The field of information technology is evolving at a faster rate than usual. Areas like artificial intelligence, data science, data analytics and internet of things, among others, are now being integrated with industries across all sectors. Many times, it becomes difficult to keep a track of these technologies and keep up with them.
Now, more than ever, we are seeing a pattern where young professionals are finding themselves confused about their future in the company — be it regarding their job roles, their progress, or even the fear of losing their jobs to machines.
This month, Analytics India Magazine, in association with Jigsaw Academy, decided to find out what goes on behind the making of a good career graph in 2019. From the education background to upskilling strategies and organisational partnerships for further studies, today’s young professionals have found many ways to fight the career ennui.
In fact, industry numbers suggest that there is an 18% to 20% attrition rate for young professionals with around three to four years of work experience.
About The Study
The samples were collected by asking respondents to fill in a survey created by AIM about what these young professionals felt like at work — professionally. This included various sub-topics such as growth opportunity in the current organisation, their need to upskill and their preference of a particular Emerging Tech.
We took opinions from young Indian professionals with work experience between 2 to 4 years to get a thorough idea of the working environment in this growing field. Our survey was met with much enthusiasm — and we got some great insights from it. Some of them were expected, and many of them were real eye-openers.
How long have you been working in this industry?
- Our core demographic for the survey, young professionals with work experience of between two to five years constituted a majority of the result at 39%
- The other important constituents to the survey were young working professionals with less than two years of work experience at 27%
- 19% of our respondents were persons with 5-10 years of work experience.
Do you wish to work in your current technology/domain for the next five years?
- The answer to this question was an ambitious “no” with 63% young professionals saying that they would definitely want to change their roles in terms of technology or domain.
- About 27% respondents were not sure about their future in their chosen sector
- And only 10% of the respondents said that they wanted to keep working in the same technology domain.
Do you feel you face enough growth opportunities in your current role?
- Interestingly enough, an overwhelming majority of the professionals at 66% said that they did not face enough growth opportunities in their current role.
- Only 34% said they did foresee growth opportunity.
If you do want to change your job/role, how do you plan to do it?
- When asked the question about how these young professionals wanted to take their career ahead if looking for a change, the majority of them, at 59%, said that they would prefer to upskill, while keeping their current jobs.
- 18% of the respondents said that they would quit working full time and take a break to pursue a subject properly.
- 13% of the respondents, on the other hand, said that they would like to change jobs, as that would also allow them to get more exposure and experience.
What Future Tech would you like to upskill to?
- When asked about what future tech would most of the young professionals upgrade their skill set to, most young professionals gave a very clear answer: artificial intelligence and machine learning-related technologies were most in demand at 44%.
- 35% of the respondents with 3-5 years of work experience in the IT sector also said that data science would be a great option to upskill.
If yes, how would you like to upskill?
- 37% of the respondents who prefer to upskill said that the best way to do this was through taking up a part-time educational programme.
- 35% said that they would prefer studying on their own, using their own material which is available freely online.
- 19% of the respondents said that they would like to quit their full-time jobs and pursue full-time education.
Do you think, your organisation should sponsor to upskill you?
- This question was met with a very positive reaction where 64% of the respondents said that they would like it if their organisations encouraged the culture of upskilling by sponsoring it.
Do you think your current job will be automated in the next 3-5 years?
- Probably reacting to the dystopian warnings predicted all around the country via different means, almost half the respondents, at 49%, said that they were worried that their job would be automated within the next five years.
How many times do you hear keywords like AI/ IoT/ Blockchain in your current organisation?
- New tech concepts such as AI, IoT and blockchain have become fairly common at workplaces today. Clearly, respondents have had positive experience towards it, because, 44% said that they heard these terms frequently.
- 28% respondents said that they heard these terms regularly.
Are you already looking out for a job in tech like AI/ data science/ IoT/ Blockchain?
- Clearly, after gaining a few years of work experience in the IT sector, the next step for most young professionals is to then move on to New Tech. This was demonstrated by an overwhelming majority of 72% who said that they were already looking out for a new job in this area.
Do you think your past experience would be wasted once you move to another technology?
Many professionals have expressed this fear in the past that while upskilling is a good move for the career, but it may sometimes undermind the past work experience.
- But 52% of the respondents said that they did not think that upskilling or moving into another, newer technology would waste their past work experience.
- However, 29% of the respondents were not sure about this
How much salary hike do you think you would receive once you transition to another tech?
Most of the time, these young professionals want to move to newer territories in the future tech is because of the growth opportunities and monetary compensation.
- 58% respondents think that they would get a salary hike between 20% to 50% after they upskill themselves or transition to new tech.
- 18% respondents said that they expected they would get as much as a 50% hike
The Managerial Perspective
Mohan Sitharam, the chief human resources officer at Subex, told Analytics India Magazine that they always preferred to upskill and retain current employees than hire outside talent. “Subex is a product company with deep expertise in the telecom domain. For a business such as ours, it is an obvious choice to retain and upskill our engineers. We consider re-training our existing resources as raising the bar of our talent’s competence, and in our experience, we realise that the odds of advantage are twice when we retrain our existing talent, rather hiring skills.”
Bhuvan Nijhawan, Director Education – Asia Pacific, SAS, told Analytics India Magazine, “Young Professionals these days are constantly looking to upskill themselves, given the rapid market demands and advancements in Data Science technologies. These employees not only intend to continue with their current employer but also upskill themselves for career progression and growth. To encourage such budding talent and recognise their skillset, SAS® has introduced SAS® Digital Badges. These badges are given only to those who take up our official Training programs or those who clear the Certification exam. This also acts as a reference point for potential interviewers.
With increasing demand for skills in Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial intelligence, tech-savvy professionals with 0 to 3 years’ experience often look forward to acquiring these skillsets. Moreover, the hype in this field often leaves them with scattered information making it difficult to choose relevant programs to their profile. With this in consideration, SAS has developed assessment tools which map their existing skill sets thus aiding with recommended curricula relevant to their profile. We also work to connect these talents with our partner organisations and customers.”
Road To Career Transition
Abdul Baasit, one of the students who completed the Postgraduate Program in Data Science and Machine Learning from Jigsaw Academy has transitioned successfully in his career.
“I had a background in IT but in around 2015, I discovered my interest in data and generally working with mathematical solutions,” he said. Abdul initially completed the course in Data Science with SAS and while he did then move into the data science space, he felt that it wasn’t quite enough. “I’d noticed the potential of analytics in the job market and was keen to get further into it. I felt that doing another more in-depth course would be helpful,” he added.