Changing Technological Skills: Future of Campus Placements

  • As per India Skills Report 2019, Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) & Information Technology (IT) have the highest employability rate.
  • As per the research estimates, 40-50% of existing jobs that are transaction heavy would get automated in key sectors such as IT, financial services, manufacturing, transportation, packaging, etc. This will require new skills to catch up with changing business needs.
  • AT&T has invested $200-$250 million a year in its workforce with its future-ready reskilling program to identify where every job function is headed and provide workers with the training they need to prepare for roles that have a future.
  • Tech companies are back in the hiring game in 2019. The key job areas which the companies would be hiring the most for are – Artificial Intelligence, Design, Analytics, Research, and Development.
  • Apart from technology companies, the sectors which will see an upswing in their hiring numbers are Engineering and Automotive, Travel and Hospitality, Pharma and Healthcare, BPO, KPO, ITES, and Financial Services.
  • There will be an increase in the demand for management and ITI graduates.
  • Communication skills, adaptability and learning agility are the most preferred job skills in 2019.

Source: India Skills Report 2019. The report is a nationwide in-depth study of employability amongst the fresh candidates joining the workforce and is a joint initiative by PeopleStrong, HR solutions, and HR Technology Company, and Wheebox, a Global Talent Assessment Company, in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) along with partners like UNDP, AICTE, and AIU.

Current Job Market Scenario, Scope of Emerging Technological Jobs

The talent market in India has undergone a tremendous change in the recent past. A variety of external changes in terms of demography, globalization, automation, analytics solutions, etc. are redefining functional roles across industries. Currently estimated at nearly 500 million with an increase of 27%, India’s workforce presents an encouraging picture for the growth of the economy.

The job market today is also changing its approach towards the campus hiring landscape because of the emergence of new jobs and changing job requirements. There is a different need for skills and expertise that will be required for future-ready professionals to succeed in the talent hunting space. Therefore, it becomes imperative for job seekers as well as their suppliers to understand the evolving market trends and prepare accordingly.

One more interesting trend witnessed in today’s talent market is the changing preference of youth. Today’s youth is more experimentative and risk-taker than its predecessor. They are often ready to explore new opportunities and shift job spaces. The whole ecosystem of the job has changed. Entrepreneurship is being supported by the government in a big way to promote self-jobs. The focus is on developing a culture of self-starters.

All this is also giving rise to the demand for new skills. Exponential technologies are forcing conventional sectors to come up with new job roles. MBA hiring projections for 2019 remain strong.

These emerging trends are influencing academic institutions offering professional courses in management, engineering, and others to prepare students for upcoming sectors and new job roles through campus hiring. These include but are not restricted to automation, digital marketing, fintech, data analytics, gig projects, eCommerce, etc. There are many other sectors like banking and financial services, insurance, omnichannel retail, consulting, etc. which are also being targeted to get good placements results through campus.

Top 10 Skills that will be required in the Future to get Good Jobs – Changing Skilled Job Scenario (next five years)

What are the job skills recruiters will look for in their hires? Which ones are the hardest to find? Let us explore answers to some of these pertinent questions hovering over the talent market these days.

The most important skills are usually also the hardest ones to find in a professional graduate. These skill requirements vary across Industry sectors such as consulting, consumer products, energy, financial services, manufacturing, chemicals, healthcare, pharma, transportation, retail, and technology.

For example, in the energy industry, analytical thinking is the most important skill, and entrepreneurship and risk-taking might be less important skills. Leadership skills are sometimes the hardest to find for specific industries.  Similarly, for marketing and branding, communication skills are most important while quantitative skills are crucial for finance.

For consulting companies, strategic thinking is the top skillset while creative skills may not be that desirable a trait in passing out graduates that they look for.

Keeping the above scenario in mind, on the factor of employability, what employers look for in hiring graduates, how they make their choices for the best talents, and how they evaluate colleges to find the suitable mix, will be crucial questions to ponder over in next five years.

Let us now see what are the top skills that employers overwhelmingly agree upon and look for in upcoming young professionals during the hiring process?

#1. Problem Solving and Team Player

Companies today are looking for people who can provide solutions to business problems. This is the most desirable skill that the job openings recruiters plan to fill with young graduates. Employers also rank team working skills high on their preferred job skill sets.

Most companies require their recent graduate hires have a blend of interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills, and problem-solving abilities. Overall, employers most often saying working with others and self-management are required skills in hiring recent graduates.

#2. Flexibility and Adaptability

In making hiring decisions, recruiters tend to place mental agility and adaptability more important on fitment. The growth potential of the candidate is assessed in terms of his / her fitment with both the company culture and the job opening. In some cases, prior direct experience is also given due weightage generally in lateral hirings.

Cognitive flexibility will be considered crucial to work in the age of digital technologies. The ability to adapt to change and conceptualize complex multiple ideas simultaneously will be highly valued by employers and recruiters.

#3. Data Analysis and Interpretations

The aftermath of the technological revolution outlines a host of knowledge, skills, and abilities companies most frequently require to run their business.  Graduate school hires have clearly identified the ability to analyze complex data sets and derive business sense out of it as one of the crucial competencies in freshers today. .

In addition to data analysis and interpretation skills, companies also look for integrated reasoning skills.

