Need For Securing AI, Blockchain and Cybersecurity Talent
The tech industry is booming, and with the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Blockchain and increasing cybersecurity threats, it is constantly looking for human resources skilled in these areas.
The 2023 Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends report recommends that to achieve their business goals, the companies should focus on Sustainable Technology, which comprises optimising Digital Immune Systems, Applied Observability and AI Trust, Risk and Security Management, scaling up Industry Cloud Platforms, Platform Engineering, Wireless-Value Realisation, and Pioneering SuperApps, Adaptive AI, and Metaverse.
The latest data on the most in-demand jobs on LinkedIn noticed a ‘rapidly growing hunger for artificial intelligence engineers. Furthermore, it revealed that in the last three months, demand for Artificial Intelligence Engineer grew by 109%, and it predicted that soon it would be one of the top 10 most demanded jobs on the platform. Similarly, its Jobs on the Rise reports mentioned that cybersecurity roles are globally in demand. World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023 predicts that big data analytics, encryption and cybersecurity will be among the biggest drivers of job growth in the next five years.
In India, Technology Industry accounts for 7.5% of the GDP, and it is expected that the annual revenue will grow by $245 Bn in FY 2023. IT services are expected to grow at 8.3%, with key drivers including application modernisation, cloud migration, platformisation, and cybersecurity. The industry added nearly 3 lakh employees, strengthening its position as the 'Digital Talent Nation' for the world. India has also emerged as a Global leader in AI Skills, India currently ranks top in AI skill penetration, AI talent concentration and Fifth in AI scientific publications. It is expected that the AI market will grow by a CAGR of 20.2% over the next five years. However, it is estimated that the country's AI/ML Big Data Analytics and Data Science tech talent demand-supply gap is 51%. Future of Jobs Report 2023 underlines that 60% of workers will require training before 2027, but only half of workers are seen to have access to adequate training opportunities today.
The Government of India has been taking several steps to strengthen the tech workforce to address future needs. In 2021, the Government launched Future Skills Prime, a joint initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) & NASSCOM, to create an upskilling /reskilling ecosystem in 10 emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, IoT, blockchain, 3D printing, AR/VR, cyber security, cloud computing etc., to facilitate the continuous enhancement of skills of IT professionals in line with their aspirations and aptitude. The initiative is also leveraging the strengths of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT), the National Skills Development Mission of India, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to reskill/upskill about 20 lakh professionals. The Future Skills Prime has a first-of-its-kind financial incentive program for digital upskilling; bridge and deep skilling certification courses; a career portal for job, internship, and apprenticeship opportunities, and tie up with the Indian Staffing Federation, an apex body of the flexi-staffing industry with more than 100 members. Through this initiative, the Government and industry aim to reskill/ upskill about 14 lakh employees over a period of 5 years.
Similarly, the Government of India, in 2022, launched a Digital Skilling program in emerging and future technologies to provide skilling, reskilling and upskilling students via internships, apprenticeships, and employment to 1 Cr students from Class 7 to graduation. The national scale collaboration was launched by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Skill and affiliated NSDCs, Skill India programs (National Educational Alliance for Technology) and AICTE.
The Ministry of Defence, through Innovations for Defence Excellence, has also been creating an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries, including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes & academia. The recently concluded Defence India Start-up Challenge-9, focusing on Cyber Security, provided grants of up to 1.5 Cr to find solutions to various problem statements shared by the Indian Defence Ministry.
Technology adoption will remain a key driver of business transformation in the next five years. While the government is making efforts to respond to the need for adequate human resources for the continuously evolving IT industry, companies must implement effective learnings and development strategies to secure AI, blockchain and cybersecurity talent.
TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, a Public Private Partnership of TeamLease Skills University, the Ministry of Skills, under the TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship Mission of the Ministry of HRD (AICTE), CII, and NSDC, strongly advocates that the organisations must match employee expectations, add value, and chart out a clear career progression plan to obtain employee buy-in for training objectives. Further, it recommends long-term strategic workforce planning through workforce analysis, mapping, forecasting, assessing gaps, learning needs assessment, determining target talent, and developing a learning strategy.