India's IT sector has a massive pool of digital talent that comprises of specific skillsets, including artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, cloud computing, internet of things (IoT), and augmented and virtual reality.
But there seems to be a major gap between demand and supply in the industry, and to bridge it Nasscom is equipping more than 4 million professionals with digital skills over the next five years.
In an interview, Nasscom Senior Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer Sangeeta Gupta said, "The demand for digital skills in India is eight times of what is available and will rise 20 times by 2024. This can be met by diversifying digital skills across academia."
"Additionally, a lot of the new requirements in this space will also stem from people with advanced skills in social sciences and economics," she said.
To devise a comprehensive training programme, Nasscom held a survey of the existing talent pool and is working with several stakeholders in the industry, government and academia, the report said.
Meanwhile, Amit Aggarwal, Vice President and Chief Executive IT-ITeS sector skills council at Nasscom said that a vast number of employees from IT/ITeS/BPO sectors belong to non-computer sciences background. The numbers are significant even in core software technology companies.
In the coming five years, this multi-disciplinary requirement will witness a further increase, he added.
As demand for multi-technology professionals in India grows, companies need to upskill employees, which costs around $20,000 each candidate globally. In 2019-20, employers provided training to 180,000-200,000 professionals to improve their digital skills.
Nasscom said that the fresh talent pool in India has high potentials, but the relevant supply as of 2020 is 45,000-50,000, out of 8 million graduates across streams, this is expected to grow to 57,000-63,000 by 2024.
Moreover, entry-level job openings account for 68-70 percent of total job openings, where recruitment in growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16-20 percent, while demand for these roles is growing at a CAGR of 19-23 percent.
Talent growth will be affected in the short-term because of COVID-19, but as soon as the economy stabilises, growth is expected to rebound to reach 3.5-3.7 million in 2024.
Aggarwal added, "The training cost is also much lower in India, which is why global firms will continue turning to India to groom such talent."
Last week, Microsoft teamed up with Nasscom Future Skills to initiate a nationwide initiative that targets to skill 1 million students in AI by 2021.
First Published: IST