‘You’ve passed out from a tier-3 college? You will have to settle for the lesser-paying jobs”. This is what students from tier-3 colleges are told, because when it comes to placements and job opportunities, they end up with jobs that are left over after the students from tier-1 and 2 colleges have bagged the high-paying ones. So, are tier-3 students not good enough? Well, a recent survey suggests that 57 per cent of learners from tier-3 colleges are highly employable in non-technical roles. Also, their employability in critical thinking roles is very high.
Let us take a look at the job and skill trends that are likely to impact workplaces of the future.
What are the existing roles and skills?
The currently available technical roles across industries are that of data analysts, customer-care executives, data-entry professionals, data scientis and front- and back-end developer roles. The skills required are knowledge of data-centre operations, legacy IT skills, physical machine management, quality assurance, data sciene, core Java, structured query language or SQL and data structures.
The non-technical roles available today are that of content creators, cashiers, financial and business analysts, and sales and business executives.
The non-technical skills required are inventory tracking, payment collection, proof-reading, translation, logical reasoning, leadership, critical thinking and analytical thinking. The demand for core Java and SQL is expected to dip in the future.
What are the emerging roles and skills?
Amongst the emerging roles, the most in-demand would be that of artificial intelligence (AI) consultants, creative directors, deep-learning engineers, robotics engineers, AI architects and AI-safety engineers.
The technical skills that will be in demand in the near future are: TensorFlow, PyTorch, Python, Robotics design, deep understanding of AI technologies and systems thinking.
Amongst the non-technical roles, the popular ones would be that of AI ethics consultant, AI explainability consultant, AI auditor, AI product/project manager, conversation and manual writers and conversation designers.
The non-technical skills required to essay these roles will include interdisciplinary knowledge, empathy, creative thinking, business ethics , business acumen, strong communication and, commitment to social responsibility.
Clearly, more importance will be given to cognitive skills at the workplace, especially in areas that require complex problem-solving and creative thinking.
Are Indian freshers ready?
When the top skills sought after by organisations was compared to how ready fresh graduates in India were for the same, it was revealed that 45 per cent of Indian graduates are employable for top in-demand jobs and skills.
Among the various functions, fresh graduates appear to be proficient in data science and roles where knowledge of AI and machine learning (ML) is required, in addition to expertise in human resources and other domains.
A good 53 per cent of Indian graduates are ready for the top non-technical jobs, while 44 per cent are ready for the top technical ones. The demand for non-technical skills is higher and so is the employability in this area. Data shows that 61 per cent graduates are most employable in MS office, while 57 per cent are most employable in jobs requiring numerical ability. Only about 23 per cent graduates are employable in project-management roles.
There aren’t enough youngsters with mathematical skills, even though their employability is high, at 72 per cent. Employability is low and so is the demand in the areas of big data (36 per cent) and machine learning (33 per cent).
When it comes to technical roles, 48 per cent of Indian graduates are highly employable in AI and ML roles. About 36 per cent are employable in UI/UX developer roles. That means, the importance of user-centric design is growing and designers are indispensable when it comes to making visually appealing and intuitive interfaces. Next come software-testing roles with an employability rate of 42 per cent, whereas front-end developer roles have an employability rate of 40 per cent.
In terms of the most sought after roles, about 42 per cent of Indian graduates are ready for software-testing roles, while 40 per cent are ready for front-end developer skills roles. About 39 per cent are employable in back-end developer roles, 39 per cent in data analyst roles, 39 per cent in data scientist roles, 38 per cent in QA automation roles and 36 per cent in UI/UX developer roles.
The lowest employability rate of 33 per cent is for machine-learning (ML) skills. On assessing skills needed for AI/ML roles, it was found that employability for applied mathematics skills stands out at 72 per cent, followed by data science skills is at 57 per cent, Python at 51 per cent and R programming at 41 per cent. The employability for data science skills stands at 57 per cent.
When it comes to data-scientist roles, the employability for big data and machine learning skills is 36% and 33%, respectively. Employability for cloud computing and Python skills is the same, at 51 per cent.
The employability of graduates with expertise in statistics and general database concepts is about 39 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively.
Amongst the skills evaluated for data-analyst roles, the employability rate for Python, RDBMS concepts and data warehousing skills were 54, 51 and 40 per cent, respectively.
In terms of non-technical roles, 37 per cent of Indian graduates are ready for jobs in sales and business development. The employability rate for financial analysts is 45 per cent, while for human resources associates the rate is 44 per cent. About 54 per cent of learners are employable in critical-thinking roles, which is a much in-demand skill in modern organsiations.
Employability is much higher with skills such as MS Office, accounting and numerical ability. That means, Indian graduates are quite strong when it comes to working on office software and demonstrating financial competencies. However, they need to improve their skills in the areas of project management and data interpretation, where their employability is rather low.
Employability and college tiers