With the recent lay-offs in the IT sector in India, job security has become a matter of concern for many. The year 2017 started on a sour note, with many leading companies and start-ups in the technology domain failing to obtain funding and resorting to layoffs, job cuts and scaling down of the workforce. This has demotivated IT employees and has added to their stress levels.
Like most trends, new language or software technology comes bearing expiry dates. Thus, it is important for employees to keep improving their learning curve and adapting to new changes in the industry.
The adapt-or-perish scenario prevalent in the IT sector in recent times has put pressure on employees to leave their comfort zone and “skill up” – learn new skills and technologies in order to remain employable in the IT sector.
Employees, Employers Jumping On The Multi-Skilling Bandwagon
There has been an increased demand for online boot camps, which equip IT professionals with multiple skills and specialisations. The companies that offer these skill-based training courses have increased the number of courses and batches to meet the demand.
Several companies have also introduced new courses and technical skill training modules. According to an estimate, over 50 percent of the total learners in these training institutes are not college graduates looking for jobs, or students learning new skills but, are in fact, full-time employees. This is a significant insight, which underscores the importance of staying relevant by acquiring new skills and training.
Multi-skilling, or the process of specialising in various areas and skills, will greatly impact the status of an employee in his/her organisation and make their job retention prospects more secure.
Employees are now becoming more flexible with respect to their job roles and are empowering themselves with newer software and skills which can help them move within the organisation with shift in demand. The focus has shifted from being skilled for a job to cross-skilling and upskilling to ensure zero chances of stagnation in the technology sector. Skill development organisations have a wide range of online, offline and self-help courses that employees can take in their free time.
Companies have special modules and software programmes specially designed to suit the technological and cross-skilling needs of software professionals. There is an increase in demand for courses in AI, cyber security, machine learning and micro service architecture among the IT professionals.
What Are The Benefits of Multi-Skilling?
There are various dimensions to multi-skilling. While an employee may choose a vertical approach to take on a supervisory role and equip himself in team management and other managerial skills, another may find it more profitable to engage in horizontal multi-skilling and equip himself with skill sets required to handle a different domain or task at the same level.
Some others may even try in-depth multi-skilling and train themselves to do the current job/service with more efficiency, thereby providing a better service to the client and making themselves less replaceable in the current profile itself.
With multi-skilling, employees can be assured of job variety and scope for rotation. They can expect an increase in pay, better prospects for promotion, and increased job security. In addition, they also gain knowledge and acquire newer skills, which in turn will help them stay motivated in the job and increase job satisfaction.
(Vikalp Jain is president and co-founder of Acadgild. He tweets at @vikalpjain. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author's own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)
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