The author is CEO and Co-Founder, Edureka
You can’t run away from this fact, ladies and gentlemen– Kalyug has officially arrived in the job market. Jobs that around a decade ago were considered sunshine sectors are today among the ones having abysmal growth, declining opportunities with no visible signs of recovery in the near future. So, is it the end then? Is the big Indian IT dream finally over?
Yes and no!
If you look carefully at the last couple of decades, you will notice that there was a visible writing on the wall that we somehow chose to overlook. The Y2K scare, the global slowdown, aftereffects of the Brexit mess, Trump’s innovative Visa rules, the French elections, swine flu, global warming… every single big and small occurrence in the world seems to miraculously affect the IT jobs market. Just the other day, Financial Express discovered that the actual reason behind British Airways cancelling hundreds of flights from Heathrow and Gatwick, was indeed Indian IT. Apparently the airways’ trade union was not too happy with the 2016 decision of outsourcing its IT to India, and wanted to give a whiff of how things could potentially go wrong!
Basically, as members of the IT workforce, we must, with all humility, accept that the world will keep creating reasons to take away your jobs. And if you wish to still survive the occasional storm, you need to guard yourself without waiting for the next ‘phenomenon’ to occur. A few of your friends have done this, and have managed to completely insulate themselves from all possible threats. A few others have unfortunately perished.
Future-proof your career
It doesn’t take rocket science to understand by now that technology changes at breakneck speeds, and you become obsolete faster than your computing device. While you are busy battling your day-to-day challenges in office, always keep an eye and ear open for new technologies that are making inroads into your career. For instance, if you are a project manager, be aware of how DevOps is transforming your organizational culture and helping massively boost business. The proliferation of IoT is enlarging the scope of your work. Cloud is pretty much the norm now and new cloud solutions and applications are being released every single day. It is important to keep track of these. Don’t worry if you can’t go after the news. Look out for surveys, check out global publications. Also, e-learning companies like ours follow the industry with a hawk’s eye and we’ll be the first ones to bring to you, the latest courses, and the hottest skills you need to have, in order to future-proof your career.
The challenge of automation
More than any Visa regulation or economic policy, the challenge of automation is the one you should really worry about. Automation aka machines replacing human beings, is inevitable! Manual testing is being replaced by automation testing. You no longer need to sift through thousands of lines of code to identify bugs. The software will do it must faster and with greater efficiency. If you are a tester, it is mandatory and not an option for you to learn these tools if you still wish to continue your career as a tester. Tools like Selenium can go a long way in upgrading your testing career and secure your job for a reasonable time. In short, we must admit the fact that machines will replace humans. The only humans that will survive are the ones who operate the machines. Up-skill yourself enough to operate the robots!
Also, IT administration jobs are being replaced by intelligent tools as well. Concepts like continuous monitoring and real-time fault-tolerance are fundamentally changing the way IT is being monitored and administered. This has again led to a pressing need for professionals in this area to up-skill in these new tools.
AI AI, captain!
With the proliferation of social data and connectivity devices, machine learning and artificial intelligence is today among the hottest technologies around. Managing and deciphering humungous amounts of data, and statistically uncovering insights from them is the most valuable thing you can do to any organization today. Up-skilling yourself in data science, programming languages like R and Python, data analytics and of course, AI and machine learning algorithms, will greatly help secure your career.
You are eligible for an upgrade!
As new technologies are born, old ones might become redundant but the new ones are – in some way or the other – based on the old ones. For instance, Python and R have their roots in SQL and Java. If you’ve spent sufficient time mastering Java, it’s easier to pick up these new languages. Every new technology will sooner or later lead to another technology and if you have mastered one, it’s easier to pick up the other. The key is to keep regularly up-skilling yourself and upgrading your portfolio. Let’s face it. Learning today is not an option. It’s a mandatory journey you need to embark on, if you want to shield yourself from external factors that will affect your career.
The bottom line is that newer technologies are either taking away your job or making your current skillset obsolete. Also, totally new technologies are born that unlock completely different career paths, helping you diversify your current competencies. Either ways, it is not a choice anymore to acquire the right skills before it’s too late.
The new writing on the wall is — up-skilling is the only way to save your career!