India today has great manpower edge in the area of IT and ITeS services, but this giant pool of skilled professionals is not a self-renewing resource.
Industry watchers are already cautioning about the growing demand-supply manpower gap in the IT sector, which could prove to be a major impediment to further development of the market, says Vijay K Thadani of NIIT.
"While the country currently employs over 1.1 million professionals -- around 345,000 professionals in the area of IT exports, 352,000 personnel in the domestic IT services and in-house captive staff, and 348,000 people in the ITeS-BPO segments, the numbers are expected to jump substantially by 2008 and grow into a vast need by 2012," says G Raghavan, head, Individual Learning Business, of an IT education company.
"By 2012, analysts say, India will have a requirement of around five million new IT/ITeS jobs," he says.
"The growth rate of over 25 per cent in IT/ITeS sector is putting a tremendous demand on the supply of a qualified labour pool. Whether India has a shortage of talent by 2010 or later depends mainly on what we do in 2006 and onwards," says Atul Vashistha, CEO, neoIT, an offshore outsourcing consultancy.
"The key is to make a large pool of graduates focus on this industry, along with the development of additional locations. India has a strong labour pool in locations like Jaipur, Guwahati, Nashik, Vizag, Vadodara and other such locations," Vashistha said.
The focus has to be on developing the infrastructure in these locations along with facilities and opportunities to train the workforce, he says.
However, according to the National Asspciation of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), to sharpen India's value proposition and extend the country's leadership in the global IT-ITeS space, it has taken several initiatives to further enhance the availability of and access to suitable talent for IT-ITeS sector.
Nasscom has signed a MoU with the University Grants Commission and the All India Council for Technical Education to strengthen professional education in line with the IT industry's requirements of demand for skilled professionals.
It has also launched Nasscom Assessment of Competence programme for the potential employees in the BPO industry. NAC is an industry standard assessment and certification programme that aims to ensure the transformation of a 'trainable' workforce into an 'employable workforce.'
"The trends indicate that very specific skill sets will be required by the IT industry over the next 5-7 years. Tomorrow's enterprises, expected to be 'completely connected,' will need professionals equipped to implement and manage networks. Similarly, security will also become a priority," says Thadani.
"New job profiles are emerging within the ICT sector. By 2012, the popular IT careers are likely to be those of certified enterprise administrators, system administrators, check point security administrators, network professionals, information systems security professionals and certified engineers," he says.
The software development segment will continue to generate a significant number of jobs with a large number of professionals required in various new and emerging segments. The expectation is that by 2007, the ICT industry demand for Java professionals will touch 3 million, feels Raghavan.
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