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BENGALURU : Hiring in the IT sector is expected to pick up in 2021, especially in new-age digital skills whose demand have seen a spike, as organizations have accelerated their digital transformation initiatives.

The new-age digital skills which include the likes of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), data engineering, and robotic process automation (RPA) will contribute in excess of 25% of the overall hiring, according to Han Digital, a talent consulting firm.

“Indian IT-BPM (business process management) hiring picked up heavily from the second half of current fiscal year, like hockey stick growth. By fiscal 2021-22, we anticipate the top 300 IT-BPM companies to invest in hiring the talent across the DARQ stack which refers to distributed ledger technologies, artificial intelligence, extended reality, and quantum computing," said Saran Balasundaram, founder and CEO, Han Digital.

In fact, hiring in the IT software and services sector has been steadily increasing on a month-on-month basis, growing 7% in October as the pandemic pushed for a virtual and digitally-enabled world, according to the latest Naukri JobSpeak Index.

While large IT services companies such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd and Infosys Ltd will account for a lion’s share of the hiring, global in-house centres or captives are also expected to contribute to the sector’s hiring.

“BFSI captives will add over 15,000 in headcount in 2021 in digital, product development, information security, IT infrastructure and application services skills," said Balasundaram.

“The headcount in the BPM sector will be picking up across creative services, insurance process, clinical research outsourcing (CRO), and finance & accounting transformation. Emerging cities will be targeted by global BPM players for specific capabilities," said Balasundaram.

TCS virtually onboarded more than 8,000 freshers across India, Europe, and the US during Q2 and it plans to hire another 12,000 freshers in Q3. Infosys recently said it will be hiring around 15,000 college graduates in India and about 1,500 college graduates outside the country, over the next 12 months.

As more jobs are being available in digital skills, working professionals and learners are making a beeline to upskill themselves. For instance, Jigsaw Academy’s upskilling programs like the Integrated Program in Business Analytics have witnessed a 130% rise in enrollment during the pandemic.

“Enrollments in our cloud program have increased two-fold and we have witnessed a whopping 300% increase in learners’ interest in other emerging technology courses. Professionals with business intelligence skills, cyber security skills, and cloud skills will find higher chances of career growth in 2021, as compared to 2020," said Gaurav Vohra, cofounder & CEO, Jigsaw Academy.

Similarly, edtech company Great Learning is also seeing a steep surge in demand as employees enroll in courses related to emerging technologies. “We have witnessed a 3-fold increase in demand since covid hit in March, and a steady 2-fold user growth month-on-month since then," said Hari Krishnan Nair, cofounder, Great Learning.

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