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News » India’s IT sector boosts contract jobs in AI, cybersecurity

India’s IT sector boosts contract jobs in AI, cybersecurity

India IT sector contract jobs
Photo from Mint.com

NEW DELHI, INDIA — India’s IT sector is experiencing a significant shift towards contractual employment, especially in cutting-edge fields such as artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity. 

This trend is highlighted in a recent report by NLB Services, which notes a 40-50% increase in contract positions across various industries, including IT, consumer durables, and e-commerce, from 2023 to 2024. 

Despite a general decline in permanent staff numbers due to factors like economic slowdown and automation, contract jobs are on the rise, offering a new avenue for growth in the sector.

Demand for advanced tech skills

The demand for specific technological skills is reshaping the job market within the IT industry. Skills in Google Cloud, data analytics, AI/ML, and cybersecurity are particularly sought after, with a noted 30% increase in demand for roles such as UI/UX designers and data scientists. 

Sachin Alug, CEO of NLB Services, highlights the dynamic changes in IT roles, noting that traditional roles like computer programming, web development, mobile development, cloud computation, and cloud architecture are expected to undergo significant transformations.

Strategic focus on upskilling

The rapid advancement of AI technology necessitates continuous workforce upskilling. Initiatives such as industry-academia collaborations and government programs like Digital India and Skill India are crucial in this regard. 

These efforts enhance the skills of current employees and prepare a robust talent pool for future technological needs.

Impact on major tech companies

Despite the overall reduction in workforce numbers, with major tech companies like Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, and Wipro collectively downsizing approximately 70,000 employees last year, there is a strategic pivot towards employing specialists on a contractual basis. 

This shift is part of a broader strategy to maintain competitiveness and adapt to rapid technological changes. HCL Technologies stands out as the only company among the top five to report an increase in headcount, underscoring a possible trend toward balancing permanent and contractual staffing strategies.

Navigating future challenges

The IT sector’s adaptation to the digital transformation is critical. As Alug points out, “The resurgence in contractual hiring and the surge in talent demand for emerging tech roles, both in tech and non-tech companies, heralds a new dawn for the sector.” 

This adaptation involves a collaborative effort among organizations, educational institutions, and government bodies to ensure the development of a skilled workforce capable of handling future technological advancements.

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