The paradigm shift in hiring: How skilling is finding prominence over degrees

2022 has been an interesting year when it comes to hiring. While the headlines have been focused on the lay-offs, the underlined context has been completely missing from column inches dedicated to “Tech Companies fire x%” of their workforce. During the pandemic, tech companies saw exponential growth which led to bulk hiring to keep up with scale. As countries lifted Covid restrictions, a market correction was always on the card.

This has put skill expectations at the center of hiring processes in companies. The job market is changing rapidly, and the importance of the right skillset is increasingly being valued over academic credentials. With a focus on certifications and degrees, educational institutions are finding it difficult to ensure that the students are developing the skills necessary to succeed in technical roles. This has been made clear by the rising skill gap in India’s tech landscape.

According to a Teamlease report, the Covid 19 pandemic has created a surge of jobs in the highly skilled specialized sector, where skills matter more than degrees. Yet, in India, a college degree is considered tantamount, leading to an unreasonable expectation that a college education will solve the employment crisis in India, where 70% of the engineers coming out of the college education system are unemployable.

This gap has shifted the mindset of employers and has also catalyzed the need for stronger assessment mechanisms to screen the right aspirant and match them with the right jobs. In the dynamic age of technology, where new programming skill sets emerge, and old ones turn obsolete, the demand for a workforce that can handle complex situations outside of the scope of rigid college curriculums has grown multifold.

The job-tech market in India is evolving, and innovative plans and instruments are being implemented to help students ease their way into sustainable careers through skilling, which is driving skill-based hiring in top Indian tech companies. Pay-After-Placement is an excellent example of what education institutes can do to democratize job opportunities by easing the financial burden on aspirants. A student only pays for education and training after getting placed at an appropriate salary.

Prateek Shukla,
Co-Founder & CEO,
Masai School

A pay-after-placement agreement is signed between the student and the institute, which indemnifies the student from making a payment at the start of the training period. The candidate completes their education without incurring any upfront cost and acquires industry-relevant skills to secure a placement. The overarching goal is to remove all barriers to student achievement. In India, Pay after Placement is emerging as a debt-free alternative to student loans, filling voids left by the traditional education model.

We cannot refute the fact that India demonstrated tremendous fortitude and adaptability in the face of a catastrophic global pandemic. India was and continues to be one of the few countries at the forefront of technological transformation and innovation, leading the way for the rest of the world. The hiring frenzy in the tech sector has refused to abate since 2020.

According to reports, over 500,000 new jobs were created in the IT services industry in FY2021-22. Even as the $200 billion Indian IT industry battles unprecedented attrition, the industry is eager to find solutions to meet the demand for skilled tech talent. Overall, what began as a disruption in 2020 has now shifted the paradigm of Indian tech hiring.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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