Why IT industry will hire people from arts background

Soft skills are becoming essential in the IT and tech industries, which are more likely to be found in people from the humanities background.

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Tech companies are more likely to hire people coming from a non-tech background. Hard to believe, isn’t it? How can people from the arts/ humanities background do justice to tech roles?

Though difficult to digest, this trend is slowly catching on. Many of the tech and IT companies require different sets of skills to grow their businesses. Therefore, instead of hard and core skills, they prefer to hire people with more soft skills— such as articulation, critical thinking, communication skills and problem solving— even to take up tech roles! And these skills are more likely to be found in people who come from an arts background rather than those who have studied computer science.

The needs of clients and customers are changing. Tech and IT companies aim to offer products, which their clients and customers will need and probably buy. That is why, companies are thinking more on the lines of ‘making a product that a client will need’ rather than simply ‘making a product’.

Apart from that, a diverse workforce with different thinking is a need that not just IT or tech companies, but all organisations dream to achieve. Organisations require new ideas for which they must have a diverse workforce, which can bring in different perspectives to the table.

Paneesh Rao

“Organisations need new ideas and innovation. They will try to bring in non-techies into tech roles to differentiate themselves from other organisations,” 

“To be very honest, nothing new is happening in the tech and IT space. Organisations need new ideas and innovation. They will try to bring in non-techies into tech roles to differentiate themselves from other organisations,” says Paneesh Rao, CHRO, L&T Technology Services.

Why is the shift taking place?

This shift is inevitable, because IT companies want their employees to be articulate, critical thinkers and problem solvers, so that they can further help create competitive products for their clients and grow the business.

Another reason for this shift is that technology keeps on changing.

Also, the first level of coding itself is getting automated. Therefore, more than technologists, organisations need architects to develop products.

If you believe that automation of the coding function will take a lot of time, you are definitely wrong. The shift is bound to happen in another year or so according to Kishore GR, SVP & head-HR, Mphasis.

The first level of coding will no longer require computer science graduates. These roles fall at the bottom of the pyramid in the technology department. The tech companies will not require people from a science background any more in areas, such as testing and data capturing.

Kishore GR

“The real challenge for the tech employees will be to handle core technical jobs and not title-wise engineering jobs, as the bottom of the pyramid in the tech department will be taken over by non-tech people” 

 

It is not as if only skills such as problem solving and critical thinking will be valuable for companies. Tech firms will want a mixture of STEM and STEAM, where ‘A’ in the latter will stand for ‘arts’.

Acadamic institutions will have to introduce technology in their curriculum for arts, while tech firms will have to train their employees who will be aiming for these roles, in technology-related skills.

Another advantage that tech companies will enjoy by introducing non-tech people into these roles is that the cost to company will drop. Tech companies will be paying a computer engineer a premium salary, but that will not be the case if non-tech people start filling up their positions.

“The real challenge for the tech employees will be to handle core technical jobs and not title-wise engineering jobs, as the bottom of the pyramid in the tech department will be taken over by non-tech people,” explains Kishore.

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