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10 sectors that will hire Indian engineers in 2020

By Narayan Mahadevan
Last updated on: January 20, 2020 09:51 IST
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Did you know that India is among the top five countries in food processing?
It is estimated to employ around 90 lakh people in the agri tech domain by 2024.

Sectors that will hire Indian engineers

Image published for representational purposes only. Photograph: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

As 2020 soon approaches, the technology space is definitely a good place to be in.

With the number of advancements and rapid innovation in the sector, several new job opportunities are opening up for young talent.

Companies across industries are undergoing a digital transformation and, with this, the nature of in-demand IT roles will continue to change over time.

They are likely to include new positions with a focus on advanced technologies like virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and others.

Here are the top 10 sectors that will hire Indian graduates in the upcoming year.

1. Fin-tech

According to a survey conducted by Gartner Inc., it is estimated that AI and ML alone have opened up 1.4 million job opportunities for an aspiring team of programmers.

While 2019 was dominated by AI and ML, the upcoming year is likely to witness a boom in blockchain.

Blockchain was earlier largely restricted to the banking and cryptocurrency domain. However, off-late, just like artificial intelligence and machine learning, Blockchain is soon becoming an important part of industries dealing in logistics, healthcare, digital payments, gaming and manufacturing, among others.

According to a recent workforce development survey, 50% of participating companies have positions open for cyber security teams.

However, there is likely to be a shortfall of 1.5 million by 2020 across the world. The demand across positions from freshers to C-suite executives in cyber security is steadily increasing.

There will be a greater need for cyber security analysts, security architects, chief information security officers, and cyber security managers in 2020.

IBM recently stated that there will be a surge in job openings by 3,64,000 to 27,20,000 in the year 2020. This demand is likely to grow up to 7,00, 000 openings.

Within this, the demand for data scientists alone will increase by 28% in 2020.

2. Ed-tech

There is an overall increase in the demand for tech talent and a team of programmers.

While the demand for talent expertise in Cloud is approximately around 50% in both start-ups and big enterprises, web-based tech talent demand hovers at around 25% in start-up companies and 10% in big MNCs and others.

The CEO of New Jersey headquartered Cognizant, Brian Humphries, in a statement said that the company aims to double its investment in technical education next year.

He also revealed that the company is focusing on giving more preference to fresh and upskilled talent.

Additionally, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has been recruiting talent through an online test for many years. The company has now introduced its 'hot talent test', where the aspirants who succeed in cracking it will get a double salary.

The hot talent test is all about digital skills and is supposed to be the toughest in the industry. This sector is likely to open its gates for Indian tech talent in the upcoming year.

3. Health-tech

With technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning coming to the fore, the healthcare sector is coming up with new, more advanced ways to identify diseases, diagnose conditions, and offer good treatment.

These technologies are also making surgeries more efficient. With this, the healthcare sector has witnessed an increased demand for talent with skills to match.

According to a report released by the healthcare department of India, the sector is expected to generate 40 million jobs in India by 2020.

4. Agri-tech

A NASSCOM report revealed that in the first six months of 2019, Indian agritech start-ups received 300% more funding than the total funding received in 2018.

New areas in the agritech sector such as digital agriculture, market linkage, better access to inputs, farming as a service (FaaS) and financing have attracted many stakeholders to invest in agriculture.

At present, India is among the top five countries in food processing. It is estimated to employ around 90 lakh people in the agri tech domain by 2024.

5. Logi-tech

In 2017, the logistics sector had offered employment to around 22 million people. As the scope of Logi-tech continues to expand, employment in the sector is expected to grow to 40 million by 2020.

The introduction of technology-based interventions in this sector has led to a lot of improvement, with newer roles and processes requiring varied skillsets. This is likely to open up more avenues in employment for tech talent in the upcoming year.

6. Non-tech-enterprises and FMCG

We see even non-tech enterprises and large organisations like HUL requiring tech talent for Big Data Analysis, DevOps etc. This is likely to add to the overall increased push for good tech talent in the ecosystem.

There are several big enterprises from other domains like Oyo, Zomato, Milkbasket and Cars24 which aim to hire 30 to 50% more in the upcoming year. This will also mean that there will be more job opportunities for programmers.

With the increased demand for its products, Zoho Corporation, a large enterprise headquartered in Chennai, recently announced its plans for ramping up its workforce to 1000 people from 300 by the end of 2019.

Similarly, Swiggy raised its headcount by close to 40% in the last 12 months and is likely to continue this hiring trend in the upcoming year as well.

7. E-commerce and M-commerce

The dependency on e-commerce sites and mobile apps is increasing with every passing day. This means the technologies needed to build and maintain these apps and sites are also in great demand.

According to the report Impact of Ecommerce on Employment in India, it is expected that by 2021, the logistics and warehousing sector will contribute nearly 55 % to direct employment opportunities in e-retail.

Additionally, the sector is likely to add 0.4 million high-skilled job openings within the same period.

The report further states that e-commerce companies have played an important role in attracting talent even from remote areas of India, with close to 70 % of online sellers coming from small towns in 2018-19.

Moreover, the e-commerce business has also encouraged women employment and almost 20% of the sellers are women. Hence, the sector is brimming with opportunities for aspirants.

8. Travel tech

Keeping in mind the technological advancements in the travel sector, this industry is also developing an efficient infrastructure and aims to increase the intake of skilled personnel.

The skills required in the travel-tech sector could range from technical know-how of computer reservation systems, experience with AI/ML, to sales skills, an understanding of dealings related to foreign exchange, ticketing and airfare, as well as customer service. This sector alone aims to create 46 million job opportunities by 2025.

9. Recruitment and hiring

The hiring policies followed by companies have also undergone drastic changes.

Companies are preferring tailor-made candidates, i.e., skilled talent over direct recruits to cut down their costs on training.

It has also been noticed that companies are no longer recruiting a team of programmers based on their aptitude and degrees alone but also on their learnability skills and other factors to bring down the attrition and lay-off practice. Also, in this way, the companies get access to top talent from the pool whose relevant skills can be utilised to the fullest.

Most IT programmers and talent are being sourced through an arrangement wherein a third party service scouts for the talent and gets paid only if the engineer gets the job.

The income-share agreement (ISA) model is yet another concept that is taking root in India.

Under this financial structure, the talent gets to study without paying a fee and is expected to pay back on getting a job.

Some companies also offer free fellowship programs to aspiring programmers and engineers.

Upon the successful completion of this fellowship, the companies offer guaranteed job placement to the students.

Many big enterprises are opting for the off-campus hiring process instead of the conventional campus selection.

According to the companies, this method helps in expediting the process and aids with reaching out to a larger number of students.

10. IT services and product services

Jobs in the tech industry are more dynamic than most people would believe.

In additional to traditional IT and product services across sectors, gaming designing and developing is one industry that is growing at a rapid pace.

At present, this industry is opening up many software developer jobs in Mumbai, Bangalore, and other major metros of the country and is great for those who are passionate about gaming.

The gaming industry is estimated to be worth USD 120 bn, which is the largest segment within the entertainment industry. It is currently led by the USA, followed by China, Europe, Korea, and Japan.

While there are many employment opportunities for Indian tech talent in 2020, engineers need to equip themselves with industry-relevant skills, with abundant practical experience in order to be able to deal with the dynamic demands. This will give them the confidence to crack interviews, help them contribute effectively on the job and open up avenues for sustained growth in their careers.


Narayan Mahadevan is founder, BridgeLabz-an incubator focused on solving the tech employability challenge. He can be contacted on ga@rediff-inc.com.


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