 3000 people on AI and 2100 people on an AI platform, Nia. Infosys has also partnered with Udacity and Coursera for more training options.

Startup Learning Providers

Apart from the big players in IT, the smaller companies are also getting into the reskilling mode. Learning startups have emerged, offering reskilling platforms to these smaller companies who are going for online training in a significant way.

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