#4. Technology skills – Ability to Understand and Leverage Technology

Technology is changing the business world at an unprecedented pace. The workforce of the future, therefore, need to keep on top of it.

The 4th industrial revolution is already witnessing technological innovations such as artificial intelligence, big data, virtual reality, blockchains, and more. This means that young managers and engineers need a certain level of acquaintance with technological advancements around them in order to perform their job functions efficiently.

In every industry at some basic level, employees in most roles will be handling data and therefore require some technical skills to manage it. On a more fundamental level, every aspiring professional need to recognize the potential impact of new technologies on their industry, business, and job roles.

#5. Communication Skills – Verbal and Non-Verbal

The ability to articulate in both the mediums i.e. writing and speaking will always remain detrimental to your success not only as a young manager but also as an adept leader.

With your newfound ideas, you have to know the art and skill of how to communicate them to the people around you. Communication skills are linked to many other supplementary skills such as negotiation and persuasion skills, interpersonal skills, etc. Hence the ability to communicate effectively helps you master other modern skills as well, and gives you the freedom to operate confidently and convincingly in a VUCA environment.

#6. Creativity and Creative Thinking

The future human resource will need creative abilities to fully realize the changing demands of modern consumers. The future workplace is going to demand new ways of thinking, and human creativity as the key elements to its success.

A creative and innovative mindset will create more job opportunities for you in the future.  Natural creativity is something that can’t be easily replicated by the latest digital technologies. You hence need to maintain an innovative and creative mindset throughout your career.

#7. Leadership Skills

Traits you commonly associate with inspiring and helping others will become the best skillsets for the future workforce. Individuals will be required to take on leadership roles on project teams or work with other employees to tackle issues and develop solutions more often than never.

#8. Diversity and Cultural Intelligence

Living in an ever interconnected globalized world, sensitivity towards diversity and cultural milieu is vital for professionals to understand, respect and work with others. Diversity in race, culture, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, political or religious beliefs, etc. has to be duly recognized and respected for coherence at the workplace.

The ability to understand and adapt to others who might have different ways of perceiving the world will not only improve how people interact within the company but is also likely to make a company’s products and services more inclusive and successful.

#9. Digital literacy and Computational Thinking

As the world continues to rely on highly technical and continuously evolving technologies, the need for those with the digital skills to match also increases. Young graduates should be able to work across systems that involve technological interventions for business growth.

Aspiring professionals should be ready to advance their digital skillset in order to accelerate their careers in emerging fields. This will have a profound impact on their data visualization skills and amplify computational abilities.

#10. Emotional and Social Intelligence

Even in a highly technical world, emotional and social intelligence still remains uniquely human capabilities.

In some sectors such as retail and healthcare, these qualities are absolutely crucial. The demand for professionals having high EQ and social intelligence is on the rise. Job roles in sectors involving human interface will always require an element of emotional and social sensitivity towards its consumers. Future jobs are more than likely to include working closely with others, so having empathy, the ability to collaborate, as well as excellent communication skills is something you’re most definitely going to need.

These are some of the skills that are going to be the most sought after competencies for the next five years that employers will require in young graduates. These skill sets will provide high value in the marketplace to the ones who will be able to demonstrate them with evidence. Across all world regions and industries, the ability to combine and process information from multiple sources to solve complex problems and the ability to organize information to see relationships and to solve multiple, interrelated problems will be the key to success.

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Challenges and Opportunities for Academia – What Universities and Students Need To Do to Gear up for the Future Job Environment

Changing campus placement trends in top colleges show a shift from vanilla skills to more demonstrable capabilities by hiring agencies. Scope of emerging technological jobs is evolving around consumer science, data analytics, etc. besides other emerging business landscape.

Exposure through summer internships and on-job-training programs are being encouraged by companies. Recruiters are willing to pay good stipends if students show demonstrable skills towards the assigned project work. Case study competitions for campus selection are being used extensively by recruiters to assess job fitment.

The current job environment is marked by VUCA syndrome (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity). A significant result of this is seen in the changing preferences of companies in the hiring process. To meet the challenges of a VUCA world, companies are increasingly looking for candidates with learning agility, flexibility, and adaptability at work, along with domain expertise. This presents opportunities for academia to groom students with relevant skills to keep pace with rapidly changing technological and business trends.

Proactive institutions working in this direction will surely see a rise in their campus placements. Also, with the growth of startups and the learning opportunities they offer, colleges must include potential entrepreneurial ventures in their placement process. Many of these startup companies have great roles to offer as well as have the financial bandwidth to pay.

These new talent recruitment trends make it imperative for students and colleges alike to re-look at the way they approach their future. Being good at making the first impression in an interview may no longer be sufficient enough to sustain in the job market. Students would need additional counseling to develop a strategic and intelligent approach to their careers. Moreover, students who are willing to learn continuously, demonstrate mental agility, and are ready to upgrade themselves will find ever-expanding opportunities for themselves.

In the midst of all these emerging job skill requirements, it is also important that graduate school programs and their students receive timely insights from employers to ensure the skillsets they focus on are in sync with current market demands. Differences in expectations across world regions and industries should be to the minimum possible levels. Only then our young minds will be able to position themselves appropriately among talent hunters for meeting their demands.