Surviving automation in IT: 4 skills that will see you through

22/08/20173 Minute Read

Automation in IT is more real than you may think. But while it’s certainly groundbreaking, it’s also causing concern. Automation’s effects are typically felt at the entry level, killing off business and operations-related jobs and adversely impacting recruitment. With the slowdown in the Indian IT industry, the prospects have been looking a little bleak: Forecasts suggest that automation in IT may result in the loss of one in four jobs in India by 2021.

It’s easy to see why the Indian IT and ITES sectors are the hardest hit by automation. The country’s IT-workforce of around 4 million grew on the back of essential services like data entry, analysis, and customer support for clients in the United States and Europe. Now, these are precisely the kinds of jobs that machines have started taking over.

So, what does it mean for you? Is job loss imminent? While automation will take over a number of jobs, it’ll also introduce new and exciting opportunities. Innovative job profiles will emerge as automation spreads, which will demand reskilling so you can take advantage of the emerging employment opportunities in both the private and public sectors.

What are the skills you’ll need to take the leap? Here’s a peek at the kinds of jobs expected to come up, and the skills needed to bag them:

1. Data specialists

An ever-increasing number of machines means that the data generated by them would require management and analysis. To control this surge, data specialists will be in demand and quickly snatched up by data-intensive sectors, including manufacturing, banking, and e-commerce. The demand for data specialists is already rising, and it’s likely to skyrocket as automation picks up.

2. Product developers

Designing and creating a new product demands creativity and ingenuity that can’t be expected of a machine. Chances are, if you hone your expertise in this domain, you’ll never be out of a job. The entire product lifecycle—from conception to designing and production—requires complex thinking and analytical skills, and so far these traits are beyond robots.

3. Digital marketing

It’s unlikely that robots can actually snatch up the jobs that involve creativity, industry know-how, and technical knowledge. Developing your digital marketing skills may be key to growing and surviving in a world of automation. Make sure you keep an eye on this sector as AI continues to grow.

4. Managing machines

Machines might replace their human counterparts in regular jobs, but we’ll still need to manage and supervise them. ITDMs’ new role will be learning how to manage both machines and humans. More than ever, ITDMs with interpersonal and collaborative skills will be crucial to the task of integrating robots into the workforce.

Automation in IT will have far-reaching consequences, transforming the way we work. Though it will initially take over simple and repetitive tasks and processes, as technology evolves, automation can potentially affect a large portion of Indian IT. While there’s no running from the potential job losses, you can rest assured that the Indian IT workforce can look forward to the emergence of new and exciting opportunities.

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