Technology is becoming indispensable. It is disrupting every industry, even those, which had nothing to do with a tech category initially. It hardly matters if you are working for pharma, real estate, education, automotive, FMCG, retail, finance, or others, you will see new-age technology taking over some crucial processes or units for good. Moreover, traditional functions such as HR, marketing, and sales also rely on technology nowadays to either automate or ease their work in some way.
Today, you need developers to build apps and IT professionals to ensure that the digital business operations go on smoothly. Besides, tech is a beacon of hope in critical times. For those who were still reluctant to implement, the COVID outbreak force fueled its adoption across sectors. From collaborating remotely to conferencing digitally, tech helped organizations to streamline their operations when they seemed impossible, and how. It can be accredited both to pandemic-related fears and technology-powered efficiencies in embracing teleworking, but maybe there will be no going back to the primitive mode of working completely.
Finding ‘IT’ in Non – IT
Similarly, there has been a clear approach by most product companies, as they are no more fixated on a particular year or stream of engineering. Resumes are sifted for a diverse skill set, especially soft skills that can come in handy during crises to ensure business continuity.
As companies move forward with digitalization, they are accepting candidates from diverse backgrounds to develop that one perfect product. The emergence of niche technologies such as AI-ML, Blockchain, cloud computation, Big Data Analytics, IoT, cybersecurity, and others have opened lucrative avenues in not just IT but also non IT industries. Here, possessing the right coding skills is a priority. As long as the talent is productive and shows coding competency in his or her job from very early on, the less important the academic background becomes.
Harvard Business Review in a ranking released in 2018 stated 42 out of the top 100 CEOs worldwide had engineering education. It only reinstates how engineers are hired for benefits that go beyond mere technical abilities. Engineers are critical and analytical thinkers who approach the problem in a structured manner; their ideas are solution-oriented and can adhere to a high-pressure environment. Hence, all it takes are the right skills to make them the right fit across industries. For instance, FMCG and supply chain companies are on the outlook for research and development professionals and experts who can build systems to extract vital information about consumer preferences through huge structured and unstructured datasets, more so after the pandemic to develop products or modify their services accordingly.
Be it about contactless food deliveries, touchless payments at PoS, sanitizing the package before handing it over to the customers; there is a lot of tech-based homework going behind the scenes to understand customers’ concerns and addressing them using personal data. Yes, it is not a mere coincidence that the burger from your favourite eatery comes with a pouch of sanitizer or the leading fashion house is offering matching face masks with their latest collection. This can be vaguely summed up as reading your thoughts, though, or data to be precise. In fact, a product’s composition, its target group, channel, marketing strategy, launch date, everything is being decided by technology to maximize its reach and ultimately, business gains. This has propelled the need for competent specialists to deliver the same.
Coding Competencies Will Rule
Every year, close to 1.5 million Indian students get their degree in engineering. They hail from different domains such as IT, software, electrical, mechanical, and others. Only 20% find placement in pure IT firms. A lot of potential lies in the other sectors that are awaiting major technological action. With the rapid deployment of sophisticated technologies in the non-IT sector, the demand for niche technological skills has also gained traction.
Thankfully, avant-garde IP-driven training institutes have taken note of these untapped avenues and are working to address the issue. They are consistently ensuring more than 40% of the students who get top tech jobs are from non-technology or computer science backgrounds. And the figure is only strengthening further.
This is fostering confidence amongst a lot of non-computer science and non-IT talent that it is not the academic degree but the degree of their knowledge that matters the most. How well-versed they are in technology and prepared to be productive on the job is of major importance. This is shaping a healthy competition as people from all walks of life get a fair chance to explore opportunities and domains. Besides, it widens the scope of the IT industry as well. Who knows, different minds with distinct interests or backgrounds may code a new revolution altogether.
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A serial entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in technology leadership, Narayan Mahadevan is the Founder of IP driven Incubation Lab, BridgeLabz. An AWS recognized company, BridgeLabz focuses on increasing employability and nurturing ideas as well as talents in the emerging technologies domain. Narayan oversees the overall operations and functions at the company.